Microsoft Stream, the company’s enterprise video platform (EVP) bolted onto Office 365 could shake up the EVP market, but don’t jump in head first just yet.
Video used to be the domain of media and broadcasters, but now enterprises from healthcare to financial services have reason to be doing video. They can use video to connect internal employees and external prospects with the CEO during a live event. Or maybe HR needs to establish a centralized training channel.
It makes sense for Microsoft to move into this market more robustly. It already has tens of millions of users on its Office 365 email and productivity suite so video is a logical step.
Last year marked the first time that digital video outpaced every other online activity in time spent. It even eclipsed social media. If your customers are spending time with video, then you need to be there too.
Online video platforms or OVPs used to serve media and broadcasting companies. OVPs took charge in streaming media assets online. They still do, but their roles have expanded and now they serve online sales and marketing operations, too.
Video is an important component in each step of the customer journey. Brand videos fit into the discover phase, while product demonstrations are important in the buy segment. User generated content and personalized videos fit into each stage of the process and OVPs support and enable them.
Online video platforms or OVPs should be an essential part of your strategy because they support your efforts to:
You don't need a $20,000 computer to collaborate on a Word doc anymore. Microsoft's Project Rigel will bring a Skype Meeting experience to any meeting room with a display or projector.
Previously the videoconferencing collaboration technology was only available to users of Microsoft Surface Hub, a large screen computer ranging in price from $9,000 to $22,000.
If you're not familiar with how Surface Hub works or what collaboration with it may look like, here's a video.
Surface Hub married document collaboration, whiteboarding and video conferencing into a single system with the obvious drawback of the initial hardware investment. With wide ranging enterprise implications for AD&D pros, Project Rigel will:
Democratize the technology. Project Rigel lowers the barrier to entry to any meeting room with a display or projector.
Force Windows 10 upgrades. Rigel will only work on machines running Windows 10 so for enterprises that are holding back, this could be the push needed.
Make Office a stronger application for collaboration. Google's suite of productivity apps led the charge in collaboration, making it free and easy co-edit documents, spreadsheets and slideshows. With this announcement, Microsoft could recapture lost market share.
Push hardware investments in Polycom and Logitech. The two VC companies partnered with Microsoft and certified elements of their portfolios to work with Project Rigel. These include the Polycom RealPresence Trio and CX5100 and Logitech ConferenceCam Connect, ConferenceCam GROUP and PTZ Pro Camera.
China's smartphone juggernaut is using technology from Vidyo to bring multi-point video conferencing to the masses. In the age of the customer, AD&D pros need to take note because mobile is often the driver for business transformation.
Xiaomi (pronounced shaow-me) is a device maker that up until recently has been driving huge sales, growing 227% in 2014. That number drastically shrank in 2015 so it appears that video conferencing is part of a differentiation strategy.
The calling app, Mi Video (seen left) will be pre-installed on the company's new flagship device, the Mi 5, but it's also available for free on iOS and Android devices. The difference with Mi Video is that it lets consumers do multi-point video conferencing. Every other consumer VC service only allows for point-to-point conversations on mobile. For example, with Apple's Facetime you can only videochat with one other person.
For AD&D pros there are a few important points to note:
Forrester research encourages organizations to use tools like video conferencing to enhance day-to-day interactions. There is more value than just cutting travel expenses.
The company closed its 1,971 US stores on Monday for four hours so that employees could attend a company meeting hosted by its co-CEOs Monty Moran and Steve Ells.
The setup was elaborate with studio lights, multiple cameras and a teleprompter. Chipotle took this seriously and while the content of the address was for employees the pomp and circumstance was for the public.
To capture, manage, and deliver live and on-demand video you need a video platform. Selecting the right platform helps companies maximize the impact of video on customer and employee experiences.
Enterprises looking at applications for video across marketing, corporate communications, and training need to consider products in multiple categories. Our just-published Forrester Wave on Enterprise Video Platforms and Webcasting evaluates the 16 leading providers focused on live presentations with slides and publishing video on demand. We included BrightTALK, Cisco, InXpo, Kaltura, Kontiki, Kulu Valley, MediaPlatform, Nasdaq, On24, Panopto, Polycom, Qumu, Ramp, Sonic Foundry, TalkPoint (PGi), and VBrick in the evaluation.