Announcing: Search Inside Your Videos Faster and with Greater Accuracy

By | Panopto Updates, Tools

In the enterprise and in higher education, video content that can’t be searched has little value.

The majority of business and academic video content is long-form. Town hall meetings are often 30-60 minutes in length. Recorded classroom lectures typically run an hour. Online training videos can range from 15 minutes to well over an hour. According to Cisco, long-form video made up 64% of all video traffic in 2014, a figure that is expected to grow.

With long-form video, traditional “YouTube-style” search is insufficient. Even if videos are extensively tagged, YouTube-style search can only help users find the start of the video. It doesn’t help them find the specific points in the video where their search term actually appears.

Finding content inside a video’s talk track and other presented materials is the challenge of enterprise video search. It’s what makes a 15, 30, or 60-minute video valuable because it allows employees to search and quickly access the content as easily as they would in email, documents or web pages.

The Challenge of Video Search
In 2014, Panopto launched Smart Search to address the shortcomings of traditional video indexing. Smart Search automatically indexes words in the presenter’s talk track (a process called automatic speech recognition or ASR) and all words that appear in the video (a process called optical character recognition or OCR). OCR is particularly important for business and academic videos, which typically include formal presentation materials or on-screen demonstrations.

Panopto Video Player - Onboarding 4x3Optical character recognition ensures that corporate presentation materials and the content of on-screen demos can be searched.

Today, we’re excited to announce an important update to Smart Search. In the next couple of days, customers on the Panopto cloud will notice significant improvements in the speed of OCR indexing and in the quality of search results.

Near-Instant indexing: Through updates to our OCR engine, we’ve dramatically improved the speed at which videos are indexed. In our tests, videos that ranged in duration from one minute to 30 minutes were fully indexed during the encoding process. As a result, when the videos were ready for playback, they were also ready to be searched.

Improvements to OCR quality: In addition to speeding the indexing process, we’ve also dramatically improved the quality of our indexing algorithm.

To provide a sense of the new algorithm’s accuracy, we created two tests. The first shows how well Panopto’s OCR handles text of gradually decreasing font size. On a 1920×1080 screen, character recognition was accurate down to, and including, 8-point font.

Panopto Smart Search - OCR 40 Point FontThe font size test measures OCR accuracy as the font size decreases. The test began with 40-point font. Results were 100% accurate.

Panopto Smart Search - OCR 8 Point FontThe test concluded with 8-point font. Even at this small font size, OCR accurately recognized 100% of the onscreen text.

The second test shows the accuracy of Panopto’s OCR as contrast ratio decreases. In this case, the contrast ratio is measuring the luminance between the text and the background.

Panopto Smart Search - OCR 21 Contrast RatioThe contrast ratio test measures OCR accuracy as the contrast between the text and the background decreases. The test began with black text on a white background.

You’d expect text recognition to work well when the text is black (RGB 0, 0, 0) and the background is white (RGB 255, 255, 255). As the text color gets lighter , however, contrast ratio decreases. This makes it harder for OCR to accurately distinguish the text from the background.

In our test, we used 16-point font, which is the default size for desktop web browsers. We began with a contrast ratio of 21 (black text on a white background) and gradually decreased contrast ratio to 1.7 (RGB 200, 200, 200 on a white background). As context, acontrast ratio of 1.7 falls far below the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines(WCAG 2.0), which specify that the presentation of text have a contrast ratio of no less than 4.5:1.

Yet, even at this low contrast ratio, Panopto’s OCR engine was able to accurately recognize 100% of the text.

Panopto Smart Search - OCR 1.7 Contrast RatioEven at an extremely low contrast ratio, Panopto’s OCR accurately recognized 100% of the onscreen text.
The more video your business or university captures, the greater the need for a video search engine that indexes the actual content inside videos. With today’s announcement, we’re making the best video search engine even better. For more information about Panopto’s Smart Search, or to learn how our video content management system can improve the way your organization communicates and shares information.


This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog

Panopto er nu også tilsluttet WAYF

By | Panopto Updates, Tools
Fantastisk nyt for skoler og universiteter der bruger Panopto i Danmark – og for dem der overvejer det! Panopto er nu tilsluttet WAYF!
Udover alle de andre integrationsmuligheder der er, så er Panopto nu også tilsluttet WAYF. Det betyder at alle institutioner der er tilsluttet WAYF nu kan bruge Panopto med fødereret Single Sign-on. Det betyder styrket tilgængelighed for brugere og effektivere brugeradministration for administratorer.
Hos Viducon tror vi på at enkelthed og effektivitet er nøglen til succes. Så med et skalérbart og brugervenligt system som Panopto, og med alle integrationsmulighederne der forbedrer brugeroplevelsen, så tror vi at vi sammen kan bringe online undervisning op på et højere niveau.

