May 18th, 2014

8 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Miss The Video Experience Conference!

by Jess Portnoy

If you’re not already going to Kaltura Connect – The Video Experience Conference, read on to find out why we think it’s going to be an epic event, and a productive, empowering gathering that will positively influence ROI.

  1. Invest in your future – Video is now as essential as mobile phones, your organization is most likely using video more and more. No matter what your company does, video is already a part of its daily operations. Learning from others’ experience and practices; embedding video and media into their business, teaching & learning environments or internal collaboration operations, will enable you to make smarter decisions regarding your operations now and in the future.
  2. You’ll learn about exciting new technologies at scale. Kaltura Connect features workshops and sessions by knowledgeable, and experienced thought leaders and experts in the fields of open source and standards, deployment automation, building API driven architectures, cloud scalability and many other interesting tech challenges companies tackle every day.
  3. Check out the brilliant agenda and speakers list! We’ll have thought leaders, executives, developers and authors who will discuss everything video, from how we teach and educate through collaborating at work to drones and wearables.
  4. There are stacks of tutorials, workshops and exciting projects to discover, learn from, and get a hefty dose of video, free software and web technology.
  5. If you’re more into coding and doing – There’s also the Video Experience Weekend Hackathon! There might be $50,000 in it for you, and lot’s of exposure for you and your company when you’ll present your app at the closing keynote. And if a real product will brew in your keyboard from the hackathon – we’ll help you market and sell it!
  6. Connecting and networking – hang around your peers, we’ll have developers, DevOps, Support engineers and, for management, many executives from across industries are attending and presenting the future of video in their strategies, so bring your boss along for bonding.
  7. FUN! Every past attendee will tell you, Kaltura Connect provides ample activities for networking and one of the best night parties! And the conference food, is a special culinary experience you will not want to miss, served by 3 of the best restaurants in NYC!
  8. Its in NYC, and right next to Central Park – Invite your significant other to join you, nothing beats the business and pleasure combo, especially in the Big Apple!

 

 
Watch videos from previous Kaltura Connect conferences.

 

And, finally, just for reading our blog – we’d like to give you a special 50% discount when registering for Kaltura Connect!

Register at: http://goo.gl/Ak5lqQ to get your discount today.

 

See ya there:)

March 17th, 2014

Repurposing Video Transcripts to Create New Marketing Content and Win Over Leads

by Shannon K. Murphy

This is a guest blog post written by Shannon K. Murphy from 3Play Media, a video captioning and transcription partner with Kaltura.

Content Marketing was the buzzword for marketers in 2013. Some called it the new SEO. But content marketing is about more than getting found. With more services and marketplaces moving online, the days of a personalized sales conversation are over. A company’s website must do all the pitching now. Today’s consumers are also very media savvy, meaning they block out unwanted messaging. But there is hope. 7 in 10 consumers say they prefer to learn about a company through a collection of articles rather than in an ad. It’s understandable. Advertising is the equivalent of a sales person dropping in during a family dinner. Content feels like that same rep inviting you over for coffee and a chat.

With the popularity of online video content, it’s easy to see why brand engagement through video is so important to businesses. Nothing quite matches up to the dynamism of video storytelling. But do company videos have a life beyond the business website? Let’s take a look at how video transcripts can be used to create new marketing content, share valuable information in new ways, and drive customer conversions.

Content Marketing Is Easier with Video Transcripts

In a previous blog, How Captions and Transcripts Augment Video SEO Strategies, we spoke at length about the value of video transcripts for SEO. Essentially, valuable keyword content is overlooked because a search engine can’t watch videos. Video transcripts however, take this information and add to your site’s keyword density and knowledge base. Video transcripts are also a strong starting point for a myriad of content marketing options.

Blog Series: Looking for a way to post to the company blog consistently? Some videos may be too long for conversion into a blog post, so break it up. In the same way that a video progresses through concepts, you can naturally create a series examining a concept or topic, publishing weekly.

Website Copy & Support Documentation: Many corporate webinars focus on helping prospects understand the value of a service or how a product works. The transcript yielded from this video can be repurposed into persuasive website copy or support documentation. Give each a supporting video clip for multimedia engagement.

Case Studies: Don’t have a video testimonial? No problem! The original video could be an interview or panel from a conference session. Take compelling sound bites and edit them into a case study. This option also works well if video quality was less than optimal.

Slideshare Content: Great presenters and speakers usually share slide presentations after a talk. Unfortunately, the text accompanying these slides is often quite brief. Give your CEO’s presentation longevity and go beyond the event excitement by copying and pasting pertinent pieces of the video transcript into the notes section of each slide. This will enhance presentation discoverability and serve as a gateway to the site.

Email Newsletter Content: Don’t let inbox messages fall flat. Think about creating informative weekly email newsletters from a collection of video transcript text. Then drive recipients to the site with related articles and videos.

