Preserving a consistently reliable, accessible, high-quality video experience for users is paramount to realize the value of video conference as a business-enabling communication service. The better the user experience, the bigger the transformational potential of business video.
Ensuring that the video solutions and applications you choose deliver the best user experience is only partly about technology. It has a lot more to do with your video management framework and related services and capabilities. Cisco IT’s video management framework is composed of seven building blocks, or focus areas, for enabling, managing, and measuring our video strategy and services. I like to think of these seven areas as “habits” because they require diligent attention and upkeep.
- Architecture and infrastructure service management. Traditional IT considerations include network architecture, infrastructure, policies, intra- and inter-company considerations, data center affinity, etc. Cisco IT looks at architecture management in terms of our technology roadmap, access control, and the ability to handle current capacity and projected growth.
- Network and capacity management.Network environment activity, such as the addition of endpoints, network refreshes, service provider fluctuations, and dial plan changes, can degrade video performance. Ongoing monitoring and tuning of the underlying network is required to help ensure a consistently high-quality video experience. This includes keeping an eye on bandwidth, capacity, lifecycle management, configurations, video queue, and centralized monitoring and troubleshooting. When it comes to video, bandwidth can’t be taken for granted, Cisco IT allocates and manages bandwidth as a resource, and a scarce resource to boot – similar to water in a desert.
- Storage. Storing and managing important business video content is as essential as effective creation and distribution. Cisco IT takes this habit seriously and manages video content lifecycle (creation to archive), policies, entitlement, and versioning similar to an enterprise document control system.
- Security. True pervasive video includes collaboration outside the company domain with partners, customers, and resellers, and with that security becomes especially critical. Inter-company video collaboration security entails a combination of policies, technology, multilateral agreements, provider capabilities, and innovation applied right. Sometimes mutual agreements and policy decisions are the best approach over a technology solution.
- Service and delivery management. How do we entitle video solutions such as immersive TelePresence on a global scale and maintain the best user experience? We apply repeatable processes and best practices for logistics, using a global partner footprint and leveraging Cisco ROS services. Cisco IT has created a partner-led model to provide user entitlement, personalization, engagement, provisioning, and service and support. This model enables us to stay agile while keeping our focus on the user experience, architecture, and integration.
- Metrics. We continually measure our return on investment and value over investment of business video, as well as usage and adoption. We have to leverage and reuse available services and technology to keep the total cost of ownership low and cost of service under control.
- Business value. Of course business value can be gleaned by capturing metrics such as travel avoidance, and tracking productivity and other improvements that result from adopting a specific video solution. But business value is also about measuring business transformation. What parts of the business were transformed with video? What part of the supply chain was streamlined? Did we improve customer service or reduce the number of trouble tickets through video? On these and all other fronts, IT should be able to aggregate the value that video brings to the enterprise