The Rise of Social Video at Cisco
Video takes enterprise and social networking to a whole new level. Video is at the heart of our collaboration strategy at Cisco. If an executive wants everyone to congratulate a team on a great job or explain the reasons for a new policy, email can be a little pale. The message is clearer and more powerful when we can hear the person’s voice and see their facial expressions.
To make it very easy to use video for internal communications and collaboration, Cisco IT introduced Cisco Show and Share, in February 2010. Show and Share is a social video system, like a YouTube for the enterprise. Cisco employees go to our Show and Share portal to easily create, edit, and publish their own videos and video communities, right from their desktop. This is a powerful tool that also optimizes global enterprise video collaboration using the intelligence in the network.
If you were to visit our Cisco Show and Share portal, you’d see videos categorized in channels like training, marketing, and sales, on topics ranging from new product features to employee benefits information. Show and Share has become especially popular for video blogging. Cisco directors and other executives in particular tend to prefer video blogging to writing emails, maybe because they’re so used to public speaking.
I’ve created videos to share in several ways. If I want to create a video of myself talking, I usually just go to the Show and Share web portal and use the camera on my PC or Mac. We’re also starting to capture Show and Share videos from Cisco TelePresence conference rooms. To start the recording session, we just press a button on the phone in the telepresence room. We talk as we would ordinarily, and when we’re finished just press another button to publish the video on Show and Share.
Sometimes I publish a video as-is. I’ve also used the built-in editing tools to delete sections, piece together parts of different videos, and add transitions. I add keywords so that other employees can find my video when they search for a particular topic. All content is public unless we choose to make it password-protected.
At Cisco we also use Show and Share to collaborate and get feedback. People who watch a video can add written comments, or, my favorite feature, leave timeline comments that are attached to a particular section of the video. Other people who play the video can see my comments, in the right place, and add their own.
Currently, Cisco IT is running Show and Share on servers in one of our data centers. Beyond managing the servers, there’s no IT burden to speak of. The brains behind Show and Share is Digital Media Manager, the same management software we use for Cisco Digital Signs.
Show and Share is quickly becoming a favorite collaboration tool here at Cisco. We’re adding it to Cisco Quad, our integrated workspace environment. We’ll be able to see internal videos from the same portal we go to for other information that’s relevant to us based on our identity, roles and preferences. When customers come for executive briefings about Show and Share, a question that always comes up is Cisco’s policy about “going on record” on video. Different companies have different answers to this question. At Cisco, we have a very open culture that actively encourages feedback, so Show and Share fits in very well.