How to Get the Most Out of Your Video Content Management Tool

As more and more businesses are driven online, the use of video for training, communication, enablement, and other organizational functions is growing. But even before this great remote work experiment began, enterprises were still having to contend with an often-confusing matrix of overlapping solutions to manage their internal (and sometimes external) content. 

Instead of parsing together different tools to manage a wide range of assets, companies are increasingly turning to video content management platforms to securely create, host, and share information with their employees. But these solutions are only as useful as you make them. To set your team up for success, follow these best practices. 

It’s All About the Set-Up

Whether you already have a video content management system in place or are looking to implement one, it’s always a good idea to go back to basics and get a holistic view of what assets you have. Too often, content is created and then forgotten about, which can lead to employees referring to outdated information. 

While it might seem overwhelming to clean up, it doesn’t have to be. Like anything, this process becomes much more manageable if you break it down into bite-sized pieces. Create a spreadsheet of all existing assets, noting the name of the item, what type of file it is, a short description of its use, and a link to where it’s currently being stored. This will help you assess where updates are needed, give you valuable insights into what files you may want to toss, and help you address any areas where more content may be needed. 

Categorize With Effectiveness

It’s no secret that more content brings more problems, particularly when it comes to effectively storing it. After all, your assets are only as good as how discoverable they are. Employees have reported spending 43 hours every month searching for information (that’s over 500 hours a year), which contributes to lost productivity and a suffering bottom line. 

But there’s also a silent issue that many leaders don’t talk about or address: information overload. Even when there’s not a pandemic going on, workers are often constantly barraged by an onslaught of email and Slack messages, which results in key information getting lost in a black hole. 

Couple these issues together and you have a recipe for disaster, which is why categorizing your content is arguably the most critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to ensuring the adoption of a corporate video portal across your enterprise. 

Increase to usefulness and discoverability of your content by:

  • Separating assets into channels based on goals, subject matter, or function, similar to Netflix. The best part about setting your files up this way versus a “catch-all” folder is that you’re able to quickly add a piece of content into a track with a simple click whereas it’s more difficult to add new folders to a large store of existing content while retaining their discoverability. 
  • Ensuring everything uploaded has relevant tags. Hot tip: a good way to keep tagging structures consistent is to create a document everyone on your team can refer to that outlines what type of content should be paired with certain keywords. If you’re like us and prefer things to be more uniform, putting a naming convention for all files in place can also help keep things organized. 
  • Adding contextual information. After all, information is only as good as the background you can provide on it. You wouldn’t just jump into the middle of a movie you’ve never seen without understanding the plot that led up to that point, would you? The good news is that providing this information doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds; it is easily achieved by adding a thumbnail that provides a clue as to what the file is about, or a short description to accompany the name. 
  • Annotating your assets and leaving important insights about content for others to refer back to. This could be in the form of notes about changes, new information, or when a certain tactic or skill should be used. This provides an easy way for thoughts and advice to be captured for posterity and is a great way for teams to collaborate and share what they have learned–a very useful feature for preserving training or sales intelligence. 

Secure Your Content

Having great assets and storing them effectively is a great start, but you also need to have a solid security strategy to prevent information from falling into the wrong hands (and, in turn, your company falling into a potential PR disaster). But sometimes, the reasons to secure your content aren’t always so clandestine: you may want to restrict content to certain teams or levels of seniority, for example. Whatever your use case, you should be using a platform that utilizes the latest enterprise-grade security protocols such as end-to-end encryption, SSO, and custom access controls. 

Another good best practice to follow includes critically assessing what levels and permissions you want to grant for each uploaded piece of content in order to keep your most sensitive information as secure as possible. 

Cast a Wider Net

Giving employees the ability to access content on their own terms is incredibly powerful for any enterprise. Whether your company is still working in-house, or you’re distributed, there’s still a great need to access information as conveniently as possible. This is where a dedicated mobile application is especially helpful. Even if people are working from home, they are still driving places in their car, going for a run, or doing things that don’t require them to be at a desk. In fact, 60% of employees use apps for work-related activity.

