July 12, 2011

Qumu Announces SDKs for Enabling Video in Any Portal, Embedding in Business and Mobile Apps and New Platform Capabilities

On July 12, San Bruno, Calif.-based business video platform provider Qumu announced new capabilities and enhancements to its product portfolio designed to enable Enterprise video content to be centrally managed and embedded in virtually any business application, portal or mobile app.

The additions and new capabilities to the Qumu Video Platform are aimed squarely at ameliorating IT manager concerns/fears about the growing permeation of video within -- and being imported into -- their organizations’ networks. It does so by giving administrators capabilities and tools not only to control (according users’ policies and rules) and monitor video use, but also to extend video reach to all members of their organization and its ecosystem members.

The result is a higher-quality user experience with a consistent, fully-featured look and feel. Most, if not all, of the technological complexity is handled by the platform, providing ease-of-administration and an extensible and flexible platform for whatever comes next in rich media.

The announcement includes the positioning of the portfolio as a complete solution, The Qumu Video Platform. Components of the platform include:

•Video Control Center 6.0 — the platform core which allows administrators to acquire video from any source, create and manage a centralized video library and minimize the impact of video traffic on networking infrastructure.
•Product VideoNet 2.0 —the sister to the Video Control Center, which distributes and tracks streamed video and related content from a centralized source to any size audience over multiple Qumu VideoNet Edge routes, and internal or external Content Distribution Networks (CDNs).
• An updated SDK as well as a specific Mobile SDK.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is video worth? Increasingly, for the largest corporations the answer as to the benefits of video-enabling their operations is not measured in words but in Dollars, Yuan, Rupees, Pounds, Rubles, etc. The amounts can be impressive and add up quickly. Reality is in large, globally dispersed organizations, video — whether internally or externally created and consumed (including public social media) — is already a valuable necessity and not a luxury. This is not just because of the elimination of travel costs, but also because of the medium’s ability to engage viewers and create memorable actionable impressions.

Enabling Enterprise video — versatility and adaptability

As a result of the enhancements, enterprise administrators of the Qumu Video Platform can manage, organize and securely distribute live and on-demand video to all types of desktops and laptops, and with the addition of the mobile SKD, to the vast majority of mobile devices including iPads, iPhones and Android (News - Alert) smartphones.

As a result of the new functionality, the Qumu Video Platform now provides:

•Full HTML5 browser support
•An enhanced user interface and distribution functionality
•Integration with popular video conferencing systems and software including: SharePoint, WebSphere, Blackboard and the TelePresence Content Server (formerly Tanberg).
In short, it is capable of provisioning and controlling always on/all ways accessible video communications. It also holds out the ability to enrich collaboration by allowing internal users the ability to create and distribute their own video without fear of its security being compromised. And, comprehensive analytics assures network performance, and that permission to use video is not abused. 

Putting complexity behind the curtain and enabling quality user experiences for everyone, along with providing tools for creating, implementing and enforcing policies and rules are the key deliverables. As Ray Hood, CEO of Qumu stated, “The Qumu Video Platform solves the mobile video challenge with support for the more than 30 format and resolution combinations… Qumu’s adaptive streaming, content prepositioning and the ability to automatically route streams based on device connection, are providing customers with real solutions to the associated network challenges with video.”

The message here is that the promise of video can be leveraged without worry about what Melissa Webster, Program Vice President, Content & Digital Media Technologies for IDC says are, “the ‘7 Evils’ when it comes to deploying video – from bandwidth consumption to knowing whether employees are actually watching the videos that are essential to a company running smoothly and effectively. In order to remain competitive, enterprises need solutions that offer flexibility and dependability.” She could have added that are “measureable” and enable “accountability.” 

Increasing engagement of users, which translates directly into business benefit, is at the heart of why video is becoming a critical need in large businesses. Ryan Burnham, Rich Media Engineer at eBay, Inc., says in the announcement release, “It’s had a real positive impact on our communications culture.” As experienced Qumu user Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications states, “There is an expectation of interactivity, stemming from the tremendous growth in social media, and people want to engage.”

Making Social Media Enterprise Safe and other improved functionality

Research done for Qumu by Harris Interactive shows that a majority of Americans believe they should be able to bring their mobile devices to work and watch video on them. However only 9% of respondents said they were aware of the negative impact doing so would have on their company’s network (causing things like email not to function or crashing it completely). Those who were somewhat aware watched anyway. While obviously no system is failsafe, Qumu believes IT managers should now be in their risk management comfort zones regarding actions of less informed users and the actions of bad actors.

A significant new benefit of the platform is the ability to embed video simultaneously and securely in virtually any portal, business or social media application while tracking the results. The updated SDK and Mobile SDK give all companies to build video communication controls into any interface. Plus, there are updated integrations for Microsoft SharePoint, IBM (News  - Alert) WebSphere and Blackboard. Qumu says, “In similar offerings, if live video is supported at all, it is done through a pop-up player outside of the main portal, but with the Qumu Video Platform, the viewer never leaves the portal.”

Qumu has an impressive and growing list of Fortune 500 companies. Their message that, “Qumu delivers the Freedom to work with existing infrastructure; the Power to reach everyone; and the Control to do it right,” has found a sweet spot that resonates in the market that this announcement is likely to enhance based on the growing recognition of the value of video in enterprises.

Want to learn more about business video? Then be sure to attend the Business Video Expo, collocated with TMC’s (News - Alert) ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. The Business Video Expo highlights the latest strategies and technologies available to executives who are serious about leveraging emerging video communications capabilities to build competitive advantage. By bringing together the industry’s most innovative video technology vendors with end-users who are pioneering the use of video in the corporate environment, the Business Video Expo mirrors a burgeoning market -- no longer just a corporate novelty -- with a growing appetite for learning the best practices in implementing video to make business communications more engaging and effective.