Universities Are Schooling Tech Companies In Video


It’s no secret that the ivory towers
of academia don’t get much respect
from the tech industry. It’s become
conventional wisdom that computer
science degrees are out of date
before graduates enter the
workforce, and that MBA programs
forgo developing practical
leadership and entrepreneurship
skills in favor of theory and
rhetoric. Schools are chronically
behind when it comes to
developing the skills that graduates
really need, it seems.
Unless, of course, they’re 10 years

Over the past decade, video
technology has radically changed
the way people communicate. Video
conferencing and webcasting have
been embraced by business to
lower costs and shrink distances.
But organizations that have
realized the greatest business
value from video aren’t businesses
at all — they’re universities. In fact,
the video solutions that
universities have been using for
over a decade are just now being
adopted by their corporate

Panopto was spun out of academia
as a project that began at Carnegie
Mellon University over a decade
ago. What was originally created as
a tool for recording, managing and
searching university lectures at
scale has evolved into a general-
purpose video platform for sharing
ideas and information across a
range of industries.
Now, the innovations from higher
education have spawned a fast-
growing enterprise marketplace for
video solutions, with businesses
embracing video as a way to
capture, organize and disseminate
institutional knowledge. Off-the-
shelf software like Camtasia,
Brainshark, and KnowledgeVision
are enabling companies to record
multimedia presentations and on-
screen demos, and share them
internally from a centralized media

Some companies have even
developed their own home-grown
video management solutions.
Microsoft famously spent $6 million
to build its own video knowledge
sharing portal. In spite of its high
cost, Microsoft reported that the
platform yielded $14 million in cost
avoidance and an ROI of 560

What Universities Have…

One of the primary goals of higher
education is to prepare individuals
for the talent marketplace, helping
students develop work-related skills
while growing personally and
intellectually. For most of the
2,300-year history of higher
education, the Aristotelian lecture
has been the standard — until
recently, as new technologies have
begun to offer models that produce
better results.

Today, universities are using video
to record lectures and “flip” their
classrooms for increased
interactivity, improved student-
teacher communications, scalable
distance learning, and dozens of
other applications. The effects have
been noteworthy. In video-enabled
classrooms, test scores are up,
failure rates are down, and even
traditionally underserved groups
like non-native speakers and
students with disabilities are
better equipped for success.
…And What Tech Companies Are
Meanwhile, 55 percent of employers
are looking to hire tech talent —
and are often struggling to find the
right candidates, as unemployment
in the technology sector is down to
a growth-throttling 3 percent. For
many companies, this technical
skills gap is a crisis that strikes at
their most valuable growth driver
and sustainable competitive
differentiator: the “tribal
knowledge” and subject matter
expertise of their employees.
Rather than wait out the recruiting
wars, businesses should look to the
model already proven by
universities. Video might just be
the best tool organizations have to
scale the knowledge of their
experts, improve the flow of
information, quickly ramp up new
employees, and innovate more
efficiently with their existing

Increasingly, organizations are
starting to seize the opportunity.
Video, Coming to a Company Near
This year, 85 percent of companies
expect to create more video content
than they did just in 2013. In turn,
this means employees are watching
more video at work. Cisco reports
76% of executives watch business
videos at least once a week,
including 40% who view them daily.

By 2016, Gartner Research predicts
that large companies will stream
more than 16 hours of video to the
average worker per month, or 45
minutes per day that each
employee will spend watching
business videos.

Driving that influx of enterprise
video is a confluence of technology
and simple human nature — video
is simply more engaging and
impactful than text, and people
retain more of its information
content. Video is able to activate
more parts of our minds with visual
content that can more easily hold
our ever-shortening attention
spans. And a new generation of
smartphones, webcams, and simple
video software has made creating,
sharing and accessing video easier
than ever.

From Classroom to Boardroom

That might all sound cutting edge,
but the truth is that it’s not.
Universities have already been
charting the course for video-based
knowledge sharing for more than a
decade. Today’s schools are
veritable video production
powerhouses: the University of
Essex in the U.K., for example,
produced 80,000 hours of video last
school year. In the U.S., Arizona
State University produces 3,000
hours every week. The largest and
most advanced corporations, on the
other hand, struggle to produce
even a thousand hours of high-
value content each year. This is a
missed opportunity.
Colleges and universities aren’t just
teaching businesses about the
value of technology, they’re leading
by example. At the core of their
lesson is an essential technology:
the video content management
system. With it, universities are
able to use low-cost computers and
anything from high-end cameras to
consumer webcams to record every
lecture in every classroom across
campus. Some go beyond recording,
broadcasting live courses to remote
learners around the world.
Students are able to view these
lectures on any device and even
search inside the recordings for
any word that was spoken or shown
on-screen, turning video lectures
into searchable reference material
that helps them better prepare for
exams. All of this comes at a
fraction of the cost that
corporations traditionally paid for
specialized AV services and
Now, as businesses begin to follow
higher education’s lead, they find
themselves using the video content
management system for many of
the same applications as
universities. The names may be
different, but the use cases are the
Early enterprise adopters can reap
real rewards. After designing its
own e-learning program and
moving half of its training courses
to an online format, IBM saved
$579 million in just two years.
Siemens PLM Software slashed
event production costs and time by
using commodity hardware and
video software to capture their
employee conferences.

Technology firms experiencing
explosive growth are speeding new
employee ramp-up through video-
based onboarding, reducing
training costs and time to
productivity. And C-suite executives
like Stanley Young, former CEO of
NYSE Technologies, have begun to
transform internal corporate
communications from multi-page
email updates to more engaging
“micro-videos” that can capture and
share instantly from any device.
Knowledge workers at technology
companies are lagging behind
academia when it comes to using
video, but that won’t be the case
for long. Specialized AV hardware is
giving way to the video-enabled
laptops, tablets and smartphones
that we all carry around. The
software to capture, live stream,
and search video is becoming as
easy to use and ubiquitous as
email or Skype. And each new
graduating class is adding millions
of new employees to the workforce
who are more than comfortable
using video — they expect to use it
as a daily communication tool.
For businesses looking to get
ahead, then, taking the occasional
lesson from the ivory tower may not
be such a bad bet after all


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