The Simple Way to Manage In-Store Appearance: How to Use Video for Retail Merchandising

By | Guides and Tutorials, Tools

Today’s consumer brands have come to realize that quite literally every moment of every interaction they have with their customers is essential to building their brands, growing sales, and laying the groundwork for repeat business, from the moment a prospective shopper arrives to the moment they depart. Mature customer experience (CX) programs now impact virtually every aspect of a business, online and off, pre-sale and post.

Yet even as the practice of customer experience management expands its reach, for most consumer-facing businesses, one particular CX discipline will always be the most essential: the visual styling of their physical stores.

Merchandising Has Come To The Front Lines of Customer Experience Management

Merchandising — the design and structure of the displays that present the products the business sells — has long been an established part of how customer facing businesses, especially in the retail industry, adapt to, communicate with, and persuade their customers. The atmosphere of every retail environment today is the outcome of hundreds, if not thousands, of merchandising decisions large and small — from what brands take the center shelf and which categories are given featured space, all the way down to which items will be stocked up front to promote impulse purchases.

However, managing the visual styling of a large organization is far more complicated than filling out a floor plan.

Today’s customers have come to expect consistency whenever they walk into their favorite brands’ stores, and whether they’ve walked into your location in downtown San Francisco or in rural Tennessee, they want to be able to navigate your stores as though they are a truly familiar environment.

For customer experience and merchandising professionals, that expectation creates a challenge — because while designing an individual brand block or product section may be easy, ensuring front line employees at each and every location can quickly understand and accurately replicate your merchandising plans is often anything but.

Communicating Merchandising Plans — A Better Option

In the past, communicating merchandising expectations required brands to invest heavily in one of two options, either:

  1. Creating a lengthy and complex diagram of each new layout, delivered as memo from corporate, and/or
  2. Paying to send a member of the merchandising team to travel in person to key stores and ensure their store appearances were up to spec.

But memos were hard to follow and easy to misinterpret. And sending a team member has become a practical impossibility as travel costs spiral upwards and many brands now update in-store displays several times each season.

Fortunately, a better option exists: video.  

Video Training Makes Merchandising Communication Simple and Scalable

As leading organizations increasingly adopt video to scale learning and development initiatives big and small, more and more companies are finding that simple on-demand video can help make major improvements in how employees share information.

For retailers and other businesses with physical customer services locations, video can help to radically simplify merchandising communications. With even just a few frames, a short video walk-through of a sample display can make clear the instructional diagrams that page after page of text memos so often can’t. Today’s video technologies can even enable multi-camera recording, making it possible for merchandising teams to fully present each new plan for each store. It’s the next best thing to sending a team member in person, with a significantly improved ROI.

Best of all, whereas even only a few years ago the prospect of regularly producing and sharing this type of instructional content would have required extensive coordination with dedicated AV professionals and still would have been difficult for on-location staff to view, today’s modern enterprise video platforms have made virtually every aspect of recording and watching video much easier. Merchandising teams can record sample displays on location right from their laptop or mobile device, recording multiple angles with any camera they choose. And retail staff can watch those tutorials with ease on their personal smartphones or in-store tablets — even taking those devices right to the displays in question and following along step by step.

With something as important to your brand as the appearance of your stores, video merchandising communications are a smart, simple way to be sure your customers see your stores exactly the way you want them to.

This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog

Bringing New Life to Old E-Learning Videos and Maximize the Lifetime of Your Investment

By | Tips and Advice, Tools

It’s no secret that professional training videos can cost a pretty penny to produce. The costs of script writing, talent, animations, studio rentals, and equipment can quickly add up depending on the length and complexity of the project. A professionally-created corporate training videos cost between $500 and $10,000 per finished minute, with the average ranging from $1,500 to $3,500 per finished minute. That means a single 30-minute training video can cost upwards of $45,000 to produce — which, for most businesses, is not an insignificant sum.

Given these costs, businesses are seeking ways that will help them maximize the lifetime of their investments in video creation. For most companies, this means finding ways to distribute the training as widely as possible within their organizations. Rather than limiting the video to playback once during new employee orientations or company meetings, for example, the video is uploaded to the company’s Corporate YouTube or learning management system for employees to access on an on-demand basis. This way, employees can view training content as needed in order to refresh their memories or learn new skills they may not have caught during their initial training period.

Uploading training content for your employees to view is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Did you know you can breathe new life into your existing training content by using your video platform’s features to create interactive learning experiences?

We were tipped off to this great blog post by Brent Schlenker of Litmos challenging the blog’s readers to turn a documentary video about Arizona reptiles that he created while in college over 20 years ago into a modern-day e-learning module. In the blog post, Brent linked to his original video below, digitized from a VHS tape and uploaded to YouTube:



Although the video wasn’t designed for educational or corporate training purposes, it’s still a great example of learning content that can be repurposed in a modern e-learning context using Panopto’s video platform.

