June 19, 2012

Article

Video cannot be treated as a secondary function

By Rob Nunes – VP of Marketing

Performance is one of the most important attributes of an enterprise video strategy that successfully engages employees and improves internal collaboration within businesses. As a result, organizations can rarely afford to treat video as a secondary function if they expect to have success with the technology.

In many cases, video is not deployed for primary functions. Some capabilities, such as video streaming for town hall meetings, are critical. But others, such as employee-generated content, are not essential to a business’ operations. While not every use for video is critical, it can be extremely difficult to find success without a content delivery strategy that treats video as if it is always critical.

The key problem is that users are unlikely to take time out of their work day to watch video productions if they do not perform well. If long load times, frequent buffering, frame rate stuttering and other problems arise when viewing the content, then most users will give up on watching it. In this case, all of the money invested on the video platform will be wasted because the actual content will go unwatched.

Because performance is so essential to the success of a video program, organizations need to treat the content like it is a critical operation. This means devoting extensive network resources to the video solution to ensure smooth delivery. Achieving this requires taking a strategic approach to sending content through the network.

More businesses are branching out into multiple offices, consolidating their data centers into primary facilities and then delivering applications and data through the WAN. Because of this, video also has to traverse the WAN to reach the majority of end users. The WAN is the weakest part of the network, with considerable bandwidth limitations that can make video delivery difficult. To overcome this and ensure consistent performance throughout the network, organizations often have to deploy video-specific technologies to support performance requirements.

WAN optimization and similar technologies are often unable to deliver video at the performance levels that are needed to foster a successful program. Instead, businesses should consider investing in such solutions as multicasting, peer-assisted video software and enterprise content delivery network systems. These platforms improve the network’s ability to handle video and provide the necessary performance to support a robust program without disrupting other aspects of data delivery.

-Rob