Whitepapers: An hour of video content is roughly 10,000 words which in turn, is approximately 20 typed pages. Knowing this, doesn’t a whitepaper seem a little easier to achieve than you thought? Video transcripts from related topics or a video series can be edited into whitepaper chapters.

Diversifying content offerings attracts more leads because each piece can appeal to customers in the way they would like to receive information. Personalization is hugely important to the online sales process. But so is repetition; social media, blog articles, company videos, podcast, downloadable pdfs, and webinars all further the customer journey. Don’t limit the engagement of video; expand the possibilities with video transcripts and content marketing

March 7th, 2014

Celebrating International Women’s Day!

by Charlotte.Copeman

 

 

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day across the world. On the 8th March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is increasing in status and the United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.

International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s during a time when there was great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

There has been a significant change and attitude shift on women’s equality and with more women in the boardroom than ever before, many women feel like we have true equality in the workplace. There’s constant conversation and initiatives around how women achieve in the workplace and with the release of Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” book in 2013, the conversation has never been hotter.

Here at Kaltura, we have women in all teams including developers, project managers, customer success directors, technical support and finance directors, we have a female founder (Michal Tsur, Chief Marketing Officer) plus 3 of our 6 most senior executives are women including Leah Belsky (Senior Vice President, Operations) and Naama Halevi (Chief Finance Officer), so it’s interesting to read about other’s experience in the workplace. At Kaltura, we don’t “lean in”, we work as hard as the men and we are rewarded equally – it would be great to see this mirrored in more organisations across the globe. Leah Belsky  (Senior Vice President, Operations) and Michal have written a great response to Sandberg’s “lean in” and you can read it here. Both our female and male colleagues have the same rights, the same opportunities and the same flexible working to support you through life. Whether it’s the birth of a new child, the loss of a family member or space to grow your career or education, flexible working runs throughout Kaltura. We have a flexible work-from-home policy for both women and men to enjoy their family life whilst continuing on their success path, and the outcome of this is happy employees who achieve at a high level without having to choose between your job and your family.

To mark International Women’s Day, a couple of the Kalturian girls from the European team attended a British American Business event last night “Women in Technology – Contributing to the Innovation Story” in London. There were 4 amazing speakers:

 

  • Pru Ashby, Head of Partnerships, Tech City Investment Organisation
  • Maggie Buggie, Vice President, Global Head of Digital Sales and Markets , Capgemini Consulting
  • Nicola Hills, Director, WebSphere Integration & Governance Development, IBM UK Ltd
  • Virginia Hodge, Trustee, Institution of Engineering and Technology and Senior Technology Strategist, NATS

What stood out at the event was the diverse industries, roles and age ranges that were represented in both the speakers and attendees. It was a really positive experience to hear so many success stories and a really positive vibe.

This was an interesting event for me because my experience in the workplace has been really positive and for the first time in my 20 year career, I’ve now got a male boss for the first time. I’ve had female bosses throughout my career across a number of industries and until it was discussed last night, I hadn’t even realized this was the case.

The tone of International Women’s Day has changed substantially in the past few years and has moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives. From female prime ministers to female astronauts, there’s success in all industries at all levels for women. So, to both my fellow female Kalturian colleagues and to women across the world: Happy International Women’s Day, here’s to success for all for the future.

International Women’s Day Facts:

1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

1910
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.

1911
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses‘ campaign.

1913-1914
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.

1917
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1918 – 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year‘ by the United Nations. Women’s organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women’s advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

March 5th, 2014

The Kaltura European Executive Forum: The Philips Innovation Brand

by Zohar Babin

bafta-kalturaOn Feb, 12th we hosted our first European Kaltura Executive Forum at the prestigious BAFTA venue in London.  Customers, prospects and partners attended in response to the success of Connect in New York and the subsequent request for local peer to peer networking events.

As the first of many to follow in different cities and countries, the evening made the audience the core focus.  After a brief welcome and introduction by Russ Zack, VP & GM Europe and Michal Tsur, CMO, President and Co-founder, Paul Osgood from Philips took the floor.

Paul is the Internal Communications Manager for Philips headquartered in Amsterdam.  From his first word he captivated everyone with his exuberance as he took us through short films created by employees and agencies demonstrating how video has taken internal social collaboration to the next level.  Most compelling were the video stories that employees shared with fellow colleagues spread across the globe and how Philips has made a difference to their lives and those of family and friends.

Everyone in the room had myriad questions which stimulated a distinct rethink about how the first audience for any communication is the personnel.  The remit was simple apparently, based on one single question:

Tell us how Philips delivers innovation that matters to you.

Within a few short weeks people had jumped on board and were posting their short films.  No storyboards, no scripts.  Yet here we saw firsthand how passionate and creative staff were with no formal video production skills.   Interaction was encouraged and engagement measured through views, likes and comments.  By sharing their stories the company celebrated a wave of digital camaraderie never achieved through other means of communication.

