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Digital asset management: Video advances!

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Many companies including Dell are using Mediasite for training and corporate communication. DellTV uses My Mediasite to support its DellTV enterprise video initiative that enables employees to create user-generated content. In addition, numerous law schools and medical schools are recording lectures so that students can listen to them again or access the lecture if they missed it at the time it was presented.

Last year, the University of Leeds in England placed Mediasite technology in all its classrooms, so every lecture can be recorded. Some have sophisticated tracking cameras or fixed cameras, while others use webcams in the laptop. All have screen capture for the presentations and microphones for audio.

Making video as useful as text in the enterprise has been a challenge. “This market has been very specialized,” Brown says, “and has not been broadly accessible to enterprises outside those geared specifically toward media production. Because Mediasite indexes the videos, captures the screen presentations and makes them searchable, users can find topics of interest. By clicking on a slide below the video window, users can sync to the presenter’s spoken presentation.”

“Video has been isolated from other enterprise content because it needs to be managed differently,” Brown continues. “By enabling our videos to be checked into DAM systems, we can let users gain access to video content along with their other rich-media assets.” According to Brown, enterprises can stand to gain more if they begin to view video not as a separate entity, but as a knowledge asset just as they do documents, graphics and structured content. “Video is a great way to capture tacit knowledge and integrate it with enterprise content,” he says.

Enhancing SharePoint video management

As a pervasive content management and collaboration platform, Microsoft SharePoint is a likely place to store videos, but it is limited in its ability to manage them, including searching for them. Ramp Video Management for SharePoint (including versions for SharePoint Online, 2013 and 2010) is a video content solution that stores, distributes, streams and automatically creates metadata that facilitates search of video content. Ramp can manage video and audio content from virtually any source, including recordings generated by Web conferencing platforms such as WebEx.

“The demand for video has exploded,” says Tom Wilde, CEO of Ramp. “Initially the primary use case was online video. Now, a lot is happening behind the firewall. Live town halls by CEOs, portals for knowledge management and training, certification, compliance and many other applications are fueling the need for more efficient management of these assets.”

Ramp software ingests video and audio content and uses natural language processing to convert the audio to text, then automatically creates time-coded metadata for the video. That processing allows keyword searching of the content and easy identification of the segments of interest to a user. “Many WebEx presentations are created routinely by organizations, but if they cannot be located or are not searchable, they lose their value,” Wilde says.

Because many enterprise networks do not have wide area networks (WANs) that are adequate to reach outlying regional areas, Ramp has joined the Riverbed-Ready Technology Alliance program. Riverbed technology supports a private caching network within a company. When multiple users are accessing the same content, it is cached locally to relieve traffic on the WAN to improve performance.

With the phasing out of Microsoft’s Windows Media Server and Silverlight, companies are seeking alternatives for multicasting video, long accepted as an efficient approach to stream video to multiple recipients. In May 2015, Ramp introduced the Ramp Multicast Engine (RME), which uses a company’s existing WAN infrastructure to support live video delivery of HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) video to iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices, which standard multicast solutions cannot do.

“We want to make video as accessible as any other knowledge asset,” Wilde says. “In addition, our technology helps organizations leverage their existing investment, whether that is their network, their document management system or other resource.”

Digital asset management is still developing, according to Forrester’s Yakkundi. “Some vendors are behind in cloud delivery, and workflow could be improved,” she says. On the customer side, understanding the different use cases and the resulting implications for technology requirements should be a priority.

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