By: Steve Vonder Haar
Libraries don’t do you much good when the books are scattered all over the floor. After all, if you have to sort through thousands of volumes every time you want to find a single piece of information, it defeats the purpose of having a content archive in the first place.
We build libraries so that we can retrieve knowledge quickly. Without systems in place to direct us to the information we need, archives can rapidly devolve into sinkholes, time wasted in fruitless searches for a needle of data in a haystack of documents.
Understanding the rationale behind keeping libraries tidy and organized is the first step in recognizing the value of perhaps the most vital element of streaming technology workflow: content management.
Just like those books on the library floor, online video has little value without a solid content management solution backing it up. It’s a basic truth that some organizations overlook when first implementing a streaming platform. If your company is just dabbling in webcasting initially, it doesn’t seem like such an arduous task to keep tabs on the content when you produce maybe one event a month.
Invariably, though, usage of online video simply begets more usage. The monthly webcast turns into the weekly online update. The one-to-many all hands meetings distributed via streaming venues evolve into more dispersed applications where video is developed by a range of employees uploading their own videos to corporate networks.
Somewhere along the way, the trickle of online video snowballs into an avalanche of online content. And that creates the need for better organization to make it easier for executives to find the right piece of video that answers the right question at the right time.
In today’s market, a variety of vendors offer solutions designed to manage online video libraries. Some are implemented as on-premise tools deployed on a corporate network. Others are offered as hosted solutions that enable content management from the cloud. Still others seek to combine the attributes of on-premise and hosted solutions in an emerging category known as “hybrid” platforms.
However they are deployed, effective content management solutions share some common characteristics. First, look for systems that can tap into corporate directories or LDAP systems that track user profiles. This data from corporate directories can be used to create customized portals of videos that prioritize the presentation of relevant video content to match a user’s profile information. Employees in the marketing department, for instance, will be presented with videos relevant to an organization’s marketing initiatives. Likewise, executives from the financial department will see portals featuring content related to their specific work activities.
Effective content management solutions also ease the process of creating so-called “meta-tag” information that helps to identify videos and webcasts addressing specific subjects. Typically, companies have had to enter most of this searchable information manually. But, increasingly, streaming vendors are incorporating “speech-to-text” solutions that can scan videos for specific words and phrases that can be used to sharpen the search results presented to end users.
Even with the advances, content management remains an inexact science in the realm of business online video. No solution has emerged to flawlessly scan, sort and pinpoint information from video archives.
But don’t let the on-going hunt for perfect video search dissuade you from implementing the content management solutions that are available in today’s market. Having systems that sort content and automate the process of putting it into the hand of viewers that need to see it is far better than searching through hundreds – or even thousands – of content hours to find that one unique snowflake in a video blizzard.
Steve Vonder Haar is a Senior Analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at email@example.com