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Enterprise video platforms are so popular they've made it onto Forrester's Wave reports. Gartner Research has it covered, too.

It's an increasingly common channel, Forrester researchers report, for both internal communication with other employees and external communication with customers and partners. 

Gartner predicts large companies will stream an average of 16 hours per worker/per month by 2016.

It's no surprise we've heard from a few vendors in the past two weeks investing in enterprise video technology.

Acquisition, Integration

"Our customers are using video as a means of communicating -- for onboarding, training and many other purposes," said Mark Hammer, vice president of marketing at Austin, Texas-based Bloomfire, which released this week automated video transcription and search.

"We find that in some companies, sales reps will even do a quick video explaining to other sales reps at their company how they got a deal. We invested in video because we believe video will become an even bigger component of our customers' lives and we want to make it as easy as possible for people in businesses to find the videos that will make them more successful."

Bloomfire's not alone in its enterprise video technology investment.

Atlassian, another enterprise collaboration software provider, acquired this week an open source video conferencing company. The Sydney, Australia-based provider acquired BlueJimp and will integrate its Jitsi Videobridge technology to into HipChat, the company's team communications app.

And last week, Boston-based Ramp, a provider of video and search experiences for media led by CEO Tom Wilde (below, right), integrated with WebEx so businesses can share and rebroadcast WebEx conferences through Ramp Video Management, Ramp’s enterprise video management platform.

Why Video?

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Well, of course these vendors make money off video technology. They support video for that reason, naturally.

What are their customers gaining, though? The actual users of the tech?

Wilde said the industry is moving toward a “YouTube” environment.

"Video continues to be one of the best mediums for sharing and discovering content,” he added.

Bernardo de Albergaria, Atlassian's vice president and general manager of collaboration, said nothing replaces face-to-face communication.

"We see video as an integral feature," he said, "and group video is a key aspect." Teams, he added, are "stronger when they feel connected, and video plays an important in that. This is important not only for teams separated by thousands of miles who may never even meet in person, but also for those just a few streets away, where improved productivity is measured in saved minutes, leading to hours or days over time."

It saves time vs. the back-and-forth of email, he added. Corey Merkel, a software engineer at OGSystems and Atlassian customer, said for every video session his defense contractor company cuts down on 20 emails.

Content Management Challenges

As for managing actual video content, the jury may be still out on that market. Gartner officials in their latest Magic Quadrant for Video Content Management (VCM) call that space immature. But it is developing rapidly, Gartner officials reported, driven by parallel technologies like customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise collaboration technologies and e-commerce.

Gartner defines the space as software, applications or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that manages the delivery of any on-demand video across the Internet. Gartner includes the ability to exchange videos across the enterprise as a key entry requirement for this quadrant.

While the management of video content has historically been difficult, the use of video in information exchange is getting more popular — with the result that VCM is increasingly mainstream.

"Today," Ramp CEO Wilde said, "more and more businesses are benefiting from advanced video management tools that help them share information and improve productivity among its employees."

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicenseTitle image by psd.