But there’s a prevailing idea that creating such a tool would require a ton of money or resources but that’s actually not the case. A video content management system like CircleHD comes with a native app that you’re able to custom brand so it becomes a natural extension of your organization. By having an iOS or Android application in place, you enable company information or training to be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world regardless of time zone or internet connectivity (and without the hurdles of trying to use a clunky VPN or a Learning Management System that isn’t optimized for mobile). 

Measure the Impact

Content is only as good as the impact it’s having and the truth is you cannot measure its usefulness or impact without proper analytics. But the truth is most systems only give you superficial insights that don’t really help you make data-driven decisions that impact ROI. 

When it comes to determining what content is working best for your teams and new hires, you’ll want to look at metrics like:

  • Who is watching videos
  • When they are watching videos
  • How long they are engaging with the content
  • Where they may have dropped off or had trouble

By understanding these data points, you can make informed decisions about what type of content to create and what may not be as helpful. 

No matter where your teams are working from, it’s important to empower them with the tools and information they need to stay in the loop and do their job effectively. By putting the proper tools and processes in place and being intentional about communications, you’ll create a winning strategy and get the most mileage possible out of your corporate video portal.


Do you want to learn more about how you can effectively implement a video content management tool at your enterprise? Let’s talk


Business Benefits Of Using An Enterprise Video Content Management System

Video has been having quite a moment for a few years now. In fact, in the US alone, users watch over 180 million hours of video content on a daily basis; This accounts for 75% of internet users–a number that is projected to grow in the coming decades. 

While this medium started out primarily as a function of marketing, enterprise leaders have been clued into all the ways video can help transform other areas of their business for a while now. But while video offers enterprises unparalleled business and communication value compared to other communication delivery avenues, more content can mean more problems, particularly around how you effectively store, share, access, and keep track of assets without them getting lost in an endless stream of online noise and chatter. That’s why savvy business leaders are turning to enterprise video content management systems. 

What is an enterprise video content management system?

Simply put, a video content management system is a solution that allows companies to centralize, manage, and deliver content online. And while that functionality sounds simple, it’s more than that. 

Typically, organizations will store any files in a program like Dropbox, Sharepoint, Box, Google Drive, or something similar and assume that method will translate effectively for video content. But the reality is that these systems aren’t set up to handle video files, nor do they come equipped with proper the search or discovery functions needed to help your video content get the mileage it should. 

To start, if you’re using a traditional enterprise video solution, you’re bound to pretty strict file size restrictions. Sharepoint, for example, only allows uploads of 50 MB or less, a feat easily exceeded by a simple webcam or smartphone video–which makes storing 30-minute all-hands meetings, lengthy town halls, or even short training modules next to impossible. 

But what about my LMS?

We’ve written at length about why traditional Learning Management Systems are ill-equipped to handle the needs of the modern enterprise. Not only are these systems plagued by poor user experience, but they’re also traditionally very cumbersome when it comes to uploading new content and making it discoverable. Some don’t even offer native support for video or the ability to access content from mobile devices. 

Ok, so I’ll just use a private YouTube (or Vimeo) channel.

We love YouTube just as much as the next person and appreciate the value it offers to marketing and sales teams but, the truth is that, when it comes to effectively managing your internal video content, it’s just not a great solution. Not only are public video networks a real security threat to enterprises, but you also open yourself up to a host of other issues, including:

  • Loss of proprietary content: We’ve heard so many horror stories from our customers and beyond about some of the new policies YouTube is implementing, which can lead to loss of your company content and channels being deleted with no notice. When you hand over your videos to a third party, you put all your creations at the mercy of that platform and risk logging in one day only to see everything you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into has vanished into thin air.

  • No control over what content your videos are paired with: YouTube’s recommendation tool is great for wasting time on the platform but, as we know, sometimes intelligent tools aren’t as smart as we’d like them to be. You have no idea if your videos will be paired up with competitor content, irrelevant information that leads the viewer away, or even videos that are offensive or tasteless. 

By implementing an enterprise video solution, you not only get the peace of mind that comes along with retaining control over your content, but you are able to take advantage of advanced security protocols, such as encryption and access controls, to keep sensitive information from prying eyes.

How Else Can a Video Content Management System Benefit Me?

