Last month I had the pleasure of co-hosting an event at the beautiful JCPenney headquarters in Dallas, Texas with my friends from Brightcove. The room was filled with internal communicators eager to gather new insights and learn lessons from one another about the role of media in employee engagement.
Like the folks in that room, you already know how powerful video can be for employee engagement. And you’ve seen the myriad of stats proving video has fast become the preferred form of communication in the enterprise.
As a communicator, I’m sure you can also relate to the stories I heard that day, and hear every day, about the challenges of using video for large-scale employee communications. One of the pervasive themes is the challenge of making sure employees have an effective (dare I say great?) viewing experience. After all, what’s the point of using video if they don’t?
Sadly, we know how many things can go wrong. Despite our best efforts, employee engagement can be tough to achieve if you can’t effectively stream video across the enterprise.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- You’re inundated with complaints from employees of buffering and jitter while tuning in to a live broadcast or attempting to access a popular video.
- You enlist the administrative assistant network to help coordinate and schedule “watch parties” in conference rooms around the company to limit the number of people trying to watch a live broadcast from their desk.
- You accept that certain geographic locations will simply not have access to the live broadcast and you will have to make a low-quality replay available to them as soon after the event as possible.
- IT can’t understand why you feel the need to broadcast the highest quality video possible and asks you to “dumb it down” so it requires less bandwidth.
- You stagger the release of new companywide required training or certification videos because they will fail miserably if everyone tries to access them all at once.
These scenarios are all symptoms of the same problem. Most corporate networks were designed years before video became pervasive, and many of them have evolved organically as companies have grown, mergers and divestitures have occurred, or infrastructure needed to be refreshed. The result is a network that’s ill-equipped to handle the bandwidth burden of video, especially when it’s pulled through a small internet connection to the cloud.
Fortunately, solving this problem is easier than most people think, and it doesn’t have to require a major network upgrade. An enterprise content delivery network (eCDN) is infrastructure, usually software, overlaid on the existing network to help manage the flow of video traffic. An eCDN can reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed by video by as much as 90% or more. Suddenly employees enjoy less latency and buffering, faster video start times and overall higher quality, more reliable viewing experience. All of this is key to employee engagement. If you aren’t familiar with eCDNs, we have a great primer for anyone who wants a non-technical introduction.
Given their experiences everywhere else, your employees have every reason to expect high quality video on the corporate network. With an eCDN, enterprises can meet these expectations and make these everyday problems for communications and IT teams a thing of the past.