The buzz continued as Philips relaunched it’s brand purely to the global employees outside of office buildings with countdowns reminiscent of any New Years Eve midnight strike.  This time they used an agency to create a brand video mixing many of the exciting videos created by their employees (watch: Philips Innovation and You Brand Video) and launching with an dazzling video presentation on the facade of their office buildings generating a new interactive viewing experience for employees out on the streets to enjoy.  The fact that passers by and the rest of the world were welcome to join in the fun without any invitation once again showed how committed Philips is to making every individual a part of the collective, removing international and physical barriers to personnel interaction and integration.  Everyone outside of the Philips collective was quite frankly secondary to this huge rebranding campaign.

They seemed to have cracked the secret code of innovative communication and engagement using video.  There was no doubt that it was working - the results spoke for themselves and continue to do so.

At this point in the evening there was a definite buzz of excitement as we all had lightbulb moments (yes I know Philips makes lightbulbs so pardon the pun).  Further, I had the feeling that everyone in the room was actually understanding what the Philips global team already understands:  how video adds value as a social business collaboration tool.

It seemed that this new compelling insight was creating a new kind of warmth and light and what does one need when inspired and the imagination is peaked?  Cocktails and canapes of course.  In the relaxed and cosy surroundings of the venue, attendees mingled with Kalturians and each other, sharing their own stories and networking.

Paul continued to be bombarded with questions on into the late hours and his enthusiasm and wonderment at how Philips now collaborates was very contagious.  From seeing the original internal communications task at hand as a major challenge he considers himself to be a complete digital convert, embracing video.  As people started to head home and said their good-byes, they left stating that they could see the true internal business need to embrace and connect within their own organisations.  Only now they left with lots of new ideas and connections to reach out to and collaborate with.

Kaltura video case study here:  http://corp.kaltura.com/content/inspiring-creativity-philips

February 16th, 2014

Introducing KIPP – Kaltura Install Made Simple.

by Jess Portnoy

kaltura-light-blue-bg

The installation of Kaltura, just like the platform itself, went through a lot of metamorphosis over the years.

Over the years, we invested many resources at making Kaltura the best media management platform. Featuring grand batch system, complex metadata engine, robust entitlements, simplified video transcoding and more.

Alas, built on many different technologies, the installation of the platform became a bit of a complex task. Requiring many pre-install steps and several tricky pit-falls, even for the expert Linux engineers.

 

Announcing “KIPP” – Kaltura’s Install Packages Project!
Putting in place the resources to simplify and standardize the installation of Kaltura.
To enable the use of standard Linux package managers (e.g. yum, aptitude) to deploy the Kaltura platform with ease.

 

Community ahead!

It was important for us to create an open and collaborative project from day 1. Enabling community users to take part in defining, testing and developing the project.

Open repository and packaging tools -

All RPM and deb specs are accessible on an open GitHub repository.
Also available a chrooted ready-to-go build environment to allow experienced package developers to get started with ease and contribute packages for other CPU architectures or other operating systems.

 

Many dependancies, many challenges.
Kaltura requires many 3rd party components. Some of which are available via official Linux repositories. Many are in different versions or compilation options than what Kaltura requires. And other are missing altogether from official repositories.

Most packages are available from supplementary repositories such as EPEL and RPMForge. But, relying on unofficial repositories would force a list of pre-install steps that KIPP was set to avoid. And it would also introduce the challenge of keeping up with updates from these repositories.

 

Clean & Simple!
To meet our simplicity goal, we’ve chosen a few project guidelines.

All packages will have the ‘kaltura-’ prefix.
This ensures a no-conflict with other packages the machine may already have installed.
It would also provide a simple approach to handling updates -
# yum update "*kaltura*"

All files go under /opt/kaltura/.
Apart from standard init scripts: /etc/init.d and symlinks to Apache and logroate configurations. If the user runs the un-install script – everything gets removed.

Release notes matter.
Every package contains project metadata, that includes the project’s github repository and changes log. The changes-log contain all changes or patches for each version as well as links to Knowledge Center release notes.

Simple single-server without compromising cluster installs.
A single call to the ‘kaltura-server’ meta-package will install a complete all-in-one Kaltura server. But, as you grow your usage, so should your network grow into a smarter cluster of dedicated servers.

Modular packages structure.
A key characteristic of Kaltura is its ability to scale and deploy across any size cluster. The install packages should allow for the same level of modularity in deployment:

  1. You only install what you need.
  2. You should always know exactly what you have installed and of which version.
  3. You should have full control over which parts to update or patch.
  4. You should deploy packages based on desired server-role by calling its role. E.g. front, batch, sphinx, DB, etc.

