Enterprise Video Still Growing: Ecosystem and SaaS The Focus

While the news and media tend to focus mostly on consumer facing content because it is cool and sexy, the enterprise market continues to have very strong growth and demand for IP based video products and services. Webcasting platforms, capture cards, hardware encoders and content management systems, amongst others products, are still being bought and deployed across all enterprise-focused verticals. The nice thing about any vendor selling into the enterprise market is that they don’t have to show customers how to monetize their content. Enterprise companies understand the value of the video ecosystem and know that using video for communications, marketing, and general business practices is just another business tool at their disposal.

I talk to a lot of enterprise companies each week and get to hear first hand how much video they are using, the products and services being deployed and what challenges they face when deploying video inside their network. If I had to estimate, about 10-15% of the readers to StreamingMedia.com are from the enterprise vertical, which I classify as Fortune 1000 companies who are not trying to monetize content. The one problem with the enterprise market is that historically, these companies are very quiet about giving out details on what they are doing, whom they use and the volume and growth they are seeing. I get a lot of details from them but rarely am able to share numbers and data, and in many cases, can’t even use the company name. But rest assured, even with the economy being what it is today, they are still spending money for many of the products and services in the video ecosystem.

Whenever possible, StreamingMedia.com features case studies on some of these video deployments and we have a whole section on the site dedicated just to enterprise video. In the coming weeks, when we move our discussion lists over to an in-house web-based system, I will also be working hard to launch and build a new enterprise focused video discussion list. There is a lot taking place in the enterprise video market and we need a good forum to discuss what is taking place.

Speaking of enterprise video solutions, yesterday, video platform provider Qumu, formerly Media Publisher, announced it has raised $10.7 million in a series C round. To date, Qumu has raised just over $18 million since 2005. While Qumu is private and does not give out any details on revenue, I estimate they will do around $10 million for 2008. And last week, webcasting services company ON24 announced it had raised $8 million, bringing their total money raised to date to just over $46 million.

Amongst vendors who are selling into the enterprise market, the two biggest trends I am seeing them focus on is the entire ecosystem problem (capture, encode, manage, publish, deliver) and offering their web based platforms via software as a service (SaaS). Without a doubt, the hardest challenge for enterprise customers is the ecosystem since they tend to manage 100% of the workflow internally across their network. Vendors know this and have been working to solve this problem for some time. But the offering of their web based platforms on a SaaS model is pretty new. It is an interesting approach as many enterprise companies already buy other software services this way and typically it enables the customer to deploy and test the offering without having to spend a lot of money upfront.

I think it is too early to know if selling web based webcasting platforms via SaaS will be successful, but to date, companies who have been offering this to the market for a short time have said that they have started to see some traction from the model. Will be interesting to re-visit this topic a year from now and judge whether this new trend is really evolving with customers.