As purveyors of an enterprise class video content management and delivery platform, we at Qumu by nature view the ability to capture, manage, deliver, and view business video as the center of the universe. Given the complexities associated with all of these capabilities, such focus is necessary. But given the ways in which our customers implement and use video, it’s useful to take an outside in view and begin to consider video as – yes, I’m going to say it – just another form of content.

That statement belies the inherent difficulties in making enterprise networks “safe for video.” However, when video is considered from the end user’s perspective, the expectation is that it plays along well with whatever environment and applications are in use. In other words, video must blend in to the user’s context to be most effective; while it’s obviously imperative to get high performance, multi-stream, secure delivery right, it’s also critical that users don’t have to think about how to relate their activities with the videos being delivered.

Providing video in context means that it must not only be delivered to the devices of choice (i.e., laptops, smart phones, tablets)  among users, but more importantly it must also be viewed within the framework of the applications with the information and activities related to the video. That said, the game doesn’t end at viewing; users must be able to discuss, tag, share, comment, and otherwise apply the tooling within their applications to the integrated video, enabling them to take advantage of video’s ability to convey information with their applications’ capabilities of optimizing their work.

Supporting “most of breed”

Most organizations have implemented what I like to call a “most of breed” strategy for collaboration and social capabilities: while there may be an IT-managed enterprise standard product in place, business units, agencies, or departments often put in place products they deem necessary.  Providing video in context means embedding it seamlessly within a wide variety of applications and platforms.

It also means taking the time to enable video as a first class citizen within them, which suggests that it’s not just embedded links to videos on pages, but video accompanied by metadata used by the “host” application and delivered via the same mechanisms used to build and deliver the applications themselves. This requires functionality provided as gadgets, widgets, or portlets depending upon the platform, and it means synchronization of data when applicable to pair video management and delivery with application user experience and functionality.

We’ve just released a new version of our Qumu Video App for SharePoint 2013 (note: we’ve blogged about video in SharePoint before), and this integration is a great example of delivery on the above promises. It leverages SharePoint 2013’s App model, it manages synchronization of metadata between Qumu’s Video Control Center (VCC) and SharePoint, it offers functionality delivered as Web Parts, and it also enables users to apply SharePoint 2013 capabilities such as “like,” “share,” “comment,” and others to embedded videos. But organizations that also have implemented IBM Connections, for example, can have their (video) cake and eat it too, leveraging the same Qumu platform while experiencing the same contextual experience. In this way, users have a best of both worlds scenario: collaborating with the richest medium in the context of their day-to-day social and collaborative environment.