If a picture is worth a thousand words, what can be said of the impact that video is having on business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) communications? It must be quite something because video has been the fastest growing category of traffic on the internet for many years now.
The consensus among analysts is that business and consumer video applications today account for more than 75% of internet protocol (IP) traffic and continue to rise rapidly.
While the picture is a bit less clear within enterprise infrastructures, organizations across industries and geographies are seeing a rising tide of video traffic flow through corporate networks to support a growing array of internal operations including employee communications, training, collaboration and security; as well as external applications such as partner engagement, marketing and sales.
The trend has only accelerated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as leaders scramble to support the shelter-in-place workforce and adjust their go-to-market strategies to meet the dramatically changing needs of their customers.
Internet Protocol Television Democratizes Enterprise Video
The quiet hero behind the growing role of video in business has been internet-protocol television (IPTV).
Until recently, most institutional video applications (in the public, private and non-profit sectors) were run on separate satellite, radio frequency and/or cable infrastructures that were expensive to operate and required dedicated talent and expertise.
Only the largest enterprises — or organizations with specific requirements, such as the military, broadcasters, and public venue providers — could afford to build out infrastructures to leverage video communications effectively and accomplish their business objectives.
IPTV is changing all that by allowing organizations of all different sizes to harvest the benefits of video communications in a technically effective, cost-efficient and risk-adjusted manner.
From a performance perspective, the most advanced IPTV technologies can deliver video with almost no latency and provide organizations with much more control over how they manage content and technology to better support their business operations.
Two factors have greatly contributed to this higher level of performance:
Enterprise IT infrastructures have become more effective and efficient at all levels. Local-area networks (LANs), wide-area networks (WANs) and wireless networks continue to add more throughput capacity and intelligence as they evolve and become more sophisticated. This has been mirrored by a corresponding elevation in the ability of IT staff to deploy, support and maintain these networks.
The encoding algorithms that compress video signals have matured — and continue to iterate — allowing video traffic to grow within corporate environments without overwhelming the infrastructure or affecting the flow of other critical data traveling through enterprise networks.
IPTV Alters the Economics of Delivering Secure Enterprise Video
By enabling video to simply become another stream of data that coexists with other important traffic coursing over corporate networks, IPTV dramatically changes the cost-structure of deploying video services to different stakeholders across organizations.
In hospitals, for instance, the enterprise data network can be leveraged to deliver entertainment video services to patient’s rooms in a more cost-efficient manner by dissolving the need to put redundant cable networks in place.
Digital signage is another example of how IPTV can be leveraged across organizations in a cost-efficient manner.
Digital displays that use LCD, LED, projection and e-paper technologies to project digital images — and even full motion video — are emerging as an important facilities-based channel for connecting with employees, customers and other visitors.
Digital signage has also traditionally required dedicated networks and staff to maintain and manage. Today, IP networks can deliver and centrally control the full spectrum of content across the enterprise to maximize effectiveness.
It provides organizations with an opportunity to create custom boards or messages which are beneficial for organizations –like auto factories where employees aren’t in front of their computers all the time.
Meanwhile, the same IT infrastructures that carry conventional structured and unstructured data can be leveraged to provide video support for doctors and nurses who must prepare for surgeries — or other procedures — to improve outcomes.
IPTV technology also makes it possible for organizations to leverage investments that have been made in securing enterprise networks to lock down video streams. This is a tremendously high priority for leaders in financial institutions, healthcare as well as the military and other government agencies.
Healthcare providers, for instance, must comply with a variety of patient confidentiality, privacy and security regulations in every digital engagement with patients. IPTV solutions that integrate 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) technology ensure that all content is protected as video is ingested, stored and distributed to any endpoint or browser.
AES technology offers military-grade security that makes it possible for organizations of all kinds to deliver video over their IT networks with confidence.
Business IPTV Emerges as Key Tool For Managing Complexity
IPTV technology has matured and is unleashing a wave of innovation and creativity that is prompting organizations of all types to find new ways to harness video to better connect with customers, motivate employees and otherwise improve their operational effectiveness.
This couldn’t have come at a better time. Organizations have never had to operate in a more complicated environment.
As the use cases for video expands to entertain, educate, collaborate and communicate key messages to important stakeholders across vertical industries, IPTV offers an elegant way to consolidate and integrate the deployment of these services.