The most basic corporate video portals should enable you to build a repository of files and share those with relevant stakeholders. But the best solutions available on the market today go beyond that, offering features like:

  • Support for large files, high-definition, and 4K video: Consider a minute of video can easily put you over the allotted upload size for many commonly used solutions and you’ll understand why this support is critical to growing your enterprise video content library. Further, even if you do have a product in place that can handle larger files, it’s very likely you will spend more time than you want waiting for videos to upload.

  • Native video creation tools:  Once upon a time, creating video was a time-consuming, expensive process that typically required special equipment and a lot of manpower. But that’s no longer true. With all the technological advances that have been made over the last few years, video tools are more accessible than ever. Most enterprise content management systems have built-in recording tools that let you quickly capture video or screen shares directly from your portal, cutting down on the time it takes to get your content live.

  • Automatic closed-captioning and transcription:  When it comes to creating videos, the content is only as good as who can access it. That’s why ensuring every word spoken is able to be understood by everyone at your organization, regardless of abilities, it absolutely crucial. A video content management system should be able to process speech to text automatically, at no time cost to you, so your company stays ADA compliant and inclusive.

  • Intelligent search: And speaking of speech to text–it’s not enough to just put your videos out there, caption them, and call it a day. Your content needs to be easily discoverable. Consider, for example, that sales reps spend upwards of 43 hours a month looking for the right piece of content to send to a prospect. That’s over 500 hours a year of wasted productivity. If you choose an enterprise video content management solution that has speech to text capabilities, you are not only able to search your video library based on keywords and metadata, but you can also find where any word or phrase was spoken in your content.

  • Mobile optimization: Despite living in an increasingly moble-first world, the sad reality is that many legacy systems are not equipped to be accessed from anywhere. Take, for example, WebEx recordings: in their default format, sessions are unable to be viewed on tablets or smartphones when posted to Sharepoint. A corporate video portal will not only be compatible with your team’s mobile browsers, but the best ones will have a dedicated iOS and/or Android app which allows employees can access your video library 24/7. The ability to custom brand this app should also be available so the mobile experience becomes a natural extension of your company.

  • Extensive analytics: Most legacy systems only include analytics as an after-thought and the reporting won’t give you deep insights that help you have thoughtful decisions about your video content strategy–if you get any data at all. By choosing an enterprise video content management system for your assets, you can gain insights into datapoints like who is looking at your content, when they are accessing it, how engaged they were with it, for how long, and more. By generating these types of custom usage reports, you’re able to think more critically about the videos you’re creating and provide more value to your organization. 

With the right tools in place, video can become a very powerful tool for onboarding, training, and other communication functions at your enterprise. If you’d like to learn more about how CircleHD can help you become a video-first organization, we’d love to chat.


Microsoft Stream and Best-of-Breed Video Management Platforms

When evaluating a content management platform for your company’s onboarding, training, sales enablement, or internal communications efforts, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by options. While many seem similar on the surface, once implemented, you may find key functionalities missing or worse, encounter a difficult user experience. That’s why we’re putting together a series of blog posts to help guide you in your solution evaluation process. Today, we’ll be talking about Microsoft Stream.

At first glance, Microsoft’s Stream offering seems attractive, especially if offered at no cost as part of a bundle with Office 365 (note: it’s not actually free. Users have noted that you need to get Office 365 licensing for administrator accounts before you can manage Stream). But when looking into the ability to store, organize and share video and other dynamic content, it makes sense to take a closer look at what specific functionality is available.

Native Recording Tools and Support for External Content

Video platforms often feature a range of bells and whistles, but often core functionalities like native recording are missing. This is a problem since it forces users to either purchase another tool to complement the solution or requires someone on your team have sophisticated video production knowledge.

In the past, uploading original video content to Microsoft Stream was complicated and cumbersome at best. Today, they have fully-integrated recording tools.

Similarly, CircleHD enables users to upload any previously created media like video to the platform, but it also offers support for slides, text content, and audio files like podcasts. Since the solution has built-in audio and video recording tools, users are able to produce, upload, and share new content in a matter of minutes without the need for any extra production tools.

But unlike Microsoft Stream, CircleHD’s platform offers a wide range of support for both internal and external content. Not only does the platform support importing video directly from YouTube and 243 other sources, but it also lets you go beyond uploading so you can share media with audiences outside of your organization. That means partners, customers, and other cohorts are able to receive your content should you wish to distribute it, whether for training, sales, marketing purposes–or something else. 

