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Business Management

Mark Pollard (USA) - Overcoming Information Overload: A Strategy for Managing Enterprise Content

In 1981, The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" music video marked the debut of the MTV generation and a sea change in how music was enjoyed and consumed. Today, video is having a similar impact on the creation and usage of information in the enterprise. But with the increased use of video and rich media comes the challenge of how to leverage this growing library of corporate content for the benefit of employees, partners, customers and the bottom line. New technology, though, is solving these problems by enabling companies to "Google" their video content down to the spoken word, making those assets more valuable in many ways.

Simply put, we're in the midst of a digital decade. In 2009, according to IDC, the creation and replication of new digital information grew to 800 billion gigabytes - a 62% increase over the previous year. And EMC estimates that this digital universe will continue to gain momentum, increasing 44-fold to 35 trillion gigabytes by 2020.

Video is becoming an important communications medium, as new technologies have made capturing, editing and sharing video much easier, and younger generations rely more heavily on YouTube or Tivo for information. In 2010, an average of 179 million Americans watched videos online each month, with more than 88.6 million watching online on an average day in late 2010 - up 32% from the year before, according to the comScore Video Metrix.

In the business world, a vast majority of corporate content is being conveyed verbally - through in-person presentations, seminars, web conferences or conference calls - which makes it difficult to retain, let alone access afterwards to gain additional use of critical information. If these presentations, webinars or calls are recorded, then enterprises have to contend with the storage demands that result, as well as the complexity of being able to find, manage and share the content when needed. For example, IDC's Information Worker Productivity Study estimated that an employee spends about 8.8 hours a week searching for information at a cost of $14,209 per year.

Harnessing Valuable Content

Based on recent industry estimates, corporations today capture less than 5 % of valuable knowledge. Video has proven to be an excellent method for capturing and sharing this knowledge, but too often it has required a steep investment in specialized hardware, software and IT expertise, or offers limited customization and no search functionality through a YouTube-like, software-as-a-service (SaaS) option.

New technology is enabling enterprises to combine PowerPoint presentations with audio/video into a dynamic format that is searchable down to the point of interest or key word. Built on a SaaS-based platform, this technology enables enterprises to offer video and rich media content on-demand, and easily scale their content libraries. By giving users instant access to the information they need, enterprises can foster greater sales effectiveness, enhance training, and deliver critical information to large audiences - such as employees, partners and customers - around the world.

Multinational companies, such as Cisco, Oracle and NetApp, are adopting this video search technology to reduce costs, increase employee productivity, capture lost revenue, and empower individuals with access to critical content where, when and how they want it. For example, Cisco has more than 16,000 sales engineers in 87 countries, and needed to minimize time to revenue on new product launches and upgrades. By using this new SaaS-based solution, Cisco has been able to give the sales engineers instant access to everything from podcasts to complete courses via its rich media portal, and use search capabilities to find the information they need down to the precise point of interest.

The result has been less wasted time, and more time in front of customers to close new business. Oracle too has seen benefits - including cost savings of $10 million - by using this technology to power their on-demand sales kickoff rather than investing the time and effort to stage an annual in-person event for its sales force.

Video and rich media content have the power to transform the knowledge base for individuals, while delivering benefits to the enterprise in the form of increased productivity and lower costs. By taking a new approach to video and rich media content and pairing this approach with adoption of new SaaS-based video search technology, savvy companies can do more than avoid information overload. They can ride the tidal wave of content to increased business intelligence.

Mark Pollard is CMO and VP of Business Development of Altus, a company that provides a cloud-based, rich-media platform for monetizing enterprise intelligence.

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