Automated, silent installs.
Repurposing and adding new servers in your network should be a painless and automatic task.

Post-install script for each server role, allows for an easy deploy or repurpose of Kaltura servers.
Utilizing answers-file, preconfigured server-role templates allow for automatic deployment of new servers.
Admins can use Chef scripts with preconfigured answers-file to deploy complete clusters with ease.

Building for today, designing for long-term.
The short-term goal is to solve deployment of Kaltura on Fedora and Debian based Linux systems. Utilizing simple shell post-install scripts we maintain a common code base whenever possible. That allows for reuse in future packages, reducing time to package for other systems such BSD variants or even OSX.
Also, if we add new directives or variables in the future, all we need to update is the answer file template.

 

Support the project:

  • Kaltura Admins – Follow the new install guide (http://bit.ly/kipp-rpm). Help test the installation and upgrade flows.
  • Packagers / Package Developers – If you’re experienced with Linux packaging (or brew/macports on OSX) drop us a line!
  • Tech writers, translators and anyone who cares – Let’s reach everyone who cares about online video, anywhere!

To stay updated and learn more, visit the project page!

 

 

February 6th, 2014

Breaking Down Worker Silos

by Lisa Bennett

Republished from re/code, by Dr. Shay David, Kaltura Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer: http://recode.net/2014/02/05/breaking-down-worker-silos/

Data silos occur when data stored in separate servers or services can’t interact with information in other systems. They’re a major problem that causes limited workplace collaboration — according to a recent Oracle survey, in the past six months, 54 percent of IT execs have been forced to stop working when cloud apps weren’t properly integrated with other apps in the enterprise. Another 83 percent say they can’t get the most out of the apps their department uses, because of integration issues.

While data silos are a major purveyor of diminished workplace efficiency, “worker silos” may be an even worse problem. These are organizational human architectures that prevent employees from collaborating. Luckily, three megatrends of tech — mobile, social and video technology — may offer a recipe to end such disjointed systems. To explore how, I spoke with David Boyll, director of digital media technology at Oracle, and David Birnbaum, vice president of learning at Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Worker silos isolate employees and kill collaboration

Like data silos, worker silos cause separation and isolation when it comes to sharing information that can help enterprises operate more efficiently. But new technologies are helping even the largest businesses.

“Mobile, social and video technologies have allowed companies to break down worker silos,” Boyll said. “There are benefits we don’t even know about yet, and time will tell how this will help the business.”

For years, traditional workplaces have separated employees in cubicles, cutting them off from key information and relationships with colleagues that could help them to improve the enterprise overall. Separating employees into insulator units effectively cuts off opportunity for collaboration — squashing workplace innovation.

At Coldwell Banker University, the real estate company’s training program, a key goal is to provide excellent customer service, and “the best way to do that is to have agents learn, train and collaborate together using video,” said Birnbaum.

Mobile and social technologies are tearing down cubicles

Mobile technologies allow employees to check in with their work from anywhere, anytime. (Unless they work for Yahoo, of course.) The majority of American adults — 61 percent — now own smartphones, and the devices are helping them to become more collaborative and engaged workers. Cloud technologies, online project management spaces and enterprise social networks are all pushing the movement forward. Plenty of IT departments are creating bring your own device programs that allow employees to use their gadget of choice on the job.

At Oracle, employees are using an open collaboration platform. All employees have access to the Oracle Social Network, which workers access on desktops and mobile devices. Boyll said this allows employees to have conversations, share and store files, and more easily collaborate on work.

“Using various collaboration platforms, including Oracle Social Network, we are breaking down geographic work silos, and facilitating creative and process collaboration,” said Boyll.

As mobile, social and video technologies translate to the enterprise, they’re helping organizations to dismantle worker silos by creating an organizational culture that focuses on a social aspect and allows for cross-departmental collaboration — not isolated cubicles.

Video-sharing portals put the spotlight on collaboration

At a recent conference, Boyll said that the emergence of desktop video and the iPhone means an internal social video-sharing platform is a good idea for companies. After all, employees are already creating tens of thousands of videos on topics related to their jobs. They’re using video as a timely and easy way to showcase technical processes, demonstrate how to use applications, or improve navigation flow.

Video-sharing portals offer a centralized and common platform on which to use, share and extract the value of that content. For many organizations, this means better avenues for sales enablement and training, allowing for on-the-spot information about products, including best techniques, elevator pitches, or recent wins.

Over the last two years, Oracle has rolled out videoconferencing options for employees and upper management, which are now easily available to every Oracle employee. Many meetings are now held over live video streaming using a standard video platform. Top executives at Oracle regularly conduct town-hall-style Webcasts, and president Mark Hurd conducts a quarterly live Webcast that draws in more than 5,000 attendees.

“We’re now experiencing a rapid uptake and level of comfort in using video,” Boyll said. “Seeing oneself on camera and understanding how a productive videoconference should go is becoming a skill as essential as using a telephone or operating a PowerPoint.”