Channels

We all know that it isn’t enough to just create new content, you also need an effective way to store it.

Both Microsoft Stream and CircleHD allow you to create public and private channels where your files can be hosted, but the latter is a little more flexible. While Stream has no way to disable a user’s ability to add and remove videos from company-wide channels, CircleHD encourages administrators to take ownership of the platform’s channel settings. This means you have the option to curate content yourself or, alternatively, grant permissions to department leaders so they may customize it based on the team’s needs and goals.

Playlists

While Channels are a great way to sort content, sometimes, they don’t go far enough. Most organizations need the ability to order and sequence content for optimum training purposes, not just the ability to save it in a particular bucket. That’s where playlists come in.

CircleHD allows users to sort video, slide, and podcast content into playlists, similar to YouTube–a basic function that is not available in Stream. If you’re looking for your content management platform to serve any sort of training or onboarding purpose, this feature is a must-have, as it makes creating custom courses simple and intuitive.

Quizzes, Gamification and Certification

Studies have shown that 65 percent of information is forgotten just seven days after a training session. After six months, that number jumps to 90 percent. But these stats aren’t unique to training–they also apply to all-hands meetings, department sync ups, sales seminars, and more. Incorporating video is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to encouraging knowledge retention across your organization–you should also be incorporating quizzes to fight against information loss.

Microsoft offers this capability, but not natively: you’ll need to use their Forms product in tandem. This might be a roadblock for the typical user who just wants to pair a simple test with content.

By contrast, CircleHD lets you create quizzes directly on the platform and easily integrate it with your content–whether it’s a standalone piece or part of a training track. Some other companion features include the ability to generate certificates upon the completion of a course and the option to enable a leaderboard for those teams that are particularly driven by healthy competition (we’re looking at you, sales).

It’s possible some of these functions may someday be added to the Microsoft Stream roadmap, and perhaps later released. Until then, it may make sense for your organization to go with a more comprehensive video management platform if you’re looking for these particular features.

Closed-Captioning

It’s today’s world, it’s not enough to just produce great video content, you also need to make sure it’s accessible to everyone in your organization. While both Stream and CircleHD have automatic transcription tools, CircleHD supports multiple closed-captioning for video, letting end-users upload video with captions in multiple languages. 

Access Controls

Permissions for content can create additional security concerns for enterprises. After all, you want to be sure that sensitive information isn’t leaked and is only being shared with your intended recipients. Both Microsoft Stream and CircleHD have admin management features for videos and channels, as well as the ability to make content private, but CircleHD allows you to restrict your content to certain groups or individuals. You can also use active directory groups and HRIS attributes, such as department and cost center names, to limit access to a specific audience.

CircleHD’s access control settings

Interestingly, in Stream, there is no feature to securely share videos and other content with third parties like partners and customers, something CircleHD is able to do without sacrificing security.

Content Discovery

Did you know sales reps spend close to 43 hours every month searching for information? That’s over 500 hours a year. Even if you’re not in sales, chances are, you spend a lot more time than you’d like looking for documents and other information. Imagine what you could get done if you got even a fraction of that time back? That’s why it’s so critical to ensure your content management platform has a user-interface that makes search quick, easy, and intuitive. CircleHD makes search easier with tags, metadata, and custom fields so you can set your own classification parameters.

A great feature both platforms have is the ability to search channels and videos using intelligent speech to text transcription capabilities. This means you are able to find where specific words and phrases occur in your content. No more wondering, “who said that?”

Reporting and Analytics

Reporting is an area where many solutions often fall short but it’s such a critical component of communications success. After all, if you don’t know how people are engaging with your content, it’s impossible to have a full understanding of how to iterate and pivot your strategy to achieve your goals.

Stream has access to likes, views, and comments data, but not much else. CircleHD has a robust analytics suite with built-in employee segmentation and KPI tools so you get key insights like who is viewing your content, when they are viewing it, for how long, and more. Their playlist analytics can also track if employees are viewing your content alongside a quiz when it’s assigned, and let you see how team members are progressing.

