Video: The Next FrontierBy Dave Sobel | Print
Mid-market adoption of virtualization and video may very well be leading enterprise adoption. Now the challenge is to find the use cases for video in business. Training is at the top of the list.
Channel Insider’s own Larry Walsh recently interviewed Cisco’s Keith Goodwin. Goodwin and Walsh hit on a pair of topics I have been watching closely: virtualization and video.
Goodwin outlines a lot of the mid-market strategy for virtualization adoption, and highlights the successes they have experienced with mid-market over large enterprise:
"Some of the first wins are coming from not our largest partners with large enterprise customers, but really from some of our midsize partners in the commercial space where those commercial customers immediately get the strategy and vision."
I can’t say these statements surprise me. Midmarket companies, like their SMB cousins, are often more adaptable and able to move more quickly than enterprises. The ability of these firms to move quickly has long made them agile and competitive against larger players. That they are adopting virtualization – and already have done so – should be no surprise.
Goodwin continues, however to talk about the explosion of video.
"At Cisco, for example, 60 percent of our network traffic is video, and that's driven from the business application video and that's increasing every day."
He cites video as a growing area of interest for Cisco and for businesses as an application in general. Video is big, and it’s been coming on more and more.
We’re on the verge of video taking off in business even more. Video conferencing is already a large component of the way many businesses engage, and consumers are getting more and more comfortable with it. To top it all off, the cost is approaching free. Skype has long had person-to-person video for free, and is adding multi-user video. The iPhone 4 has FaceTime, allowing free video calling to happen between iPhone users. And cameras are everywhere. Every laptop comes standard with a camera, most computers have them readily available. Cell phones have them built in, and now, phones are coming with two cameras, one intended for use by the user for conferencing rather than for taking video.
With computing resources readily available via virtualization for the backend, and the cameras ready for use all around, Cisco is right to see video as a massive opportunity. The question is what business applications will take off from this.
How will video integrate into business? The companies that correctly predict this will be incredibly successful. Users are quickly engaging in the use of video, and very comfortable with it online. YouTube has 2 billion views a day. Facebook users are uploading over 400,000 videos a day.
It’s easy to dismiss that as consumer usage. However, my own engineers used YouTube recently for training material, pulling material on how to configure a new implementation by studying the work of others. Training is a first, easy use case.
It often feels like there is always a camera nearby. That’s not far from the truth, and those videos are moving into your office. Cisco sees it as the future.
Finding those video applications will be one of the next frontiers.