Six ECM video features missing in most enterprise solutions

Enterprise users are looking for new ways to enrich their data assets. Expert Reda Chouffani outlines the 6 ECM video features that can help do just that.

Enterprise Content Management solutions have been used to connect users with corporate content and data assets. Most of the content stored in ECM systems today consists of structured documents, but enterprise users are beginning to look for different ways to add rich media to their data assets within their ECM platforms.

Videos are used in organizations to assist with training and employee integration. Users are likely subscribed to third-party services that offer the ease of use, security and privacy that their video content needs. In other cases, when users attempt to retain their digital video assets within their ECM, they likely have significant limitations in terms of functionality and features. This has led to a need for ECM platforms to have better integration and functionality for video streaming and management. Here is a list of the top 6 key video features that are missing from today's ECM platforms:

  1. ECM solutions don't offer native video streaming services. There are two models through which a video can be delivered to an end user. The first model involves streaming the video to the user via streaming services, while the other simply allows the end user to open the video file in the same way that they open any other file.
    Streaming services provide a better viewing experience thanks to higher quality video and by allowing the encoding to change based on the viewer's bandwidth and device. Hosting a video file, the method commonly used by ECMs to deliver content, leads to long wait times while the video buffers or downloads.
    Many ECM platforms lack streaming services and rely heavily on third parties for them. In order for an ECM solution to truly deliver video content, the platform must be equipped with tight integration to streaming services or include that functionality natively in its stack.
  2. Integrated video streaming within ECM is still limited. When it comes to integrating ECM with an existing video streaming service, things can get challenging. The fact remains that most ECM solutions do a great job of managing the content that is stored within its systems. However, dealing with external content would mean that a number of features would be lost, since control over video content hosted elsewhere simply doesn't exist. Features such as classification of content, indexing, restrictions and other capabilities are nonexistent.
  3. Video search capabilities in ECM remain limited. For many of the current ECM solutions in the marketplace, end users are enjoying the advanced capabilities around advanced search. Systems today, like Microsoft, are able to provide recommendations based on advanced analytics and machine learning.
    However, those advancement features require access and control over the content and, unfortunately, that may not be available for videos. To gain some of those features, users would be required to navigate away from their ECM platform and to go to the video hosting service where those capabilities are offered.
  4. The "content" search feature is needed, but remains out of reach for ECM video platforms and solutions. The ability to search for documents using keywords that may be located inside of them is a powerful capability that is consistently used. This ECM video feature is the result of a solution's ability to parse files and index all of their content for future searches.
    However, videos are a different story. Currently, there are very few, if any, ECM solutions that would remotely offer this capability to locate a video that has been indexed based on image and content recognition technology, as James Phillips, vice president of the Microsoft Business Intelligence Products Group, discussed in his blog. Phillips described how they are imagining these functionalities as part of their Streaming service that could be leveraged alongside Microsoft's SharePoint platform.
  5. Traffic statistics and analysis are decentralized when ECM relies on third-party video streaming. Having visibility into what users are interested in can provide useful insights for an organization. A good way to do this requires access to ECM traffic and content stats.
    However, with the increase of video content viewing, and in the case in which ECM relies on third-party video hosting, an organization will likely face the challenge of analyzing the statistics from two different systems. This adds more complexity and minimizes the value that the data can provide to the group as a result of having two separate systems in place.
  6. Interactive content within ECM videos. When a user receives training via video for things such as line-of-business applications or other job-related activities, the content in the video is likely going to highlight documents throughout the session but, unfortunately, with most third-party video hosting services, there is no easy way to include the different links within the video.
    The need for this ECM video feature comes from end users being accustomed to integrated links being available within YouTube. This functionality is a serious gap in many of the current video hosting services and, in the enterprise world, would be an incredible add-on that would allow video content to connect with documents and other digital assets.

There is certainly an abundance of online video hosting services today, and many offer powerful video management tools and content management features. Unfortunately, many enterprise organizations have already invested in their ECM platforms and are known to have solutions such as SharePoint, IBM or Google sites in place where users are comfortable and well trained. So for many of these groups, having the ability to leverage native video hosting capabilities within their ECM would likely be the desired solution.

Microsoft recently introduced their Video platform, which offers some basic video hosting capabilities and, in July of 2016, it introduced yet another video streaming platform with even more capabilities. This signals the beginning of the race toward delivering a video platform that is adequate for the enterprise and that can truly have tighter integration with the ECM tools already available. 

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