The Video Learning Experience with Panopto

The first step in making this video more useful for today’s learners is making the video broadly available for the people who want to watch it. In our example, we uploaded the video to Panopto’s cloud-based video content management system, where it was automatically converted into formats that can be played by any device. In corporate settings, this means that employees out in the field can access training on-demand from any device including desktop web browsers, smartphones, and tablets — regardless of operating system or form factor. For organizations that use a learning management system, videos uploaded Panopto can then be integrated and accessed seamlessly from the LMS.

Arizona Reptiles Thumbnail Panopto Video Learning Platform Bringing New Life to Old E Learning VideosClick the image above to view the video using Panopto’s Video Learning Software
Next, all content spoken during the video has been indexed and made searchable. Viewers can search for specific words or phrases and Panopto will automatically fast-forward to the exact point in the video where the words were said. Curious about how to identify the regal horned lizard? Search for “regal horn lizard” and click on the first entry to learn how this particular animal blends into its surroundings.

Section 508 compliant captioning, viewable on both desktop and mobile browsers, has also been included to support deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers.

To assess the viewer’s knowledge after watching the video, we’ve embedded a quiz at the end of the recording. Viewers can take the quiz directly from the web-based Panopto video player, without having to open a separate link in a new browser. Although we’ve used a Google Doc to host the quiz, it’s just as easy to embed a quiz using Articulate Quizmaker, SurveyMonkey, or any other web-based survey or quiz tool.

However, embedding content into Panopto videos doesn’t have to be limited to online quizzes. Additional camera angles, PDFs, website links, and more can be added into the video using Panopto. For this video, we’d recommend adding links to recent research about the reptiles discussed during the presentation so that the students keen to learn more can easily do so.

And, finally, interactive features like notes and bookmarks help learners save thoughts directly to the video — no more scribbled notes on scraps of paper or lost in notebooks amongst other pieces of information. We’ve added a couple of sample notes and bookmarks to illustrate how a student might use them to denote review points. Video notes can be used to call out specific points of the video that the learner can refer back to later, and can be saved privately or shared with others in your organization. (You must be logged into a Panopto server in order to view Notes and Bookmarks).

The Flipped Classroom Approach

Videos like the one above are particularly well-suited for flipped learning environments in which students view course content and lectures prior to attending class. In-class time is then reserved for discussion, exercises, or other activities under the guidance of the instructor. In the context of a biology course, students would watch this video prior to attending class; during class, the professor could then lead a discussion about changes to the animal habitat since the piece was originally filmed, and the impact that may have had on the reptiles featured.

The flipped approach can also be applied to corporate settings as well. Employee training, onboarding, meetings, town halls, and more can be flipped.
This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog

Bringing Video to the Jive Social Intranet

By | Tools

The way we communicate and share knowledge in the enterprise is undergoing significant change. Social and video technologies are transforming enterprise communication.

What was once primarily a top-down, formal initiative to push knowledge to employees has given way to social collaboration and “just-in-time” knowledge pull. This shift is driving the rise of social collaboration software like Jive, now in use in as many as 4 in 5 corporations for its ability to improve employee productivity by between 12 and 20% (Clinked.com).

The very medium for communication and knowledge sharing is also changing. Text-based documents are being supplemented, and in some cases supplanted, by video. Gartner estimates that, by 2017, 50% of all business content will be non-textual, with video among the fastest-growing types of new enterprise content.

As organizations increasingly adopt social collaboration software like Jive to serve as the hub of their communications and turn to video as their medium for sharing more engaging, detailed information, they are finding an increased need to combine the strengths and benefits of those two technologies in order to build searchable libraries of institutional knowledge.

Panopto Brings Complete Video Support to Jive

To address this growing need, today we’re excited to announce the Panopto Video App for Jive.

The app provides businesses with unique functionality for integrating and searching video content within Jive’s social collaboration software.

Jive Embedded Video 1024x637 Bringing Video to the Jive Social Intranet

A complete Panopto video, embedded in Jive for easy sharing across a team, department, or organization

Single sign-on (SSO) – The app makes it easy to access your Panopto videos using your existing Jive credentials, regardless of whether Jive is your organization’s primary identity provider, or if it’s using Active Directory or other SAML ID providers for authentication and authorization. Through SSO, your users don’t have to remember multiple login IDs and passwords, and their access to Jive discussions, polls, blogs and other assets are automatically understood and reflected in Panopto.

Video upload with no file size limits – One of the characteristics of video files that make them unique is their size. Video files are massive. A one-minute video recorded on an iPhone 6 can range from 80 to 100 MB in size. With Jive’s maximum file size of 50 to 100 MB based on your site’s configuration, this creates a significant barrier to working with video. With the Panopto app, the file size limit for videos is no longer a concern. Because Panopto was built for managing multi-gigabyte video files and multi-terabyte video libraries, you can upload and share videos of any size without ever leaving Jive.

