In a previous blog (Content is king in SharePoint 2013) we touched on the fact that SharePoint 2013 offers a vastly improved Digital Asset Management (DAM) experience. Following to a request for more information via our LinkedIn group*, today we’re going to dig a bit deeper and explore the wonderful world of enterprise video content.
Firstly, there are some pretty cool things happening in this space now video has earned its reputation as a viable business channel (not just an external marketing medium). It’s certainly true that video is a highly effective way to educate and share knowledge in a business context, but also to boost productivity and reduce overheads in areas like training. However it was only a matter of time before IT managers realised that a company YouTube channel was not going to cut it from an IP perspective, but also in terms of being able to fully leverage video content as a bona fide business tool.
The great news is that as the popularity of enterprise video has increased, so has the demand for tools to support it. In the past 18 months there have been considerable developments around initial areas of concern – namely how to combat lack of metadata to make video searchable, how to store it and how to properly integrate it into a corporate environment. One of the common scenarios we face is, that while the amount of IP clients have in video form has grown, it has not been centrally stored or catalogued. It’s therefore impossible to get a decent ROI as there’s no visibility on what video content exists or how people are using it.
So, let’s take a look at how SharePoint 2013 is structured to help users create, locate and use video content.
SharePoint 2013 Asset Libraries
Asset libraries have been created to house rich media content types including video, images and audio files. These assets can now be tagged with a range of metadata to make them more easily searchable (including details like size, duration, date taken and even transcripts), with a handy thumbnail appearing for each file. The file’s metadata is then revealed when the thumbnail is hovered over, and content authors can even choose a particular frame to feature as the thumbnail.
Leveraging enterprise search
With powerful FAST search technology incorporated into SharePoint 2013 out-of-the-box, digital content like videos can now be effectively located using metadata.
To further aid discoverability, users can rate these assets and the resulting metadata leveraged when content is displayed in a web part. This proves particularly useful when it comes to developing subject matter libraries, as the top rated videos can be highlighted using a web part. Uploading transcripts is also a good way to connect search queries with video content.
SharePoint 2013 gives you the capability to conduct live video streaming with the added bonus of incorporating user ratings, reviews and polls. This user-generated data can then be analyzed and used to optimise a process or future event, as well as being also added to the video’s metadata. Calendar systems such as Outlook can also be used to alert staff to video streaming events, and SharePoint 2013’s enhanced mobile platform will deliver video content to a range of mobile operating systems including Windows, iOS and Android.
Beware the BLOB
A BLOB, or binary large object, is any sizeable chunk of data (such as a video file) which is stored in a database known by its size and location instead of by its structure. When storing documents and media in SharePoint, your content is generally placed into a content database. After a while, the amount of content can affect the performance of SQL (the database engine) and SharePoint. So Microsoft introduced the concept of Remote BLOB Storage (RBS) to combat this and help to improve the overall performance of SharePoint and SQL, with lower cost implications than other storage options.
RBS is most easily explained by considering the two parts to content stored in SharePoint – being the metadata and the file itself. RBS takes the second component out of the SQL database and places it on other devices. The advantage of this approach is it allows SharePoint designers to get around the built in capacity limits of SharePoint, allowing for more content to appear in your site, without worrying about the potential performance impact on your environment.
Show don’t tell
As we loop a lot of our subject matter and project outcomes back to User Adoption (UA), it would be remiss of us not to make mention of it in the context of enterprise video. Like any business communications tool, if it doesn’t get visibility throughout your business, UA will be low. So get your employees on-board and utilising these important resources by educating them about how to access and upload video content into SharePoint. Activities like creating video library communities and sharing new video content by embedding it in a social feed will help in this regard.
* Ask questions, join discussions and pick up insights about Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 via our dedicated LinkedIn group, The SharePoint Experience.