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Enterprise Collaboration with Video

February 15, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

One of my past Streaming Media East co-panelists David Boyll posted this to twitter the other day (and feel free to follow @dboyll if you’re interested in enterprise video, marketing and the SF Giants):

Inside Baseball: Using Video for Enterprise Knowledge and Collaboration Portals

Brightcove is one of the big players in the enterprise video delivery systems universe and they’ve got a pretty good handle on the streaming needs and issues facing businesses. On the whole I’m with them about the power of video within organizations and the value it can bring to help the organization share information. In my archives days we used to refer to this kind of hidden knowledge as institutional memory – it’s in the back of the collective brain of the company and the new collaboration tools can help surface it to everyone. Collaboration and knowledge management can do enormous things to shorten the amount of time it takes to get the information an employee needs to do their job. Connecting people across the enterprise regardless of time and distance means long searches can be accomplished in minutes or hours instead of days. Video of course can support those efforts by capturing information visually and disseminating it across boundaries.

My major concern with the argument is not really an issue for Brightcove as much as it is with the organizations themselves. There are institutional and individual pyschologies involved in sharing information that can often get in the way of spreading the knowledge. Individuals are sometimes unwilling to share their hard-earned expertise, perhaps from fear that they become redundant. While I think the younger generations are more comfortable with sharing (perhaps too much so sometimes) there’s still a resistance among many employees to collaborate.

Institutionally there remain barriers, largely I think due to the issues companies have with both security concerns and the use of social communications within the work environment. For the former, there are worries about the information getting spread out too far, both internally and of course outside the company. For the latter issue I think many companies still see social tools within the company as “Facebook for the Enterprise” – a place where employees go to waste time and post silly pictures. While there are good reasons to be concerned about wide sharing, and there is some wasted time (though I think there’s some value in that for employees’ mental health, but that’s another subject) by and large these tools can dramatically increase efficiency, improve collaboration and build community among dispersed employees.

The power of video is clear, and as Brightcove noted in the article it can serve as a tremendous tool for sharing valuable information throughout the enterprise. That said, I think the first critical step for an organization before deciding on a tool or medium for sharing is to commit to it wholeheartedly and encourage the collaboration fully. Perhaps your first collaborative video should be getting the senior leadership to step up and endorse collaboration.

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