Videoconferencing allows the company to break down geographic work silos, facilitate creative collaboration and improve overall processes. Video fills the need for self-service creation, management and publication of videos for all Oracle employees — that’s more than 120,000 worldwide — and usage is expected to go through the roof, Boyll said.

Coldwell Banker employs a similar platform. Its social learning portal, available via mobile or desktop, allows agents to share best practices and ideas with each other using short videos, upon which agents can “Like” or leave comments, said Birnbaum.

“We’re going from a world where our university would just push out training, to a more collaborative process of informal learning,” he said. “Most learning in the corporate world happens in informal ways. Video allows our agents to connect with each other more easily, facilitating superior customer service.”

The real impact of the new tech landscape: Cultural shifts

Offering employees mobile, social and video platforms to allow them to share ideas, produce great content and collaborate with others doesn’t just dismantle worker silos, and the positive results don’t just affect the bottom line. It also creates something that isn’t inherently measurable: Morale.

Emotional satisfaction and job satisfaction are just as important in the enterprise — and these three pillars of tech are reinforcing those ideals among workers. Companies that eliminate worker silos with these new technologies show employees they belong to a supportive community that values their knowledge and experience — and it may forever change the way they do business.

Data silos occur when data stored in separate servers or services can’t interact with information in other systems. They’re a major problem that causes limited workplace collaboration — according to a recent Oracle survey, in the past six months, 54 percent of IT execs have been forced to stop working when cloud apps weren’t properly integrated with other apps in the enterprise. Another 83 percent say they can’t get the most out of the apps their department uses, because of integration issues.

While data silos are a major purveyor of diminished workplace efficiency, “worker silos” may be an even worse problem. These are organizational human architectures that prevent employees from collaborating. Luckily, three megatrends of tech — mobile, social and video technology — may offer a recipe to end such disjointed systems. To explore how, I spoke with David Boyll, director of digital media technology at Oracle, and David Birnbaum, vice president of learning at Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Worker silos isolate employees and kill collaboration

Like data silos, worker silos cause separation and isolation when it comes to sharing information that can help enterprises operate more efficiently. But new technologies are helping even the largest businesses.

“Mobile, social and video technologies have allowed companies to break down worker silos,” Boyll said. “There are benefits we don’t even know about yet, and time will tell how this will help the business.”

For years, traditional workplaces have separated employees in cubicles, cutting them off from key information and relationships with colleagues that could help them to improve the enterprise overall. Separating employees into insulator units effectively cuts off opportunity for collaboration — squashing workplace innovation.

At Coldwell Banker University, the real estate company’s training program, a key goal is to provide excellent customer service, and “the best way to do that is to have agents learn, train and collaborate together using video,” said Birnbaum.

Mobile and social technologies are tearing down cubicles

Mobile technologies allow employees to check in with their work from anywhere, anytime. (Unless they work for Yahoo, of course.) The majority of American adults — 61 percent — now own smartphones, and the devices are helping them to become more collaborative and engaged workers. Cloud technologies, online project management spaces and enterprise social networks are all pushing the movement forward. Plenty of IT departments are creating bring your own device programs that allow employees to use their gadget of choice on the job.

At Oracle, employees are using an open collaboration platform. All employees have access to the Oracle Social Network, which workers access on desktops and mobile devices. Boyll said this allows employees to have conversations, share and store files, and more easily collaborate on work.

“Using various collaboration platforms, including Oracle Social Network, we are breaking down geographic work silos, and facilitating creative and process collaboration,” said Boyll.

As mobile, social and video technologies translate to the enterprise, they’re helping organizations to dismantle worker silos by creating an organizational culture that focuses on a social aspect and allows for cross-departmental collaboration — not isolated cubicles.

Video-sharing portals put the spotlight on collaboration

At a recent conference, Boyll said that the emergence of desktop video and the iPhone means an internal social video-sharing platform is a good idea for companies. After all, employees are already creating tens of thousands of videos on topics related to their jobs. They’re using video as a timely and easy way to showcase technical processes, demonstrate how to use applications, or improve navigation flow.

Video-sharing portals offer a centralized and common platform on which to use, share and extract the value of that content. For many organizations, this means better avenues for sales enablement and training, allowing for on-the-spot information about products, including best techniques, elevator pitches, or recent wins.

Over the last two years, Oracle has rolled out videoconferencing options for employees and upper management, which are now easily available to every Oracle employee. Many meetings are now held over live video streaming using a standard video platform. Top executives at Oracle regularly conduct town-hall-style Webcasts, and president Mark Hurd conducts a quarterly live Webcast that draws in more than 5,000 attendees.

