Video has become a powerful tool for increasing the effectiveness of corporate communications, due to the rise of remote working, globalisation of operations, the widespread adoption of social business and the desire for more personalised contact across geographic and cultural boundaries.
The cloud is making video communications an attractive reality for corporates. Therefore, understanding the operational, technical and economic considerations for the use of Cloud or Hybrid Cloud-based video communications is now a priority for executives looking to drive employee engagement.
Video has many business uses: from employee on-boarding and training, to collaboration and knowledge sharing; from customer service videos, to leadership events and company all-hands meetings.
As more of the C-suite becomes interested in enterprise video, it’s important to understand the technical and economic considerations of video communications. The fact is that most enterprises are not media companies and do not have direct knowledge of what it really takes to maintain and deliver their own video repositories.
So how can you navigate this space? There are many options for your company on the public, private or hybrid cloud, or even a VPN (virtual private network) solution.
If your security requirements are limited, the public cloud might be the right solution for your business. It’s perfect for marketing purposes, where you’re providing on-demand, external-facing video to your audience.
Additionally, the public cloud can work for internal-facing content, since certain platforms can provide options to protect it even in a public-cloud environment. You even can safely enable users to upload, automatically transcode and share their own videos, as well as provide a portal where they easily can find relevant content, assign access rights based on groups and extend the reach of your video programs to mobile device users.
The private cloud is a cloud-computing platform housed within the corporate firewall and controlled by the company’s IT department. Private clouds are ideal for those who want to deliver live streaming to internal audiences and need to overcome the limitations related to concentrations of viewers on private networks.
When a live event begins, all stream requests traverse the company firewall and hit the video service in the cloud. The challenge is that the return video traffic, unless managed, will go through the network firewall with a separate stream for every viewer, adversely affecting the inbound internet connection or even the entire intranet.
The hybrid cloud uses the key attributes of public and private clouds, and often provides the best solution. This allows businesses to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of a public cloud, without exposing private applications and data to potential third party vulnerabilities.
To access data behind a firewall, you might consider a VPN. This can be good if your requirements include a good deal of interactivity with on-premise security systems and a high degree of security. Video storage can exist behind a corporate firewall, providing additional security for your proprietary information. The video management application also has direct access to the company user directory, simplifying authentication and single sign on.
Video in the cloud is an easily adaptable business platform that offers an immediate, low-risk and flexible solution to the complexity of rich content implementation and distribution, providing your employees and clients with a dynamic and collaborative medium.
But starting in this space can be daunting, so it’s important to partner with the right platform that can offer a scalable security offering – everything from password-protected content to SSL secure communication, single sign-on capabilities and usage audit trail. With the right platform in place, you can choose the cloud solution that fits your needs best, and your enterprise video system will be able to grow and change right alongside your company.
Video communications are now an area of investment for organisations serious about increasing engagement with both customers and employees. The cloud is creating new possibilities for innovative business communication, so it is important for executives to switch on the technical strategy driving an exciting new channel.