Video and playlist embedding – Whether you’re uploading videos from your hard drive, or accessing videos already stored in your Panopto video library, the app enables you to embed individual recordings and collections (“playlists”) of videos into any editable Jive asset. This includes discussions, blog posts, polls, events, tasks, messages, and ideas.

Jive Embedded Playlist 1024x817 Bringing Video to the Jive Social Intranet

A Panopto video playlist, embedded in Jive

Search federation – Panopto includes unique video indexing and search functionality called Smart Search. With Smart Search, every video in your Panopto library is automatically indexed for words spoken and shown anywhere in the video.  Search results then enable you to find and fast forward to precise moments in the video where spoken or displayed words occur — making video content as easy to search as documents or email. The Panopto app for Jive supports search federation of our Smart Search results. This means that Jive searches not only return results where a keyword is mentioned in documents, posts and other Jive assets, but also inside any videos that are stored in your Panopto video library.

Automatic transcodingOne of the traditional headaches of working with video is file incompatibility. Flash videos don’t play back on iOS devices. Windows Media Video (WMV) files aren’t supported by default on Android devices. Applications like GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Adobe Connect format their video recordings in formats that require specialized codecs or players to watch. The result is that your end users sometimes can’t watch the video they need to access on their device of choice. The Panopto app overcomes this challenge with built-in video transcoding. Every video uploaded to Panopto through Jive is processed through a universal converter that makes the videos viewable in optimal formats for desktops,  laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Efficient streaming – Another traditional challenge of working with video is the need to deliver large video files across the corporate WAN without bogging down the network. The Panopto app addresses this in three ways. First, Panopto supports adaptive bitrate streaming. This adjusts video playback quality based on the available bandwidth for each user, providing the best playback experience in the most efficient way possible. Second, Panopto creates several versions of every video for optimal playback on different form factors. For example, a video being watched on an iPhone 5 can play back at lower resolution (using less bandwidth) than a video being watched on a Macbook Retina. Finally, Panopto automatically integrates with existing corporate WAN caching and optimization technologies, like those provided by Riverbed.

Video analytics and editing – The Panopto app for Jive also provides access to Panopto’s full video content management system, which can either be deployed on-premises, hosted in the cloud, or provisioned to private virtual machines on Amazon Virtual Private Cloud or Microsoft Azure. The video content management system provides you with additional functionality, including video reporting (viewing behavior, most popular videos, video engagement levels, completion rates, etc) and web-basedvideo editing.

Coming Soon to the Jive App Store

The Panopto app will soon be released to JiveSoftware.com. It will be available at no cost to Panopto customers.

This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog

Search Your Video Content from Anywhere using Panopto and OpenSearch

By | Panopto Updates, Tools

Search is arguably the most valuable digital utility that each of use daily at work and at home. We search in some capacity on every device that we own, whether it’s Googling the web on our laptops, finding directions or local businesses on our smartphones, searching our email messages, or pressing Ctrl-F (or Command-F, if you’re using a Mac) to search content in documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. In recent years, advances in search have eliminated the need to create rigid hierarchies of all the information that we need to manage on a day-to-day basis. And increasingly, the ability to search video content — not just tags and other manually-entered metadata, but every word spoken and shown anywhere in a video — is becoming critical for businesses and universities.

Panopto Smart Search

In March 2014, Panopto introduced Smart Search, a unique video search engine that enables organizations to search video content as easily as they Google the web, or search within their email, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Smart Search provides five ways to index video content:

  1. Automatic speech recognition (ASR) – Panopto converts spoken words into text, timestamps them, and adds them to a search index.
  2. Optical character recognition (OCR) – Any words shown on-screen during recorded demonstrations and other screencasts are recognized by Panopto, timestamped, and added to the search index.
  3. Slide ingestion – Panopto integrates directly with PowerPoint, ingesting slide text as a speaker is presenting. This text then enables people to find any word appearing on any slide and instantly fast-forward to it.
  4. Manually-entered metadata – Panopto indexes video titles and descriptions along with comments and digital notes that viewers take while watching videos.
  5. Optional transcription – In addition to automatically indexing spoken words, on-screen text, PowerPoint slides, and manually entered metadata, Panopto offers an optional transcription service for generating searchable, Section 508-compliant closed captions.

An overview of Panopto Smart Search


With Smart Search, people within universities and businesses can search across massive media libraries and inside individual media files for any word that was spoken or shown. Smart Search is accessible from within Panopto’s video content management system (VCMS) and on mobile devices through Panopto’s apps for iOS and Android.