“We’re now experiencing a rapid uptake and level of comfort in using video,” Boyll said. “Seeing oneself on camera and understanding how a productive videoconference should go is becoming a skill as essential as using a telephone or operating a PowerPoint.”

Videoconferencing allows the company to break down geographic work silos, facilitate creative collaboration and improve overall processes. Video fills the need for self-service creation, management and publication of videos for all Oracle employees — that’s more than 120,000 worldwide — and usage is expected to go through the roof, Boyll said.

Coldwell Banker employs a similar platform. Its social learning portal, available via mobile or desktop, allows agents to share best practices and ideas with each other using short videos, upon which agents can “Like” or leave comments, said Birnbaum.

“We’re going from a world where our university would just push out training, to a more collaborative process of informal learning,” he said. “Most learning in the corporate world happens in informal ways. Video allows our agents to connect with each other more easily, facilitating superior customer service.”

The real impact of the new tech landscape: Cultural shifts

Offering employees mobile, social and video platforms to allow them to share ideas, produce great content and collaborate with others doesn’t just dismantle worker silos, and the positive results don’t just affect the bottom line. It also creates something that isn’t inherently measurable: Morale.

Emotional satisfaction and job satisfaction are just as important in the enterprise — and these three pillars of tech are reinforcing those ideals among workers. Companies that eliminate worker silos with these new technologies show employees they belong to a supportive community that values their knowledge and experience — and it may forever change the way they do business.

January 24th, 2014

Boost Your Social Business with Kaltura’s Video Extension for IBM Connections

by Vitaly.Shter

Over the past few years, consumer social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube have radically changed the way we communicate. Seeing the benefits of consumers’ real time social information sharing, enterprises have been adopting social business systems like IBM Connections not only to meet the expectations of today’s employees and partners, but also to increase productivity and reduce costs.

diagram2At the same time, video usage has seen substantial growth within the enterprise, with Forrester reporting that over 27% of firms already implemented enterprise IP/digital video for internal use, and Gartner predicting that by 2016, large companies will stream more than 16 hours of video per worker per month. Innovative enterprises are using video to harness corporate knowledge. As a result, organizations are recognizing that in order to maximize the benefits and adoption of their social business software, they must enrich traditional social business components like news-feeds, communities, blogs, wikis, and profiles, with video. The simplest way to marry advanced video creation, consumption, sharing, and delivery capabilities with social business software is by using packaged video integrations.

Kaltura’s Video Extension for IBM Connections combines Kaltura’s market leading enterprise video platform with IBM’s leading social business software, into a seamless user experience that leverages video to dramatically improve collaboration, knowledge sharing, and communications across the organization. Think adding YouTube-like capabilities to a Facebook-like portal, with the addition of workflows and security mechanisms required by the modern social enterprise. This empowers employees with intuitive video tools that they are already comfortable using, while providing peace of mind to IT by allowing to securely centrally manage all rich media content in the organization.

Here is a short overview of how Kaltura’s new Video Extension can work seamlessly within IBM Connections:

So why video, you ask? There are many reasons why video is key to your organization’s communications, here are just 5 things to think about as you plan the future of your social business strategy:

  • Video is engaging and simplifies complex ideas:
    Both consumers and enterprises recognize video as an engaging and entertaining medium to convey powerful messages, engage audiences, and illustrate complex ideas. Video is the perfect starting point to get the conversation going since video viewers retain 50% more material than those who just view traditional information sources (according to a recent Wharton Business School study). According to Forbes, 59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text, if both are available on the same page. So when your IBM Connection users are creating blogs or initiating online ideation discussions, wouldn’t it be great to let them add a relevant video into the mix?
  • Videos reduces cost by boosting training and ‘multiplying’ sales-force:
    7,500 video views per day on salesforce.com – this is equivalent to work done by 46 hyper efficient sales reps, educating customers on the product (According to Greney Jamie, VP, Social Media and Online Video, Salesforce). Similarly training videos watched by thousands of employees and partners are equivalent to dozens of corporate instructors onboarding and training employees and partners. “By integrating Kaltura into our virtual learning site and transitioning all broker training online with video, we have decreased the onboarding timeline for a new agent from 6 to 3 months” (VP of Learning, Coldwell Banker). No matter how you look at it, video cuts costs significantly.
  • Videos shortens ‘time to knowledge’ and facilitates expertise creation and recognition:
    Tapping into the communal knowledge base of a globally distributed workforce is one of the main benefits of social business software like IBM Connections. Add to that the ability for experts to easily record How-to videos and tutorials accessible 24/7 from any device, as well as the long “shelf life” of video, and you significantly shorten the time it takes to find information in your organization in the years to come.  Once you find the information, it is also about comprehension – it is much easier to watch a 3 minute video walkthrough, like the one embedded within this blog post, as opposed to reading a 10 page user manual. Provide your IBM Connections users with Employee Generated Content (EGC) tools like screen-capture, webcam recording, and mobile capture, and watch the level of organizational knowledge sky-rocket as a result of the videos they create and the chance to be publicly recognized for their expertise (you get bonus points for gamification initiatives that reward employee participation!).
  • Video authenticity brings people together:
    Video helps employees break geographical and cultural boundaries, with “nearly in-person” experiences that add depth, authenticity, and personification to their corporate online identity. Many of our customer executives use live video or send recorded video messages to thousands of employees, in order to create a sense of familiarity and closure that is unmatched by text-based communications. Many companies also initiate video contests to foster a sense of company-wide community and corporate pride (see this great example). An IBM Connections portal where executives and employees record and share their video messages and personal user-profiles, and where employees participate in creative video contests, transforms a large workforce into a tighter, community that takes pride in its work.
  • The demand for consuming and creating knowledge on-the-go:
    Today’s workforce requires access to knowledge anywhere-anytime on a myriad of mobile devices. With limited time at hand, and limitations of the mobile device screen size, video is the best medium to access knowledge ”just-in-time” by providing both visual and audio comprehension. This is especially important for mobile and “desk-less” employees like Sales, technicians, first responders, and retail staff who often need to learn a topic on-the-go right before taking action. In other situations, capturing and sharing knowledge videos remotely is business critical capability – think insurance agents documenting an incident on-site using their mobile device video camera. Imagine how powerful this can become with the proliferation of wearable computers like Google Glass and Motorola Golden-i, where video will play an even more central role for communicating, learning, and collaborating “on the fly”.

