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Digital Video Is the Preferred Medium for Sharing Ideas: Rollo Wenlock

Rollo Wenlock

When more than 2 billion global Internet users are populating the Web with all sorts of information – text, photos, videos – naturally, the Web has become a virtual information junkyard.

The proponents of video technologies, however, argue that formally developed video content will cut through the clutter and stand out to engage target consumers – particularly for brands.

While a new wave of enterprise video applications is imminent in the corporate world, a video collaboration solutions company Wipster positions itself as an effective technology interface between video production and video delivery.

As Wipster’s offering is relatively new, RMN Digital invited Rollo Wenlock, the founding CEO of Wipster, to understand the utility of the company’s solutions and the ongoing trends in the digital video market. Here Rollo expresses his views in an exclusive interview with Rakesh Raman, the managing editor of RMN Digital.

1. What are the main factors behind the proliferation of video content in the digital space?

Video is now the preferred medium for consuming and sharing communication and ideas; its proliferation is due to the huge advancements in technology. The power of computers, the quality of consumer cameras, the speed of the internet and the general education of web users has culminated in the current ability for artists, companies and governments to use video to educate, entertain or inspire.

2. How can companies leverage digital video technologies for enterprise applications?

The enterprise is currently going through a massive shift in how it buys software. Boxed software is out; updates are out; software as a service (SaaS) is in. This is also colliding with video being the preferred method for consuming information, as well as having the ability to break down boundaries by making communication more personal and human.

The smartest companies are viewing video as the key way to communicate and educate not only their customers, but also their employees. The written word, PDFs, spreadsheets – these are being relegated to the planning stages of video.

Enterprises are integrating video content systems, collaboration workflows and video analytics engines into their current software architecture, and it’s all being done as SaaS, so there are no updates, no need for new training every eighteen months, just an uninterrupted service and constantly iterating software that gets better and better. The smartest companies are already doing this; the rest are scrambling to catch up.

3. Can companies use social video-sharing properties such as YouTube for their video collaboration needs instead of using the Wipster solution?

Social video-sharing sites have classically been used as collaboration platforms for enterprises, simply by default – online video was still brand-new and better, bespoke solutions didn’t exist.

Real-time online collaboration is the sleeping giant that has just awoken, and it’s hungry! Hacking social video sites for professional business collaboration is not only an enormous waste of human resources as it’s so inefficient, but it’s also potentially damaging to the company due to privacy issues.

Privacy is not top priority for a social network, so private, highly sensitive video is not best uploaded to these sites – leaks can irreparably damage a company’s brand or an enormously expensive campaign. True collaboration is the ability for a group to communicate about what they are working on. Social video sharing sites don’t allow this, Wipster does.

4. How do you ensure the availability and reliability of Wipster backend technology to provide a smooth experience to your users?

We take a two-pronged approach to ensuring that the work lives of our users are never interrupted by outages. Firstly, we only choose technologies with an excellent track record of stability and availability. Amazon’s CloudFront delivery network provides our video content at a lightning-fast rate, and our interactive systems are hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform. Each of these are top of their game in the areas that we use them for.

Secondly, even though we have chosen systems with an impressive 99.99% uptime, our own systems have fallback preparations for that rare 0.01%. In these scenarios we either automatically switch over to new virtual machines (in the case of Azure) or within minutes we manually switch to a secondary system (delivering content through another content delivery network instead of CloudFront).

5. How do you propose to increase the digital video content consumption, particularly in the developing world where Internet speeds are pathetically slow?

Digital video content comes in many forms, and with the new video compressions, file sizes are coming down and quality is going up. Slow internet speeds are not the hindrance they once were.

A smart video content delivery network will scale the size of the video stream based on the scale of the connection. Video is also being consumed at wildly different lengths – Vine has six second films and a lot of content creators are able to make very convincing stories at that length.

Even on the slowest connection you will be able to watch a Vine without issues, and more and more companies are beginning to understand how to use this as content. The mantra for any video content producer should always be, how can I make this video shorter? Short video with a single message is always best; under a minute in length is quickly becoming standard for successful producers.

6. Which factors will spur the growth of digital video content consumption?

Video content consumption will be spurred on by more and more companies understanding how to use it, and creating more of it. Video is going to be the preferred method to share everything, from hiring people, to sending updates to customers, to running board meetings and sharing the corporate vision. The more we move away from the written word, the more people will consume video because it will be THE way in which we share. The written word was only a crutch to take us from the dark ages to global video.

7. Which factors will hamper the growth of digital video content consumption?

The only thing that will hamper the growth of digital video content will be companies not understanding how to do it well, and creating hours and hours of ineffective content that people won’t connect with.

Companies need to understand that video is just as hard as any other form of communication and it needs just as much effort put into it to have an impact. The joy is, video content is more effective in so many more ways – so when it works, it really works.

You have the ability to control how a viewer experiences time for the duration of your video; it’s only one step away from pure human interaction, as opposed to the written word which is an intellectual leap from one-on-one human time.

Rollo Wenlock (pictured above) is a video creative professional with 15 years’ experience making content for bands such as The Prodigy, brands including the BBC and films that were shown at A-list festivals such as Clermont-Ferrand. As founding CEO of Wipstera company based in Wellington, New Zealand – he brings a breadth of video content creation and effectiveness to customers who are often taking their first steps into the video content arena.

Photo courtesy: Wipster

This interview is published under the RMN Digital’s “Thought Leaders” series in which top tech market leaders of the world express their views on different burning issues and market trends.

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