OpenSearch – An Industry Standard for Sharing Search Results

Increasingly, our customers in the enterprise and higher education are integrating Panopto with their existing content management systems (CMS) like SharePoint and learning management systems (LMS) like Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, Desire2Learn, and Sakai. Because these portals typically include search functionality of their own, and because they are often the destination location for organizational information sharing and collaboration, a critical element of our integration with these products is search federation. Search federation enables people to see search results from multiple search engines in a single list. For example, a company that has federated SharePoint search with Panopto search could see a single list of search results that include SharePoint documents and videos stored in Panopto.

SharePoint App Store 5 Search Federation with Border Search Your Video Content from Anywhere using Panopto and OpenSearch
Federated search results in SharePoint


Because our customers use a wide range of CMSs and LMSs, we wanted to ensure that our approach to search federation could adapt to their existing products, and that it would be based on open industry standards. That’s where OpenSearch comes into the picture.

OpenSearch is a collection of simple XML-based formats for sharing search results. Originally introduced in 2005, the OpenSearch standard has seen broad adoption over the past ten years by leading content management systems, collaboration software, web browsers and operating systems. Today, OpenSearch is supported in SharePoint, Jive, EMC Documentum, Drupal, WordPress, Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, Safari, the Windows File Explorer and a range of other products and online services.

OpenSearch in Panopto

In our latest release, Panopto has implemented the OpenSearch standard in order to simplify the federation of Panopto search results with other applications.

OpenSearch and Panopto Smart Search Search Your Video Content from Anywhere using Panopto and OpenSearch
Panopto sites publish an OpenSearch endpoint, enabling other apps to add video search results to their queries


Here’s how OpenSearch works with Panopto:

  1. Each Panopto site publishes an OpenSearch endpoint. This endpoint is a file that describes the video formats, URLs, names, descriptions, and thumbnails that we want to securely share with other systems.
  2. Applications that integrate Panopto point their search engine to this OpenSearch endpoint. The way this is configured is different in each target application — an example using SharePoint is shown below.
  3. A username and password are supplied to Panopto as part of the application’s search request to ensure that search results are securely passed from Panopto to the application, and that they’re shown with the proper context.
  4. Search results are then federated for each incoming search query, and displayed in a single list.

Configuring SharePoint Search Federation v2 Search Your Video Content from Anywhere using Panopto and OpenSearch
Configuring Panopto as a federated search query source in SharePoint


Panopto also supports the sharing of search results in RSS format. This provides additional flexibility when integrating Smart Search into a range of applications. Results are returned as well-formatted XML documents with elements that describe the video name, thumbnail, media links, and other properties. Organizations can then integrate and format the XML data in the way that is most appropriate to their content management system, portal, or other app.

Search for Panopto Results Directly From Your Web Browser

One of the more interesting use cases for OpenSearch is in web browsers. Because Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari all support the OpenSearch standard, Panopto customers can configure their web browser search bars to use Panopto as a search engine and return Smart Search results directly in the browser. Click the video below for an example of how this works in Firefox.

Adding Panopto as a search provider in Firefox


As video search continues to become an intrinsic part of how businesses and universities find and access information, OpenSearch provides a technology-agnostic approach to federation that simplifies implementation and ensures that users can access search capabilities from any website, browser or device.

This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog

Daily Mobile Device Use Just Passed Television — Is Your Business Video Ready?

By | Tools

As more and more people find more and more ways to spend time with their smartphones and tablets — with new applications that see keep them close at hand at work, at home, and even during the commute between — mobile device use has been growing at an astronomical rate. Time on Mobile Devices Panopto Business Video Platform Daily Mobile Device Use Just Passed Television — Is Your Business Video Ready?And today, according to Business Insider, they’ve just hit a new milestone.

People now spend more time every day looking at their mobile devices than they do watching television.

And while that data is all-inclusive, counting everything from time spent with work email to time spent with Candy Crush, we’re most interested in what that means for mobile video.

Cisco notes video already represents 57% of all internet traffic today, and is on target to account for up to 90% of all traffic by 2017. And as comScore reports that mobile devices already make up 60% (and growing) of all web traffic, together the story is clear: every video hosting solution — whether it’s YouTube or your business’s internal corporate YouTube video library — needs to be mobile-ready, starting right now.

Make Mobile Business Video Easy

According to Gartner Research, 10% of business video viewership already takes place on mobile devices — and that figure will rise to 25% or more in the near future.

Yet as organizations big and small make the shift to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives, IT departments have begun facing the challenge of ensuring that internal content is ready and available across a wide range of potential devices. And while support for every piece of content should be planned, enterprise video content for mobile devices in particular requires a little extra consideration.

