It doesn’t take long for Sherman Black, CEO of Qumu, to convince the uninitiated about the benefits of enterprise video.
While Black obviously has a vested interest in the industry – Qumu helps enterprises share video with employees, clients and partners – there is also something strikingly obvious about the need for businesses to make better use of video, whether for training or internal broadcasts, and the fact that this is an industry set for major growth.
This is a trend that Qumu recognises and the company aims to ensure that its clients are able to tap the benefits of video to its full potential.
“We’re an enterprise video company,” Black says during a recent meeting in Dubai. “We provide an end-to-end solution to help enterprises share video not only with employees but also with their clients and partners. We have spent a tremendous amount of time solving problems that have held back video in the past. Our vision is that we want to help enterprises have that same video experience that you can have today as a consumer, but have that within the constraints and requirements of an enterprise.”
There is certainly plenty of research to support the case for Qumu’s ambitions. For example, US-research firm Markets and Markets predicts that the global enterprise video market will increase in value to $32.87 billion in 2019, up from $13.01 billion in 2014. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.4% during the forecast period.
Furthermore, in an indication of the growing desire of professionals in enterprises to use video, technology giant Cisco recently published a survey which found that of the 1,300 future global business leaders under the age of 35 polled, some 61% said they will more frequently use enterprise-class video solutions over the next five to 10 years.
The survey, which was conducted by Redshift Research also found that 70% of survey respondents hoping to manage teams of 51 people or more said they will rely more heavily on video in the future, and 87% thought that video positively impacted their company.
With the case for video in the enterprise space clear, Qumu is busy developing and marketing the tools to allow all types of organisations to use video in the various ways they require.
Qumu currently has about 200 customers with multinationals such as ebay, BT Global Services, Morgan Stanley and Vodafone using its services. A high proportion of its customers are involved in finance, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, according to Black.
Black explains that the most common user case from its customers is internal broadcast, which is often a CEO or another senior executive making an address to the company’s employees about a big development, such as a new acquisition or an earnings statement.
The next biggest use is training and collaboration, which could include video conferencing sessions. This could include everything from compliance training, sales training, or the roll out of new product’s unique selling points, for example.
Black adds that the way customers use Qumu’s services has evolved. Indeed, while internal broadcasts remain the single biggest user case, Black says the company is seeing growing demand for what he terms “collaboration type of activity”. This could be a team using video to report from the field on how a particular project is progressing. While this type of user case may fall more under the bracket of communication, Qumu’s systems archive the footage and therefore make it a potential asset. For example, a different team at the same company might work on a similar project in the future, and they could potentially learn by accessing videos that chart the progress of past projects.
“Think of user generated content, either at the desktop or video by mobile. It could be out in the field and more authentic – not polished. People want to watch authentic content like that. It could be workers communicating around the world on what progress they’re making on a project or success they had with a client,” Black says.
As Black points out, collaborative sessions using video as a communication tool can also be recorded and archived for future use including as a training tool.
To this end, content management for video is also an important part of Qumu’s expertise. “Once the content is created we integrate it with the company’s active directory or single sign-on system,” Black says.
Qumu’s systems allow the client complete control of who gets to see any particular broadcast or video. It enables the client to share specific videos, or even parts of videos, to certain people or specific distribution lists. The system also offers secure access to all participants and can provide authenticated, controlled access on mobile devices.
By working with Qumu, organisations can also archive and manage their video assets far more efficiently, allowing everything from recorded live broadcasts to conference sessions to become potentially valuable assets.
The more companies start to embrace video, the more important it becomes to archive it properly. “As the company evolves and starts using video on a daily basis and you have dozens of videos being created every day, you see they want to access that information more.”
Qumu’s technology allows companies to search for a video by speech or search terms. “We have speech search so I can go in and request every video in the repository that mentions a certain term. You can establish metadata such as where and when it was created, and who created it.”
Aside from elevating the use of video within a company, Qumu’s services can also help firms engage and interact with their own customers. Indeed, a firm using Qumu’s software could grant access to certain videos to its key customers. This could be details of a new product or service relevant to the customer, or an upgrade they might be interested in.
“We are not just an internally focused company, we are also focused on external user cases,” Black stresses. “Imagine I’ve got a new product and I want to promote, for example, a financial services company or bank initiates an investment idea, or a company launches a new product - they might decide to do a three minute video which gets sent out to the entire client base. The client watches that three minute video and then they make a decision.
Blacks adds that Qumu’s platforms also allows users to integrate in with analytics tools such as Marketto, so that they can track who watched a video and when. This is also a clear differentiator compared with using Youtube as a marketing platform. “If you send clients to Youtube you have now taken them away from your site. Having that video embedded in your branding and available on your own website is very important,” Black says.