How to Choose an Enterprise Video Platform
Video content is flooding the internet and will continue to dominate IP traffic and overall Internet traffic growth representing 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2021 (Cisco, 2017). Companies
are aware of the benefits of videos but struggle with the implementation of a proper solution to manage video assets. This paper centers on how to choose a video platform and points out that an enterprise focus is necessary to balance the use with the cost of video in the enterprise. Enterprise video platforms are an investment, a technical challenge and a security issue, so it is critical to
differentiate enterprise video needs from those features required to meet standard video consumer needs. A true enterprise solution must have the ability to accommodate customers with varying security needs and must be easy to integrate in the IT landscape.
Growing video usage has become a challenge
Video usage in the enterprise is growing massively. A recent Cisco study noted that “increased adoption of advanced video communications in the enterprise segment will cause business IP traffic to grow by a factor of 3 between 2016 and 2021.” (Cisco Visual Networking Index VNI 2017). In fact, Cisco estimates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21 percent globally over that same time period for overall business IP traffic, led by this growth in video for corporate communications. In the North American market, the CAGR will exceed 23 percent annually, although overall volume of business IP traffic will be greatest in the Asia Pacific (APAC) market at well over seventeen exabytes of business IP traffic delivered each month. This growth in business IP traffic, and especially enterprise video communications, will manifest itself in a number of ways, from mobile video consumption (expected to increase at a CAGR of 46 percent each year over the next five years) to increased use of video for executive meetings (e.g., CEO town halls or all-hands meetings) to sales, repair depot, and overall how-to or training videos. Given the initial uptick in the growth of video in the enterprise, many companies have struggled with best forecasting how to balance the use of video with the cost of video in the enterprise.
In fact, video in the enterprise has matured to where it touches almost every area of internal and external communications, from IT to finance to the CEO to human resources (HR). While almost every corporate communications manager would agree that enterprise video is beneficial to overall employee efficiency and morale, the cost of implementing a proper solution for video management can be daunting. On one hand, the increased use of video means facing the challenge of balancing increased scale against the operating expenditure (opex) cost required to enhance or even maintain aging home-grown video management or internal enterprise video platforms (EVP). And adding features, such as built-in approval, compliance, and distribution modules, while maintaining security, adds an extra layer of complexity. Many early home-grown enterprise video systems were built around legacy streaming formats (e.g., RealVideo, WindowsMedia) that have been declared end-of-life by their respective vendors, and newer streaming formats require integration into these aging internal EVPs. On the other hand, any enterprise choosing to greenfield an EVP solution—whether it is an on-premise, third party solution, a cloud-based online video platform (OVP), or a dedicated cloud-based EVP—will find itself faced with some form of basic capital expenditure (capex) costs. On-premise solutions often face much bigger capex hurdles than do cloud-based solutions. The challenge is that there are any
number of OVPs to choose from, but the majority aren’t geared towards enterprise.
Finding an Enterprise Solution
Many OVPs have their roots in the media and entertainment industries, so they are better geared towards producing and delivering media for consumers or end-users across the public internet. They are not built to meet enterprise needs regarding secure internet and intranet use cases, integration in existing IT infrastructures and professional asset management. The idea of spending a significant amount of capex on a brand-new internal Enterprise Video Platform, especially when budgets are tight, is fairly daunting. And even if the internal solution works well, there’s the added complexity of services external partners and customers expect from the same solution – meaning an internal-only solution may not be the right choice in today’s mature enterprise video landscape.