Mobile Video Webinar Panopto Video Platform Daily Mobile Device Use Just Passed Television — Is Your Business Video Ready?The rules of sharing and managing enterprise content like spreadsheets and slide decks don’t apply to video — especially when it comes to sharing and playing videos on mobile devices. But that doesn’t mean it’s a problem that can’t be solved. In our latest webinar, Overcoming 3 Challenges of Mobile Video —now available and ready to play on-demand — you’ll learn about common issues businesses face with mobile video storage, streaming, and file format standards, and how a VCMS can help.

Find Out More!
Gartner Research recommends planning for video as part of every BYOD strategy. Adding video, however, isn’t simply another box to check. Network bandwidth needs, format compatibility issues, security concerns, and reporting requirements all conspire to make video a unique challenge in the BYOD space.

The solution to those challenges? A video content management system (VCMS) can complement your existing CMS or LMS content management tools with to enable video in a Bring Your Own Device world. In our mobile video white paper, “Bring Your Own Video Ready Device: Six Reasons Why Your BYOD Strategy is Incomplete Without Video” we review six ways a VCMS can help, including:

  • Built-in transcoding for broad device compatibility
  • Native mobile apps for a better end user experience
  • Efficient network bandwidth usage via bitrate controls
  • Integrated security with your existing authentication system
  • Inside video search from mobile devices
  • Analytics and reporting to track mobile video viewing

Download your free copy now!

This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog

The Four Problems of Enterprise Video

By | Tools

Have you heard? Video in the workplace is taking off.

Not surreptitious sports streaming, not sharing the latest viral sensation, not clicking through on the latest YouTube hit — real, valuable business video with real, valuable business ROI.

In organizations around the world, video has become an essential tool to expand employee learning and development while reducing training costs, improve engagement with executive and human resources communications messages, enable and encourage social learning and collaborative innovation, standardize and scale onboarding and sales enablement, and so much more — on top of the existing traditional business uses in marketing, sales, and customer service.

Yet for all it’s opportunity — and all it’s pervasiveness — too few businesses have taken steps to support video in their enterprise IT ecosystems.

Today Forrester reports just half of large organizations have implemented an enterprise solution for video. The data is of even greater concern for smaller and midsize organizations, where only 2 in 5 have addressed the unique challenges of video.

Too many organizations are content to treat video like any other content — and allow employees to use it however works best for their needs. In principle, it’s an approach that embraces flexibility and technical evolution — in practice, however, not having a comprehensive plan for enabling employees to use video generally leads to four serious problems:

File Size — “The SharePoint Problem”

Mobile File Size Panopto Enterprise Video Platform The Four Problems of Enterprise VideoEven short videos from webcams and smartphones quickly exceed the max file size of the most widely used enterprise content management system.

Just 60 seconds of video recorded with an iPhone 5s yields an 80MB file. The same video taken on an iPhone 4 results is even larger, coming in at 150MB. Those both already exceed the 50MB default maximum file size for SharePoint.

Of course, your organization can increase your SharePoint’s max file size, but only to 2GB. Even that only allows for a 25 minute video from the iPhone 5s — not nearly enough for a 30-60 minute training session, quarterly update announcement, technical process demo, or most other common business video use cases.

It’s a problem not unique to SharePoint, either. The same problem applies to the LMSs many organizations use.

Cornerstone has a 100MB max per file. Docebo is limited to 128MB. Moodle can allow for 200MB, but depending on the file type, may limit you to quite a bit less.

Discoverability — “The Google Problem”

Inside Video Search Explainer Video Panopto Video Platform The Four Problems of Enterprise VideoVideo is the one type of enterprise data that not even Google has figured out how to index and search. Sure, Google and many enterprise systems can search the additional data you manually add to a video file — titles, descriptions, creators, tags, and comments — but they aren’t able to look at the actual content of the video.

This problem is amplified in an organizational setting, where videos commonly run 30-60 minutes, and significant parts of a corporate video library include 2- and 4-hour training sessions. There is simply no way all the concepts discussed in that video can be captured, indexed, and discovered by a regular search engine looking only at manual metadata. Which means anything not noted in those tags is effectively lost.

And even when traditional search does succeed in finding a relevant recording, it still can’t help employees find the exact moment they needed. Imagine having to hunt and peck through the timeline of a two-hour-long training video to find the 5 minutes covering the specific topic you need, and you can quickly see how frustrating (and inefficient) this can be.

Governance — “The YouTube Problem”

Video files are big. Many employees who record video as part of their roles find that simply saving those large files to their desktop (a common end result for many video and screen capture solutions) quickly creates a problem with storage capacity.

Video files are also almost always created to be shared. Most employees who record videos for work seek to find a way to share them with colleagues the moment they are ready.

Whether the goal is storage, sharing, or both, employees left unguided will upload their videos wherever it’s most convenient. And where they do so is almost never the best option.

