One of the biggest stories in technology today is convergence. The number of technology stacks used by the average business has increased to the point of becoming unsustainable. Now, these stacks are starting to blend together, as vendors offer products with increasingly wide ranges of applications. It’s clear that in the future, companies will be able to reduce their total number of vendors by choosing products that cover a significantly wider numbers of use cases.
This is especially visible in video. Right now, most companies are juggling a number of different vendors and technology stacks just to meet their existing video needs.
There are three axes of video convergence: live vs VOD, one-to-one vs one-to-many, and intranet vs. internet.
One of the most obvious dichotomies is live video versus video on demand. Right now, many use different technology stacks to handle the different uses. But use cases somewhat in the middle, like simulcasting, are starting to emerge. And platforms that can handle both are starting to emerge.
Live video has been increasingly popular in the consumer space, with the rise of YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Periscope.
You can see similar trends in the enterprise space. Expect live video that automatically converts into VOD that can be found in the same portal as VOD-only content to become significantly more common.
Right now, entirely different technologies are necessary for video chat versus a large scale video broadcast. But as a range of group sizes continues to become more popular (one-to-one, small groups, webinars, on to full blown webcasts), tech stacks are starting to include a wider range of options.
One key change that will enable this is better support for VOD at the smaller side of the range. Another is the gradual reduction of telephone-dependence. More and more viewers are bypassing the optional telephone numbers and going straight to VOIP.
Internal and external audiences have widely different needs and limitations. Often, there is little to no overlap between the intranet and the internet. However, this can lead to a lot of wasted content and effort when there are too many barriers between moving content back and forth. Efforts get duplicated and great content is not used to its fullest extent. Tools that allow content to be applied back and forth without compromising security are key. If a company adds an extranet, to provide information securely outside the firewall for customers or partners, it only increases the need.
Managing two or even three different video portals becomes challenging. Not only is there the overhead of supporting multiple platforms, sharing content between the platforms can be a headache. (For example, a new product launch video might be useful for internal kick-offs, reseller training, on the product’s main web page, and during a webinar. That single video could have to be copied in up to four different repositories.) Having a single video portal that can handle both internal and external use cases will significantly reduce complexity.
Increasingly, these three spectrums—internal vs. external, one-to-one vs. one-to-many, VOD vs. live—are less a distinct choice and more of a spectrum. As use cases continue to blend together, businesses should be able to choose video platforms that satisfy more than one requirement, allowing them to consolidate video operations on a single video platform. The days of 2-5 platforms, or half a dozen, or more, are nearly over.