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Video Gets Vertical

If you've been looking at enterprise video from a horizontal perspective, then perhaps you ought to shift your view 90 degrees and start thinking vertically.

Enterprise decision points around video historically have been about two distinct cross-company applications: video conferencing and UC integration. While these continue to have a place in the enterprise, increasingly the discussion needs to be about how to enhance a business process with video, said Andrew Davis, senior partner and analyst at Wainhouse Research. "And when we talk about workflow, we're not looking at video horizontally any longer," Andrew told me. "Now it's really about going vertical."

Just What the Doctor Ordered
Jane Vandermate, vice president of marketing at Vidyo, a video collaboration company, gave a perfect example of vertical video in her recent No Jitter podcast interview with Guy Clinch (read our post and tune in to the podcast). Medical facilities now have the ability to deliver live, interactive video sessions to patient bedsides via the VidyoWorks platform integrated into a GetWellNetwork bedside system traditionally used for entertainment. With the Vidyo integration, patients will now be able to do things like video chat with family and friends, as was the case for one of the recent Ebola recoveries. They can also get virtual checkups from their doctors, or set up a video conference with the nursing station.

Indeed, video in hospital settings makes a lot of sense, and so has become one of the most common vertical uses to date, Davis said. By video-enabling intensive care unit nursing stations, for example, hospitals can provide nurses the means of video conferencing with patients and provide better monitoring via two-way, real-time video communications. "'Oh, I see your blood pressure has dropped. Let me conference in a doctor to check why that might be happening,'" Davis described of one potential scenario.

"This is all part of what people say when they talk about video embedded in workflows," he added. "Video is no longer a separate application. It's no longer about meetings. It's about getting something else done."

Two trends are leading to the shift, Davis told me recently as we chatted about his upcoming Enterprise Connect 2015 session, "Video Everywhere: What Happens to Your Workflow?" First is the delivery of video capabilities as software rather than via video endpoints -- i.e., hardware. (Although you still need a camera, but at less than $100 today for a decent HD option, those are inexpensive, as Davis noted.)

Second is the implementation of the video infrastructure as a cloud service. "In the last couple of years, the general-purpose cloud computing platforms have proven themselves to be more than sufficient to provide excellent quality video. They are easy to use and easy to deploy, so you don't need special equipment any more," Davis said.

Changing Channels
As video gets vertical, enterprise IT will need to work with internal or external sources who understand the application and how it integrates with other applications, rather than engaging with the traditional audiovisual integrators or networking experts. "These are niche uses, and a very different proposition from the horizontal applications that are generic," Davis said. "Embedded video really will require some kind of vertical expertise. You know -- 'I'm an ISV and I do business in banking,' or 'I'm an OEM and I make medical equipment,' or 'I run contact centers.'"

If you're interested in learning more about embedding video into your workflows, consider attending Enterprise Connect 2015, March 16 to 19 in Orlando, and joining Davis for his session, "Video Everywhere: What Happens to Your Workflow?" Register now, using the code NJSPEAKER, and receive $300 off an event pass.

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