In summary, bringing together video and social business provides great value: fast, asynchronous, visual, authentic and engaging knowledge exchange through a many-to-many communication channel, resulting in speedier product lifecycles, competitive advantage, educated employees and constant dialogue across the global enterprise and customer base. Learn more about how enterprise video can enhance your business here.

January 17th, 2014

Wikimedia Community Debates H.264 Support On Wikipedia Sites

by Michael Dale

Wikimedia has been a long time supporter of royalty free formats, but is now considering a shift in their position. From the RfC:

To support the MP4 standard as a complement to the open formats now used on our sites, it has been proposed that videos be automatically transcoded and stored in both open and MP4 formats on our sites, as soon as they are uploaded or viewed by users. The unencumbered WebM and Ogg versions would remain our primary reference for platforms that support them. But the MP4 versions would enable many mobile and desktop users who cannot view these unencumbered video files to watch them in MP4 format.

This has stirred a heated debate within the Wikimedia community as to whether the mp4 / h.264 format should be supported. Many wikimedia regulars have weighed in, resulting in currently an even split between adding the H.264 support or not. The request for comment is open to all users of Wikimedia, including the broader community of readers.

What do you think about supporting H.264 on Wikimedia sites?

December 16th, 2013

University Business: Video will rule campuses

by Lisa Bennett

This post was published in University Business on December 10th, 2013.

 

Dr Shay David, Co-Founder at Online Video Platform Kaltura, looks at the issues of putting video at the heart of the campus.

 

As they prioritise their ‘to-do list’ for 2014, CIOs are putting the planning and deployment of a central media strategy and rich media repository at the top of the list.  While video is permeating almost every aspect of campus life – from teaching & learning to marketing, development, communications and admissions – the approach has generally been haphazard, resulting in silos of content that lack a coherent framework.

For many, a potential rich-media management crisis is looming on campus, and is exacerbated by today’s ed-tech trends, which all rely heavily on video to thrive – flipped classrooms, personalised learning, blended learning, social learning, and of course MOOCs.

Add the complexity of allowing (and supporting) students and faculty to Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), and you have a recipe for an IT nightmare.

Here’s a checklist for CIOs that want to be ‘ahead of the curve’ in 2014 with regard to video on campus.

Review current costs: a centralised media management platform can often save you money.

Video silos on campus are eating up network resources, storage and computing power. Look into how much your campus is spending on storing and transcoding rich media, as well as the IT management costs associated with processing and managing video content. This total expenditure probably costs more than a new, centralised solution – and for an inferior user experience.

Integrate with your existing infrastructure

Many departments have already invested time, money and resources in the development or the procurement of technologies to manage users’ content and curriculum (e.g. LMS, lecture capture, live events streaming etc). Ensure that a centralised media solution can recognise and integrate with existing systems, policies, procedures and resources already in place and can adapt to existing workflows.

Plan for measurement and analytics

Back-end analytics and audience measurement tools can help to identify how effective your content is at reaching and engaging users. Individual analytics which can go down to the individual student level can help in the context of teaching and learning – to establish correlation between media usage and learning results. Integration into third-party systems like Google Analytics can help too.

