Navigating the Enterprise Video Workflow

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After an initial start in streaming via Windows Media about 8 years ago, QAD wanted to move beyond just simple live and on-demand videos, with the idea of communicating better with customers. QAD’s Lawson says the original homegrown system integrated an HTML player with slide sync, URLs, and a quiz that a user could take when finished watching the exclusively on-demand content. But there was a need to move beyond the homegrown product as more presenters wanted to use the system.

"We are currently using the same Windows Media Server that we installed in 2001," says Lawson, noting the robustness of Windows Media. "But just recently we’ve split it into a proper tiered architecture with two publishing points: one for Windows Media content and the other for Mediasite content."

After a corporate streaming platform is implemented, what is the uptake of the new technology in the organization? I’ve often wondered about long-term growth in enterprise streaming, perhaps because I was involved in determining market growth analysis early in the IP videoconferencing industry, in which we sometimes found that the videoconferencing units would sell but we’d see limited success in terms of expanded use.

"We have a decent number of ex-U.S. originating events," says Fox, meaning those events originating from outside the continental U.S., "and they expanded to 15%–20% of [the] total events now that we’ve trained many people from outside the U.S. and given guidelines on the best equipment setups to use."

CA’s Lasher says that, after the first few CEO town hall meetings, other executives such as the CFO and CIO also wanted to do group town hall meetings.

"Over the past 2.5 years, it’s trickled down to [the] rest of [the] executive team here at headquarters," Lasher says. "We probably do between 15 and 20 meetings per month with our two portable recorders. Luckily, I don’t have to be involved in all events, but I probably am involved in about half of them, depending on the level of complexity."

Lasher added that, while CA could do a video-only multicast to every desktop, the company likes the fact that its current solution moves beyond streaming and adds synchronized slides, video, and polling. He also says that the training group, which has its own learning management system (LMS), will use his group’s encoders since the content layout and streaming make it easier to deliver training to those who work from home or in smaller offices.

"We provide the encoding and a URL link that training can post to their LMS," Lasher says. "And then we may hide the link on our portal so that the only way the content can be accessed is through the LMS."

"We haven’t grown our Mediasite system beyond the initial implementation of about 500 end points," says Lasher. "So for very large meetings, like the CEO town hall, we gather people together to view the meeting. We do this for two reasons: first, for the camaraderie and a way to get people engaged and listening and, secondly, moving them away from sitting at their desk and multitasking to actively engaging in the live event."

Lawson, from QAD, says that the company’s focus on showing the computer screen for software training was important both for early adoption and continued expansion of the system’s use.

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