With the use of video in the workplace growing at an ever-increasing pace, organisations need to be ready to meet the challenges involved. Live and on-demand streaming as part of executive communication, training, HR and marketing can uncover a range of complex issues.
27partners have broken them down into 10 essential components for a successful enterprise video solution:
1. Content capture and contribution
Content like video and audio can be produced from multiple sources:
• High-end cameras and recorders
• Consumer-level cameras
• Mobile devices
• Video conferencing systems
• Broadcast feeds
There may be one or more signal acquisition centres and services where this content is captured and stored, whether pre-recorded or live. The content should be stored in a high definition archive format as well as a proxy format (low resolution) for faster editing.
2. Post production and content management
Once the content is captured it may need to be edited. Post production could also involve making one, five and 15-minute promos so that the audience have an opportunity to view shortened versions of the same content.
Slides and multimedia can be edited and inserted into the video along with multiple audio tracks for different languages, closed captions and subtitles.
All of this content should be tracked in a purpose-built Content Management System (CMS) or customising metadata items in a document management system or intranet platform.
3. Metadata definition, subtitles and thumbnails
Once content has been post-produced it will need metadata added to make it searchable and easier for the viewer to navigate. It also needs to be categorised and added to relevant channels so that it is promoted to the right audience.
4. Transcoding to multiple formats
To avoid buffering or skipped frames a high-definition archive should be converted into multiple formats at multiple bitrates to match the requirements of the corporate network and the devices it will be rendered on. This should be a fully automated process that happens immediately after post-production.
5. Distributed storage
Once the content is converted into various formats it should be uploaded into the system (like a CDN, edge server, centralised server or peer-to-peer network) that will deliver the content. Content location should be re-attached to the episode metadata – the storage required for high definition content in multiple codecs may be very large.
Once the content is ready to be viewed it should be exposed on various internal portals (SharePoint, Salesforce.com, Brightcove and other video-specific portals such as YouTube). This exposure should be automated as far as possible, with the content exposed as a single player, as sets of filmstrips or as playlists.
7. Intelligent Player Applications
The player application should be able to determine which device or system it is running on (E.g. Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android).
Once determined it should identify the correct player and video format, with the user experience remaining consistent. Whether the player is using Silverlight, Flash or HTML5 video tags it should collect network and user experience analytics, to determine the user’s actions with the multimedia.
8. Adaptable high speed streaming sources
The service that delivers the content should be correctly sized and located for the organisation type it is used in, covering both internal and external delivery. Varying bandwidth and congestion across the company, plus a possible need for multiple vendor technologies must be taken into account.
When rolling out the service the analytics data should be carefully monitored to guarantee the streaming system is providing a good user experience to ensure the message of the video .
9. Search and social features
(Like tagging, rating and commenting) It should be possible to search for archive content using the available metadata and to allow users to add more metadata in the form of tagging and rating so that search results become more useful over time. Allowing users to comment on content will bring valuable feedback to the content creator and channel managers.
10. APIs to syndicate and repurpose content (external and internal)
The CMS should enable editors to push content and metadata into other systems. There may be other standard re-usable content types, such as corporate graphics, slides and interactive multimedia content that need to be captured and stored alongside the core video. The content should be stored in a high definition archive format as well as a proxy format for faster editing.
Technology changers, future communications and marketing requirements can’t be predicted, so the pipeline must be flexible enough to allow custom development via Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) to meet future needs.