Make sure to support ‘any device, anywhere, anytime’

The need to deliver a high-quality video experience across PCs, tablets, smartphones and other devices makes opting for home-grown applications or a consumer-based video hosting strategy untenable. Look for a platform provider that gives you the flexibility to host the applications on premise or on the cloud and whose transcoding solutions deliver the most effective video formats and provide the best user experience across all devices/platforms.

Launch a Campus Tube initiative

Encourage use, re-use and customisation of video resources by deploying a ‘Campus YouTube’ that features intuitive authoring, upload, moderation, publishing, search, browsing, and sharing of videos across devices.

Determine the role that your Library will play

Thoughtful media management calls for a role for the library, making it important that both the academic and administrative organisations work together to guarantee both access and preservation of digital content. Library staff have expertise in cataloguing and curating of content – essential for the management of these campus-wide rich media assets.

Put in place the right levels of security and governance

Protecting third-party licensed content, or content that students/lecturers create and share, while still making it easy enough for authorised users to use the platform is a balancing act. Check that your security, access control and entitlement system covers varying levels of access, digital rights management, different methods of user authentication, and appropriate moderation of uploaded content and publishing.

Search, Search, Search – if users can’t find it, it doesn’t exist

Disorganised content is a turn off for viewers and administrators. Video content should be fully navigable, searchable and viewable from all campus applications and sites, such as learning management systems and other applications.

For today’s YouTube generation, video is not gravy. It’s the main dish. Video is destined to permeate onto campuses in greater and greater volumes and needs to be managed effectively in order to avoid a media meltdown. Putting video at the heart of the campus in 2014 will pay dividends for years to come. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Video is that, at 30 frames per second.

Dr. Shay David is a scholar and serial entrepreneur, specialising in collaborative and open-source information and communication systems. Shay is the co-founder of Kaltura (www.kaltura.com) and also a founding member of the Open Video Alliance, an organisation dedicated to open standards for video.

 

November 8th, 2013

You Can Have Your Own Netflix – it’s Called MediaGo™

by Iddo Shai

kaltura_mediagoIf you have ever been to the Kaltura office in New York, you know that from our conference room window we see Union Square and the place where the Virgin Megastore once stood. Today, what used to be a massive music store with dozens of listening stations (and a special section for Japanese imports!) is now a very big bank.

Virgin Megastores was joined yesterday by Blockbuster, which announced it would shut down all of its remaining video rental stores. The company, now owned by Dish, will continue operating its online video streaming service.

In 1999, Blockbuster was valued at $4.8 billion and around that time Virgin had about 23 music stores and revenue of $280 million annually. No doubt, much has changed.

Coincidently, yesterday we at Kaltura announced our latest product – Kaltura MediaGo™. “An out of the box Netflix” that offers a turn-key solution to have your own content store up and running very quickly.

MediaGo is another stage in the natural evolution of television, film, music, education and enterprise culture. Driven by powerful cloud services, low storage costs and proliferation of connected devices – many media companies, telecom service providers, content rights holders and independent producers can now monetize their content easily and cost-effectively. This is usually referred to as over-the-top delivery (OTT), but what it really means is that technology is now leveling the playing field not only for disruptors like Netflix and iTunes but for any business entity that owns quality content.

Beyond OTT, MediaGo also captures the strongest trends in the online video platform space. Since 2006 Kaltura has been a pioneer in online video with its open and flexible approach that allowed news and entertainment companies to utilize our strong API offering to create their own customized video experience. However, in recent months, as we have been tracking the news and entertainment markets, we noticed a strong need for an out-of-the-box content store that is easy to manage by the content providers and very intuitive for the consumers to use.

Kaltura PlayerMediaGo is designed to do just that. Basically, all that the content providers need to do is to add content (and set their price). For the user, subscription is easy and navigating the site feels intuitive and familiar. From a technology perspective, what’s still powering all of this under the hood is the same strong Kaltura API set. These include our industry leading video player, HD adaptive streaming, fast upload, DRM support, geo-blocking, custom metadata, content recommendation, analytics, easy site customization and of course the entire e-billing and user management aspects.

We believe that the business opportunity here is huge and we will keep writing about it in the coming weeks and months. But before I conclude, let me go back to my favorite place in New York circa 2003.

Gremlins in santaAs much as I loved spending endless hours in the Virgin Megastore at Union Square I know today that it wasn’t perfect. Why? Well, because it was a mega store. Sure, it had all the content I loved but it also offered massive amount of stuff I didn’t care for (sorry Gremlins dolls in Santa Suits). And much of this mega store experience still exists. YouTube is a mega store, iTunes is a mega store and Amazon is… probably the ultimate example. These stores are not going away, but that doesn’t mean your viewers are not looking for a new, more focused, personal and entertaining video experience.

Read more:

- Kaltura Introduces MediaGo, Its ‘Netflix-In-A-Box’ Portal For Media Companies (Techcrunch)

- Kaltura Now Offers Easy OTT Subscription Based Video Platform (ReelSEO)