In many cases, employees will elect to upload a file to an existing company shared drive or network LAN. These sites are seldom optimized for video however – they’re not built to support massive video file sizes, they don’t effectively stream video to laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and they don’t allow the video content to be searched.
Confidential Meeting Panopto Enterprise Video Platform The Four Problems of Enterprise Video
In other cases — especially when the files are too big for internal file share sites — employees default to the public sharing sites they already know. Sometimes it’s YouTube. Sometimes Dropbox. Sometimes it’s one of the dozens (if not hundreds) of other public storage sites. The problem remains the same — your internal, potentially confidential organizational information is now outside your walls, where competitors, press, investors, or anyone else may find it.

Format Incompatibility — “The Flash Problem”

While we like to think new technology must always accommodate old, we know that’s not true — Apple as just one example famously does not support Flash video on any of its iPhones or iPads. That in turn presents a real concern for organizations with an archive of flash-encoded videos — how can you make those accessible to the likely 50% or more of your employees who carry an Apple device?

File Types Panopto Enterprise Video Platform The Four Problems of Enterprise VideoOf course, the iPhone’s lack of support for Flash merely scratches the surface of the problem.

The matrix of available and in-use tablets and smartphones, and their respective recording and viewing capabilities, is huge — and has the potential to grow with every new device.

Nor is the problem limited to mobile devices — many types of video common in the enterprise cannot be watched without a proprietary player. Default WebEx-encoded recordings, many types of screen recordings, and other specialty videos may not play back even on a standard PC, let alone an iPhone or Android tablet.

Your employees will use any device they see fit both to record and to view your business videos. In the enterprise, now is the time for someone to make sure all those devices can exist in harmony — and that employees aren’t locked out of critical training or communications video just because of file compatibility issues.

An Enterprise Video Platform — The “Corporate YouTube” Solution

None of these problems are insurmountable.

Your organization could ratchet up max file sizes and manually encode video files so they fit under that limit.

You could invest in video search technologies like optical character recognition and speech-to-text, and build a script into your internal content management system to use those tools when indexing video content.

You could set up firewalls to prevent access to sites like YouTube and DropBox.

You could even build scripts that take a range of existing video file formats and convert them into mobile-ready formats.

But for most organizations, the reality is that the upfront costs, time, and ongoing development and maintenance required to reactively accommodate video are simply too steep — especially in the age of lean IT organizations.

In the past few years, though, a new type of enterprise software has emerged that addresses these and other challenges associated with organizational video. The market calls it a Video Content Management System (VCMS) or an Enterprise Video Platform (EVP) — although just as commonly people refer to it as the “Corporate YouTube.”

A VCMS is a content repository that is built for the specific needs of video. Located either in the cloud or installed on a server behind your firewall, a VCMS can help you solve the problems of enterprise video, by:

  • Supporting massive multi-GB individual video files and even more massive, multi-TB video libraries
  • Enabling search that indexes the actual content of your videos — every word spoken, and every word that appears on-screen (along with traditional video metadata, of course)
  • Not caring what file type (container and codec) your videos come in, or what device you’re delivering video to. It provides a universal way to translate existing videos into mobile-friendly formats – to standardize video for any device
  • Allowing you to stream video to mobile devices regardless of how much hard disk space you have on your device, and what connection speed you’re using
  • And as video file formats evolve, VCMSs simply release updates to support the new formats so that you don’t have to worry about them

CIO Enterprise Video Whitepaper Panopto VCMS The Four Problems of Enterprise Video









This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog


The average knowledge worker spends 19% of his work week searching for information.

By | Ikke kategoriseret, News and Updates, Tools

According to McKinsey, the average knowledge worker spends 19% of his or her work week searching for information. Panopto can help make searching your internal video library for specific content as easy as searching through your email.

As video becomes an increasingly important method of communication and learning in the workplace, the volume of video content stored on corporate networks has grown exponentially over the last few years. And with the influx of corporate video comes the problem of how to find specific content within a growing video library. Searching for specific video content required either watching an entire video, or by skipping back and forth to hunt through the video’s timeline.

Compounding this problem was the time it took to search for specific content within longer recordings, such as training sessions or event videos. Considering that the average knowledge worker spends 19% of the work week simply searching for information to do his or her job effectively, the ability to quickly and efficiently locate content can be a key component in helping employees be as productive as possible during their time at work.

Thus, the need for inside-video search was born.

Traditionally, video search had been limited to manually-entered metadata such as tags or titles. Realizing the importance of video search, one of Panopto’s primary design goals has always been to boost the indexability of video content. To this end, we started by incorporating additional data, including ingested text from presentation slides and user-generated notes, to help viewers quickly find specific content within a recorded presentation.

