How video is changing business in the UK


Video and its impact on business

Back in 2012 video consumption accounted for 57% of all web consumer traffic. According to Cisco, this number is set to increase to 69% by 2017. With the all the changes we are seeing in the way we communicate through video, how is this affecting UK businesses?

Martin Nurser, Vice President of Qumu in EMEA gave me an insight into how video is evolving in the workplace. Qumu, a specialist video platform provider for business offers companies a wide variety of services including video hosting and distribution. Qumu has integrated their technology with companies such as IBM, Oracle and Microsoft and continues to improve the way videos can be used in business to benefit internal communications, such as allowing employees to run their own live events and broadcasting them across the enterprise.

Find out how video is evolving and what the consumer trends are in business today.

Interview with Martin Nurser

Iain: How is video changing UK businesses?

Martin: Businesses, not just those in the UK, are facing the challenge of having to harness technology to adapt to the rise of the BOYD trend and remote working, to connect disparate staff and international offices, and to get them to collaborate and reduce costs. By choosing video, businesses choose to be innovative and more transparent; they can break location and time barriers by being able to reach out to their global workforce wherever they are and on any device, be it mobile or not.

Video also gives employees a voice, by allowing them to create and share video content with their colleagues and management, showcasing their skills and ideas and facilitating social media with the enterprise. The world has become more fast-paced, dynamic and engaging when it comes to information and knowledge sharing and there is no going back unless you want to be out-innovated. Video is the new document and it is secure, scalable and easy to use.

Iain: What's the current trend for on-demand video and live broadcasting?

Martin: The use of video is growing globally and exponentially. In the UK alone, 240 million hours are spent every month watching video and it is forecast that by 2016 companies will stream 16 hours of video per worker per month in the US. Video is not a passing trend, it is a strategic communications choice and it is here to stay. The rise of smart phones and mobile data consumption for example means video content is more accessible than ever before.

Iain: How do you see companies using video to help educate their staff?

Martin: Training delivered via a secure enterprise video platform is cost effective and efficient and can provide quality, consistency and an opportunity for employees to learn in their own time and using the device of their choice. Regular training videos can easily be produced at a relatively low cost compared to in-person training room sessions, which would be much more expensive, logistically more complicated and therefore less frequent. The result is more knowledgeable, up to speed employees.

Video also has the power to communicate information both audibly and visually and to be taken in by a wider, geographically and demographically diverse range of people who learn in different ways but who, in most cases, are already used to accessing and digesting instructional video content via YouTube on a daily basis. Training delivered by video is therefore a natural way for the majority of people to receive information.

Away from training, an enterprise video platform that makes it easy to create and share video content also facilitates social media within the enterprise, allowing management to communicate with the workforce, but also allowing the workforce to communicate back up the chain and with each other in a new and dynamic way.

Communication by video is a great way of building employee engagement by creating a visual channel of communication from management, therefore increasing the understanding and involvement of the workforce in company strategy and vision.

Iain: Do you see businesses becoming more creative as they adapt to internal video solutions?

Martin: Absolutely! Video is a dynamic and engaging form of media that ties in with creativity and innovation. The creativity shown in video content production continues to increase, as the newer generation of employees are both comfortable digesting video content and possess additional skills in terms of creation of video.

Iain: Would you say video is a now a fundamental component of internal communications at the moment?

Martin: Not yet, but it is becoming more so. There are still concerns from enterprises over how to facilitate communication by video, which is traditionally a heavy form of data. Many enterprises possess networks or systems that were not designed to cope with video content and so this is often seen as a challenge or barrier to entry. However, solutions such as Qumu’s take the load off the network, managing bandwidth and server resources to ensure no interruption of service.

SharePoint is for instance a good example of a widely used system not originally designed to cope with video content; Qumu’s solution however works with SharePoint to enhance the enterprise portal in order to utilise video effectively.

Video will become more and more prevalent as a method of internal communications, now that the technology is available to facilitate this. Furthermore, as the “generation YouTube” worker becomes more prevalent in the workplace, video will be demanded as a communication form and the workforce will be more adept at creating video content and communicating using this medium.

Iain: Can you give any tips for people looking to prepare a live broadcast? What should businesses and individuals think about before they go ahead with a live feed?

Martin: There are a number of things that need to be considered. From a technology point of view, it is essential that the network or technology being used is able to cope with the demand on bandwidth, or that the technology platform being used can manage the load. Accessibility is important, again from a technological point of view. Having invested the time and money in creating a live video event, enterprises must ensure the content is available as widely as possible.

Technology aside, it is important to be organised and run a professional event that portrays the company and management in the best light possible. Having a CEO stumble through a video broadcast can be damaging to their reputation and can mean that the intended message is miscommunicated or not delivered at all. Using a suitable location is important in terms of delivering a good user experience.

It is also important to think everything through in detail, for example the objective of running the event and how the company will deal with questions or collect feedback. Ultimately, an internal live event is a fantastic opportunity to engage with the workforce, but it has to be done to a high level of quality to achieve its intended aim.

Find out more about video webcasting and distribution via the Qumu official website

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