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Developing Your Own Video Strategy

Following on the heels of our latest Lunch and Learn event, I wanted to share some of the thoughts and discussion points discussed therein. We must first recognize that video is here – like it has never been before. Having said that, video is most certainly not a new technology. In fact, many organizations have been utilizing some sort of video within their walls for decades now. So what’s different, and why now?


I argue that the proliferation of video enabled consumer devices will spawn a mass adoption of video related technologies in our personal lives.  Think about it, if you had to run to an “email machine” every time you wanted to send an email, you probably wouldn’t use it as much. Proliferation and availability are intrinsically linked user adoption. This inevitably will translate into our professional careers à la instant messaging or social media (facebook, twitter).



Ok, so video is here, your user base is primed for its use, what does this mean for you? First and foremost, companies must begin developing a strategy and providing the technology base to host video services. Without doing so, corporate video content  will most certainly make its way to internet based services that most certainly don’t have your corporations best interests at heart. I previously have used a few examples from YouTube of internal sales meetings and holiday parties. With a few keyword searches, I’m sure you could find many of the same.


Secondly, video isn’t something you can just get a quote for and subsequently buy. Video has an incredibly wide definition which forces us to plan for which use cases we are to tackle first, communicate that effectively, and then execute. A solution to provide point to point room based video will quickly spawn questions on how that can be connected to external parties or bridge multiple parties into the same conference. Each of these requires different technology investments and the last thing you want to do is tell your CEO that he can’t do something shortly after writing a big check!


Finally, you have to be able to provide this solution and compete will services that are provided on the internet free of charge. Now that’s a challenge!

iPhones and Cisco TelePresence

As a part of the new look of TBL, all employees received an upgrade to the iPhone 4… and no, we have not experienced any of the issues surrounding the iPhone 4 in the press. We have, however, enjoyed many of the new features of the iPhone 4 and iOS 4 – including FaceTime. FaceTime is a mobile video conferencing app that is embedded in the iPhone 4 and is a seemless integration into the phone calling interface. Any cell-to-cell call between two iPhone 4’s that are connected to WiFi networks will allow the callers to initiate a video call across the data network (thre are promises that this feature will be implented to work across the 3G network in the future). It is a new age for cell phones indeed when video is added to the mix, and while the recreational applications abound, there are definitive buisness uses as well. Once such instance recently inspired me to write this post.

David Cantwell and I were arranging the furniture in our two new Cisco TelePresence 1100 rooms, and wanted to be sure that the same amount of desk was visible across the bottom of the screen for both room – to complete the nearly in person exerience of TelePresence. The challenge is that while each of us could clearly see the amount of table the other room had showing on the 65″ plasma display in front of us, neither of us could see how much of the table we were sitting at was being captured by our own camera and displayed at the far end. While a tape measure could have easily remidied the situation, none was available. How about a FaceTime call? I suggested? Now eachof us could compare the view of ourselves captured on the other’s iPhone 4 and displayed on our own iPhone to the image right infront of us on the plasma screen. David slid his table back a bit more, and all was right. Scientific? Not nearly. Cool use of technology? Definitely.