Companies On Edge About Web Video - InformationWeek

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2/23/2007
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Companies On Edge About Web Video

A growing number of businesses use video, but they have to understand and accept the drawbacks.

For all the success of YouTube, most businesses have a dilemma with Web video. Shaky, grainy video might cut it for clips of flying cats, but does it really fit the brand of a bank? Lars Aarup Jensen, who manages communications for Jyske Bank, has his answer: "I'm a real hardhead for quality."

Yet Jensen is ready to make some compromises as Jyske Bank, a 119-branch bank in Denmark, plans for a major embrace of video, including streaming Web broadcasts.

Jyske Bank is among the small but growing number of companies that have put in place the technical infrastructure to run enterprise video over their intranets. Once they start, companies often look to expand their use of video. But for a company with a spit-and-polish image, that can take an attitude adjustment.

Jyske Bank has made video on demand a major part of the redesign of its branches. Revamped to look more like a coffee shop than a bank, Jyske has its loan products on shelves--a box for My First Car Loan--which shoppers can scan under a video screen to get a pitch about the product. Those videos are the kind of professionally produced work worthy of TV commercials.

But now that it has a software platform from Media Publisher to manage the video content and broadcast it over its network, it's looking to do more fast-turnaround video, such as analysts commenting on market events for investment advisers and even VIP customers. For that, the bank plans to build a Webcast studio with a high-quality but automated camera to let analysts do their own streaming videos. "After 24 hours, it's not worth anything," Jensen says of the daily market information. "You have to look at the lifetime of the video."

That'll be a tough mind-set for some companies to get into. But there are increasingly more ways for companies to use video, from one-way Web video to low-end, Web-cam driven video blogs to ultrahigh-quality, high-cost telepresence systems. Companies must adapt their approach to move fast enough to put Internet video to its most effective use.

Illustration by Ryan Etter

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