Since CircleHD’s reporting capabilities are so extensive and able to give administrators a detailed picture of department and employee-level engagement, enterprises are able to clearly see the ROI of video usage across the organization. 

Integration with Cloud Web Conferencing

Recording and managing online meetings and webinars is fast becoming one of the main use cases for video content. While many platforms claim they integrate with the top conferencing solutions, the way they integrate can have big impacts on usability.

Of course, Microsoft Stream supports its own proprietary webcast solutions, but it seems these days, everyone has their own preference for which platform to use. Even if you use a Microsoft product for some of your webcasts, your recorded Zoom, Slack, WebEx, and GoToMeeting sessions will not be auto-saved to your Stream repository.

By contrast, CircleHD has native integrations that support all of these platforms (as well as over 200 other integrations…but that’s for another time), which can be a life-saver when it comes to keeping all your recordings (and sanity) in one place.

Cost

You might be thinking, “All these features are great, but what’s it going to cost me?”

The good news is that CircleHD is actually one of the most competitively-priced solutions on the market today, with user seats coming in at a mere $4.99 per person plus custom pricing for larger enterprises. The standard business plan gets you a whopping TB of bandwidth per month and 4 TB’s of storage.

By contrast, Microsoft Stream can get pretty pricey. According to their website, “Microsoft Stream includes a base amount of storage. A Microsoft Stream tenant receives a fixed allocation of 500 GB of storage and an additional 0.5 GB of storage per licensed user…Additional Microsoft Stream storage is available for purchase separately.”

And the costliness of Stream has not gone unnoticed with multiple posts on their own forum commenting on it, including this one: “I was reviewing [the storage page] to explain Storage in Stream to a colleague and why some organizations disable uploads to Stream.  I was also shocked when I read that an additional 500 GB of Stream storage would cost $1200 a year.  I understand that Stream storage has much more value (searchable transcript, player, captions, etc) than a 500 GB disk drive which you can buy for between $30 – $80, but $1200 each and every year for an additional 500 GB of storage seems excessively high to me.”

With additional features, more flexibility, and higher storage limits, CircleHD is the clear winner here. 


CircleHD Makes Platform Free for K-12 Educators Affected By Coronavirus

Platform easily integrates with already in-use technology like Zoom for a more seamless learning experience

March 16, 2020 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – CircleHD, a Bay-area based company known for its highly-secure, learning experience platform (LXP), has just announced that it will make its solution free to any K-12 teacher or educational institution that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe.

“The spread of coronavirus has caused my son’s school to close until mid-April and they don’t have any e-learning resources available,” says CircleHD’s Chief Executive Officer, Santosh Sahoo. “We wanted to make CircleHD available to any other individuals or institutions also experiencing a shut down so they can continue doing the incredible educational work they do every single day with minimal interruption.”

CircleHD’s LXP enables users to use a combination of video, audio, and slide deck content to easily create class modules that can be accessed on desktop or mobile, 24/7, from anywhere–even where there is no wifi connection. The platform integrates with Zoom, which many educators have turned to during the outbreak, and features powerful analytics tools that track key metrics like which content is being accessed, when it’s being accessed, and overall student progress. Teachers are also able to create and assign quizzes in order to gain a better understanding of how well knowledge is being absorbed and retained. 

In addition to the aforementioned, CircleHD’s Learning Experience Platform also contains a catalog of tech-forward features that can help instructors get more from their educational content including:

  • Ability to target and restrict learning modules to specific people
  • Automatic transcription which enables content to be transcribed and close-captioned at the point of creation
  • AI-powered search to identify where specific terms and phrases occur in your content library
  • iOS and Android mobile apps allow users to access content on-demand

Sahoo finishes, “With schools from coast to coast shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we hope CircleHD will be a useful tool to mitigate downtime and help educators continue to effectively conduct classes in these uncertain times.”

The company has asked any teachers or institutions wishing to use their platform to reach out directly to sales@circlehd.com

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ABOUT CIRCLEHD

CircleHD is an Enterprise Learning Experience Platform founded by Santosh Sahoo and Vinay Ubale in Bellevue, Washington. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, CircleHD brings enterprise-grade security, privacy, and compliance to company videos, presentations, and podcasts. 


