Preparing for the Age of Pervasive Video

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Consumer adoption of increasingly sophisticated technology devices, like smartphones, tablet computers and Internet-connected televisions, is setting the stage for a revolution in video-enriched business communications. As the sprawl of online video extends beyond the PC and spills into a ubiquitous chain of networked video screens, companies must begin making technology decisions today that will position themselves for the most important transformation in business messaging since the birth of the commercial Internet.

By Steve Vonder Haar, Senior Analyst Enterprise Webcasting & Streaming, Wainhouse Research, LLC

Online video is on the loose.

Anywhere there’s a screen, there’s usually an opportunity for delivering video. That simple fact holds huge implications for executives contemplating the best strategy for incorporating video into their business communications efforts.

Simply put, online video is sprawling beyond the confines of the PC. For companies that invest in the right technologies, business video messages can be reliably viewed on the smart phone and tablet computer.

Heck, today we’re even hearing some folks talk about funneling company videos to tailored channels accessible via Internet-connected televisions. This may still be several years away from the corporate mainstream, but the idea of tuning into your boss’ latest presentation from the “comfort” of your living room couch is a vision that could very well become a reality in the next couple of years.

That’s because the consumer technology wave that is transforming traditional media is laying a rich foundation of networks and devices that make it easier and more reliable than ever before to distribute IP video on a far-flung basis. It’s only a matter of time before businesses begin leveraging this consumer-led infrastructure in an effort to enhance their own communications and build competitive advantage for themselves.

Some companies will choose to deliver video product descriptions to customers and prospects via this emerging smorgasbord of screens. Others will choose to place their executives front-and-center, delivering an all-hands company meeting directly into their employees’ living rooms. Still others will create new forms of video content that address customers’ frequently asked questions or provide other forms of basic customer service.

But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the emerging multi-screen environment for business video is that is creates a truly blank canvas for companies to create new ways to convey video-enriched messages to key constituencies. I can’t tell you today how exactly businesses will best leverage this increasingly ubiquitous set of network enabled video screens. But I can guarantee that some companies will create fresh applications that will set them apart from their rivals and help them make big, big money.

So, how do executives today prepare themselves for this era of video screen ubiquity that is beginning to take hold even now? The answer lies in leaving yourself options. First, invest in basic technology platforms with the basic capability to publish and distribute content in the multi-screen environment. Second, teach key communicators in your company about the possibilities that exist in extending the reach beyond the PC and into the multi-screen world. As they become aware of the possibilities, the imagination of your best communicators will win the day in identifying the best ways to leverage these emerging capabilities.

The worst option is sitting still, waiting for the world to shake out these issues for you. If you let your rivals do all the learning about how and why to distribute business video messages to smart phones, tablets and connected televisions, your organization will fall behind. Now is the time to begin preparing your organization to capitalize on the multi-screen world of video that is coming our way.


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