While many of the presentations have focused on video, for most enterprises it will be another 12 to 18 months before distributing corporate videos, whether to internal or external audiences, becomes a key strategic advantage. "2009 will really be the year of video for enterprises," says Perry Wu, CEO of high-definition video network provider BitGravity.
In the meantime, there are plenty of other forms of content, from blogs to audio to 3-D animated "scenes," that companies can easily and cost-effectively use to deliver their message. Even Nigel Eccles, CEO of xtra-normal, which supplies easy-to-use tools for creating quick clips featuring cute animated characters, sees the potential of his company's technology for enterprises: "Whether you're a teenager wanting to communicate with your friends, or a professional who wants to turn a PowerPoint presentation into a corporate video, xtra-normal will allow you to do it," he said on stage.
Chicago-based LiquidTalk, on the other hand, is specifically aimed at companies wanting to provide content on a variety of devices for their mobile employees. Calling the LiquidTalk platform "an iTunes for business -- except it's your business," co-founder and CEO Dave Peak displayed his company's tools for managing proprietary content in either audio or video form and instantly distributing it to mobile devices. In other ways, podcasting made simple across a range of mobile platforms.
"So many of our jobs have us out of the office, and we have these few cracks in the day whether we're sitting in traffic or waiting between meetings," Peak explained. "With LiquidTalk you can leverage those cracks in the day to drive better sales and higher productivity."
As of this week LiquidTalk now runs on the BlackBerry platform. Asked about other popular mobile operating systems, such as Windows Mobile, he said "We're going to take it one step at a time.
Also offering enterprises new ways to manage and distribute their content is CellSpin, which works in the opposite direction from LiquidTalk. CellSpin's mobile application allows users to record audio or video on mobile devices and quickly post it to many different Web locations -- social networking sites, company Web sites, and so on -- with a few clicks.
"Say you're in a meeting, and you want to post your notes to your blog," said CellSpin CEO and co-founder Bobby Gurvinder Singh. "There's no HTML widget, no embedding technologies, nothing you have to do on your own."
Many of these applications are in beta, consumer-oriented form, but there's no question they'll be embraced by forward-looking CIOs in the next year. The question is how they'll be adapted to serve business needs -- and how the companies behind them will find ways to make money from the enterprise.
Building A Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.