4k Video Support is Here

There’s been a lot of buzz surrounding 4k video, also known as aka 2060p, ever since ultra-high-definition televisions burst onto the market. Over the years this technology has become more sophisticated with more mobile phones and tablets now offering support for 4k content than ever before.

Today, we’re excited to announce the roll-out of support for 4k video at CircleHD: Employees will now be able to natively upload crisp, clear screencasts and stream videos made with premium high-resolution cameras.

4k videos are larger, have 3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160 resolution, contain 8 million pixels and can be cumbersome on your resources. In fact, typical file size can range from 1Gb ~ 50Gb. That’s why we have accounted for all these variables and bumped up our single file upload limit to 10GB.

When it comes to bandwidth, we recommend at least 25Mbps. However, if your working with limited bandwidth and/or low powered GPU-like mobile devices, CircleHD will automatically transcode with a lower bit rate, creating a frictionless user experience.

We are proud to be the first enterprise video platform to allow the uploading and sharing of 4k content. How can you benefit from 4k? Here are just a few of the ways:

  • Your training videos will look visually richer
  • All-hands meetings can become more lifelike
  • Conduct screencasts without losing pixels
  • Easily read on-screen code during developer training sessions

With CircleHD, enterprised are able to mix videos, slide decks and podcast content together to create cohesive playlists used for training and knowledge sharing. With 4k, you’ll be able to deliver the best-looking content possible, every single time.

Do you want to learn more? We’d love to connect with you and show you how your organization can benefit from 4k video. Get in touch with us.


What Every CIO Needs to Know About Video Security

About a month ago, a leaked video of an all-hands meeting at Google revealed that the tech giant was struggling to deal with controversial topics that have been plaguing its internal company culture. Of course, this is not the first time an organization’s sensitive information has been made public–it almost feels like we hear about a new instance every single day. From business secrets to company culture, and beyond, the non-verbal cues able to be seen in video often go beyond what is spoken. 

As a CIO, you’re likely responsible for the overall information technology at your business. Whether you’re looking to protect company relations and trade secrets, or just looking to make the information at your meetings more secure (or something else!), content made available should always only be accessible by the intended audience. This is why enterprise-level video security protocols and encryption need to be a part of every piece of tech that touches your company. 

And, when it comes to video content, here’s a guide to what you need to know to improve the privacy of internal content so you can better protect videos from prying eyes.

How (and Why) Videos Are Created


We all know what a video is, but do you know the key components of these complex files? All videos contain a series of pictures (or frames), glued together to create motion (Fun fact: that’s why they were originally referred to as “motion pictures”). Audio track(s) are then synced with these continuous optical tracks to give them life. Depending on how the audio is packaged, and its containers, these tracks may stay bundled in one single file or made available as a separate file.

Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. Further, though, video is arguably the most engaging medium for everything from learning a new skill, to sales training and overall business communication and beyond. Giving your employees the chance to make their own video content is also a great opportunity for your business. Not only is it convenient, saving time and money for your organization, but it also gives you a library of materials to use as needed. 

Once upon a time, you couldn’t create videos without fancy equipment and a sophisticated setup. But those days are long gone. Thanks to the advancements in mobile technologies and modern browsers, capturing screens and webcams has never been easier. Now, videos are being used everywhere in business, from marketing to training, onboarding to sales enablement–the list goes on. 

This widespread adoption is why making content available to the right audience remains an important job. While some videos are appropriate for the general public, oftentimes, you’ll need to secure them internally or for prospects.

Protecting Internal Videos


Any CIO knows that a combination of technologies is ideal when it comes to protecting trade secrets and content. Any of the single options listed below can be ineffective for video security when deployed alone. For best results, it’s recommended you implement more than one mechanism to secure content as dictated by its business classification.

Firewall

This mechanism is widely deployed in enterprises with any kind of content security. Firewalls restrict content availability within a boundary: It may be a physical device such as a network or a logical perimeter as we see with IP restriction. While it’s effective, it prevents employees from accessing content on the go. Since an increasing amount of employees are working remotely these days, firewalls can create barriers when accessing important videos like all-hands meetings unless deployed in conjunction with secure remote access technologies such as VPN.

