By Mike Newman
We hear a lot about pandemic-driven macro-trends, from the ‘great resignation’ to ‘hybrid workforces,’ ‘virtual events,’ Zoom fatigue’ and many more. One of the trends you likely haven’t heard about – but one that MediaPlatform sees every day – is the recent and significant shift by large companies to reset employee video use.
Video, of course, became a business lifeline during the pandemic keeping remote workers connected and productive. However, left to their own devices, people scrambled to adopt consumer-grade conferencing tools that were easy to use and adopt. Nearly two years later, corporate IT and network operations teams face a daunting challenge to reign in all that video in an effort to comply with enterprise requirements and evolve from widespread video adoption to implementing a widely adopted, highly engaging, enterprise aligned, video strategy.
Based on this phenomenon, and several other trends I’ve outlined below, we’re calling 2022 the year of the enterprise video reset. Starting in Q4 2021, we saw a substantial increase in inbound inquiries, opportunities and RFPs from Global 2000 companies seeking enterprise-grade video solutions with extensive video scalability, security, bandwidth-efficient distribution, viewer analytics, management, and governance capabilities. Over the last few months, we’ve validated our observations with our customers and technology partners, and against broader data sets from top industry analysts.
In addition to inbound interest and pipeline growth, I’ll highlight other trends we’re watching that I believe are also driving this year’s enterprise video reset:
- IT is consolidating video – MediaPlatform inbound demand has been largely driven by corporate IT and network operations teams seeking enterprise-grade solutions (as opposed to individual event production or silo’d use). Additionally, Wainhouse Research saw the largest survey response from IT personas in a decade, with nearly 80% agreeing that consolidating video tools into a single solution that can distribute content from a variety of sources was a top priority for their companies.
- Engagement is king – With hybrid work emerging as the new normal, companies are laser-focused on finding ways to boost employee engagement not just to stay productive, but to stave off employee churn (the ‘great resignation’). Executives rate live video as much more engaging than recorded, but they have also experienced the limitations of ‘spray and pray’ webcasts that lack the viewership analytics that are the first step in measuring engagement.
- Microsoft Teams use is growing – Teams works for meetings, but – forced to use the tools they have – corporate marketing teams and communicators have told us that they urgently need to improve the tool’s use for one-to-many broadcasts and production-grade events. MediaPlatform helps customers use Teams as a video source while adding massive scale (from login to concurrent viewership to interactions like QA), quality (inseparable from video distribution, which we can natively do with Microsoft’s recently acquired peering solution), viewer experience and tracking (via our extensive quality of experience analytics). This is a hot topic that we cover extensively; you might like these blogs on how to produce and deliver better Microsoft Teams events.
- Budgets for video are rising – Nearly 80% of top executives, including CEOs, Presidents and COOs expect to spend more in 2022 on one-to-many video streaming technologies – such as business broadcasting. This budget line item is distinct from other video technologies, such as collaboration or video conferencing.
Production quality expectations are rising – Despite initial acceptance of webcam-quality video from spare bedrooms, research shows that as company video use grows, so do the expectations for premium-quality video. More than three-quarters of executives survey predicated ‘video success’ on the ability to deliver broadcast-quality video, which most would agree is 1080p or greater.
- Events and meetings will have virtual complements – Live keynote broadcasts are the hook that organizers use to draw registrants and secure virtual event attendance. With in-person trade shows, user conferences and other events uncertain, companies are experiencing the cost and conversion benefits of hosting events online. Instead of spending millions building exhibitions staffed with scores of employees, companies like Salesforce are instead spending marketing dollars on Hollywood talent to marquee key events. With live video being the centerpiece of online events, virtual event platform face pressure to also deliver a broadcast-quality experience, with engagement data that can be definitively tracked and fed into demand-generation metrics.
While these are the top trends we’re now seeing, the last two years have certainly proved that change is the only constant. We’ve been able, fortunately, to adapt to the changing video landscape by listening to our customers and by constantly gathering, and reacting to, market data. We miss those industry events though because they gave us a chance to meet with an even broader community of enterprise video leaders and experts. To bridge that gap and help us all stay abreast of how enterprises are resetting their video strategies, I’ll be hosting a monthly virtual roundtable for enterprise video leaders and I hope you’ll consider joining us. Please send me a note in LinkedIn and we can discuss which industry topics most interest you.