With all of the activity around video, Microsoft buying Skype, Google+ Hangouts, Facebook integrating with Skype along with all of the shifting going on the in the telephony / telepresence is appears that enterprise video is, once again, on the cusp of breaking out.
Yet I still have to ask whether this will be a replay of years past and more importantly, examine the barriers around enterprise adoption of video. One constant that we regularly come across is the lack imagination around use cases for video. Let's face it, enterprise video typically is something we do from the neck up... video conferencing - a historically complicated and expensive solution installed to improve productivity and reduce travel expense. This clearly has value but it doesn't qualify as a breakthrough capability or strategic investment. In fact, more often than not enterprise video is sold to those charged with operational expense management.
Can video be a strategic differentiator? It can, but it must provide a better way of doing something than can be done through other means. Can video capture of fixing a complex piece of equipment be more effective than publishing a 247 page manual in .pdf? Probably, but rather than either/or, how about mashing up a map for the location of the equipment needing repair, chaptered video, on-line manuals and access to SME's for consumption by the field engineer on a mobile device?
Video is one component of a rich media experience which has the potential to become the norm in the communications continuum. Innovative enterprises are responding to the trend of consumerized technology by incorporating portable devices such as tablets and smartphones, many of which have HD video capture built in and figuring out how capture, classify, secure and deliver video as an asset that makes a difference.