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Tablets to Give Business Video a Big Boost

Business Video Featured Article

April 12, 2011

Tablets to Give Business Video a Big Boost

By Steve Vonder Haar
Research Director and Founder, Interactive Media Strategies

The business video technology sector is on the cusp of seeing something it rarely sees: A good old-fashioned dose of industry hype.

Tablet computers are the wellspring of this new buzz for business video. Devices like the Apple (News - Alert) iPad and systems based on Google’s Android operating system offer an accessible venue for executives to view video content where and when they want. Obviously, greater viewership can boost demand for video production in the corporate setting, creating new opportunities for AV professionals.

While one can point to plenty of caveats that could burst this pending bubble in business video interest, let’s focus on the Top 5 reasons why the rise of tablet devices will boost demand for both business video technology platforms and video production services:

Tablets Boost Business Video Interest

Whether you view tablet computers as a transformational digital device or merely a technical novelty, they can change digital media consumption patterns drastically. In a survey of 1,002 corporate executives conducted by Interactive Media Strategies (News - Alert) in the first quarter of 2011, 51 percent of respondents predicted that they would view business video more frequently if they had access to a tablet device. Video can only have an impact in the corporate setting if people actually watch the content that is produced. If tablets get executives to tap into corporate video more frequently, that helps to justify the investments companies make in producing and distributing business video content.

Organizations Piggyback Consumer Spending

Tens of millions of tablet devices are likely to be purchased this year, with most of the spending coming out of consumer wallets. This represents an opportunity for organizations to leverage these tablet purchases to upgrade their own digital offerings on the cheap. By installing centralized solutions for managing and distributing video designed for mobile devices, organizations can capitalize on the power of mobile video communications without picking up the tab for all the equipment needed to put business video into the hands of employees and external target audiences.

Tablets Popular in the Corporate Suite

As would be expected, ownership of this emerging class of tablet devices is highest at the top end of the corporate food chain. Executives from high-income households and executives who describe themselves as holding “purchase decision authority” for corporate Web communications spending both show a higher-than-average propensity for tablet ownership, according to Interactive Media Strategies’ 2011 survey results.  Exposure to tablet devices can do nothing but build awareness of tablet capabilities and boost interest among top-level executives for investing in the sophisticated back-end technology platforms that will be needed to make distribution of mobile business video viable.

Live Communications Problematic on Tablet Devices

Current limitations on mobile networks make it unlikely that live video chatting will be realistic for individuals expecting a highly reliable, enterprise-class video experience on their devices. As a result, most business video consumption via tablet devices – at least in the early days – will come in viewership of on-demand content. As tablets specifically drive more interest in pre-published on-demand pieces of content, the corporate need for video production services to create this type of content is likely to increase.

Tablet Exposure Will Foster Video Innovation

The way individuals use video on the tablet are likely to differ significantly from favored applications for online video on the business desktop. Traditionally, video is seen as a venue ideal for executives to deliver consistent messages to employees via a virtual “all-hands meeting.” Many organizations use the technology, as well, to enhance employee training efforts. While these applications are likely to resonate in the tablet environment, as well, a new class of video technology uses becomes viable in the mobile setting. Indeed, the greatest interest in implementing tablet video – as measured in the 2011 Interactive Media Strategies survey comes in industry verticals not typically associated with aggressive levels of business video deployment: construction and transportation. These results suggest that the emergence of tablets is fostering new exploration of how to best leverage video among employees on the road and at the job site. A construction company, for instance, could make a range of “how-to” videos available to address issues that workers regularly encounter during their construction projects.

Indeed, perhaps the greatest value of tablet computers –in terms of fostering greater adoption of business video – is that it provides a “clean slate” that allows executives to explore potential uses of video. While the overall business video sector has made giant leaps in offering reliable and easy-to-use platforms during the last five years, not all executives recognize the role that online video can play in enhancing business communications.

To the extent that tablet devices can provide a new round of sizzle that encourages executives to take a fresh look at video and its potential, they can only help raise executive awareness of how today’s video technology platforms can be used to help employees communicate in a more engaging and cost-effective manner than ever before. Sometimes, I guess, industry hype can be a good thing.

Steve Vonder Haar is Research Director and Founder of Interactive Media Strategies and is responsible for the firm's coverage of the enterprise Web Communications sector. To read more of his articles, please visit please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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