This year, we expanded on our inside-video search capability by introducing Panopto Smart Search, the industry’s most comprehensive video content search functionality. With Smart Search, searching through your entire video library for specific content is as easy as searching through your email. When you capture a video using Panopto’s recording software, or upload a pre-recorded video into your Panopto video library, the system uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to automatically index and time-stamp every word that’s spoken or displayed on-screen. Searching for a specific word or phrase will automatically fast-forward the video to the exact point in the video presentation that contains your search term. Whether you’re looking for something a presenter said, a concept that appeared in a PowerPoint slide, or text captured by a camera, Panopto will find it and take you to the relevant points in the video.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? To see Smart Search in action, watch our video below to view a demo, or click here to try it for yourself.

Video Search Thumbnail Video Content Search with Panopto Smart Search

Search Your Own Videos
Don’t just take our word for it. Try the video content management system that Forrestercommended as having “the best support for video search” today.

This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog

Smarter Video Search: ASR, OCR, and Transcription — What’s the Difference?

By | News and Updates, Thoughts and Discussion, Tools

With the right video platform and onboarding program in place, employees learn more, feel more connected and remain loyal longer— all at a significant cost savings to the company.

But what kinds of onboarding videos can your team offer?

There’s almost no end to the kinds of onboarding videos your team can share. Earlier this week we outlined 8 common types of employee onboarding videos. Today we’re back to add 7 more to the list!

Is there a type of onboarding video that works well for your organization? Let us know which kinds you like — and any we missed — in the comments!

Organizational Process Training
Every office has its own unique combination of programs, processes, tools, and technologies for getting work done. Whether it’s showing how to use your HR software to file forms or request days off, how to find the company calendar and address list to schedule meetings, or how to access intranet tools like your VPN, CRM, or Video CMS, a quick video demonstration provides a helpful resource for your new hire — that will likely be appreciated by your veteran staff, too.

Job-Specific Skills Training
Along with familiarizing your new hire with your organizational tools, your onboarding program must help employees get up to speed with the tools required of their specific roles.

Often this type of training will rely on the hiring manager or the team subject matter expert to show their new team member how to best utilize the team’s tools, systems, or resources. For sales teams, this may mean learning the company selling model. For marketing, it could mean learning the marketing automation software. For IT, it might mean detailing legacy software or integrated systems. Often the best instructor may often be the new hire’s predecessor — they may be able to share detailed instructional videos as part of their own transition out of the role.

Most organizations already document job skills today with dense documents. Video can help to clarify that instruction, allowing your experts to record their own screens as they work through a common process or walk through a routine request. Your new hire can then rely on that video as a guide as they tackle those challenges later.

Role Play and Coaching Videos
Training is more than technical and process demonstrations. As organizations increasingly emphasize soft skills and interpersonal interactions with colleagues and customers, training in these skills is essential to new hires approaching their roles in the right way.

Using role play videos, new employees can watch reenactments of the types of customer interactions that will be part of their job. Employees can even perform reenactments themselves, then review the videos later. Coaching videos can also be made (whether on the phone, in a web conference or in a live presentation) as employees settle into the new role.

Regional and Location-Specific Video
While consistency is an overarching goal of any onboarding program, there is value in recognizing the differences in how your organization operates location by location. These can be especially valuable for global organizations, or those that rely on a franchise or retail model to serve customers.

Location-specific video can be produced as a way for local management teams to show how they serve their customers. Such training can help to bridge the training messages from corporate headquarters with the daily instruction of on-site management.

Social Learning Video
One of the newest best practices in video is social learning videos — recordings made by peers, for peers. They are now an essential part of any onboarding and ongoing training process.

For many organizations, social learning video can be a goldmine of institutional knowledge — the advice of your twenty-year veteran, or your subject matter expert’s answers to frequently asked questions. These videos can be quickly and easily made — and can repay the company in productivity many times over.

Every organization’s social learning library will have a unique set of must-see recordings of advice from its own experts. Curating these to include in your onboarding program will help your new hires learn the inside tips that build your competitive advantage.

Recording Conferences and Events
Organizational events and conferences serve several vital purposes. Not only do they allow your leadership to disseminate relevant information, they can also give your entire team the opportunity to connect, share ideas, and better see the company’s mission and strategy. That’s doubly true for new hires, who will likely have the most to gain from seeing what’s new and relevant across the broader organization.

Attending these events in person, however, often comes at a price — along with the time commitment required. IBM, for example, has reported that 40% of its classroom training costs were spent on travel and lodging alone.

When attendance isn’t possible (or at least practical), watching a video recording of the event can be the next best thing for new employees.

Benefits and Enrollment Video
Benefits and enrollment videos may not be the inspiring stuff of culture pieces and knowledge sharing videos, but they fill an incredibly important role in the onboarding process. On-demand video access to standard HR information means that employees can find exactly what they need, exactly when they need it. That will be essential knowledge for any new hire — and more than likely, a big help to many existing staff members as well.

This article was originally published on Panopto’s blog