Cloud technologies/software as a service (SaaS) is typically accessible from everywhere. This creates opportunities for remote employees to get connected and consume company resources in the same manner as in-house employees while bringing them together virtually.

Authentication

Limiting access to employees or partners via authentication should be the first defense mechanism implemented, as authentication plays an important factor in restricting content only to those you trust. Username/password combinations may be an easy way to start, but that becomes another password management overhead for personnel and makes the overall user experience less than desirable.

Almost all enterprises use some sort of a directory management service which stores users in a database:

  • Single sign-on provides a bridge between user experience and security while helping you achieve compliance.
  • Cloud applications need an extra bit of security, so a single factor authentication may not be enough and in this case, implementing a second-factor authentication such as smart card or TOPT devices is a good idea.

Cloud Identity management services like Okta, OneLogin or Ping improve the user experience while providing the security for cloud applications enterprises need.

Authorization

Authorization refers to limiting access to a defined user set like a department or a group but it does not work without authentication. Cloud video platforms like CircleHD enable you to restrict your videos to specific audiences with very little effort. You can even utilize segments your company already uses, such as cost center or department.

Encryption

Encryption has been utilized since 600 BC when the ancient Spartans used it to send messages during a battle, but it’s more modern form has been in use since World War I. The technology works by altering bits of content with a secret key. Then letting someone access that original content again with a complimenting key. 

There are four types of commonly used algorithms:

  • Symmetric encryption – algorithms use the same key to encrypt and decrypt the content. Its usage is considered less secure when used alone over the internet since the sender and receiver share the same key. Symmetric encryption is faster and often used to encrypt large blocks of data such as video.

  • Asymmetric encryption – This uses a public key to encrypt and a private key to decrypt the video. It can also be used to verify the authenticity of a video if a MITM attack is a risk. This algorithm is slower and requires a higher computation power, making it an unsuitable option for video security, as videos are often played on low-powered devices such as mobile phones and tablets.

  • Encryption at rest – Essentially, this can be described as converting your sensitive data into another form, which generally happens through an algorithm that cannot be understood by a user who doesn’t have the encryption key to decode it It’s particularly useful in rendering data useless to hackers, should your information be compromised.

    This is the recommended approach if you’re on a public data center or public-facing object store like AWS S3. We do that CircleHD. All your content is encrypted by KMS (key management service) where the content can only be decrypted by a key that is periodically rotated to reduce the surface of an attack vector.

  • Encryption on transit – This describes how data is transmitted. TLS (or SSL) is a secure transport channel. When used, it reduces the man in the middle (MITM) attack. The content is encrypted using a negotiated symmetric key algorithm.

AES ( Advanced Encryption Standard) is a symmetric encryption algorithm widely used for video encryption for the above-mentioned reasons. This algorithm supports various lengths of key bits, such as 128, 256, 512 or a higher multitude of 128. The downside of AES is that, once the video encryption key is shared, the keyholder can continue to decrypt the video as long as it is available. 

Intranet videos are often played on web browsers, but HTML5 player is not capable of playing an encrypted video by itself. That means you can’t just encrypt an mp4 video file and have the browser stream to play it.

Thankfully, most modern browsers (89%) support Media Source Extension (MSE). Therefore, it allows javascript to download encrypted videos, decrypt them and feed them to the media player programmatically. This process is complicated, and implementation was left up to various video vendors, however, they like to support it.

Over the years, the advancement of internet video streaming has led to 2 popular protocols for standardization: HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) by Apple & DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) by MPEG. If your users are on the Apple ecosystem, you are out of luck and have to stick with HLS.

Why do we need HLS or DASH but not just encrypt the mp4 file?


The old mp4 file format (or container) wasn’t designed to support encryption. Your HTML5 player needs the meta-data, which is often at the end of the file. To play an encrypted video, such as a regular mp4, your browser has to download a large file before playing it. This gives your end-users a large buffering period, high CPU usage, and bad user experience. 

Solution: 

Chunking – A file splitting mechanism that allows your large video file to split into smaller blocks and encrypt each block individually. Your device or browser can then download only the necessary parts to start playing. And then download other parts as needed. Another advantage is that each block can be encrypted with a different encryption key. 

Sticking with a standard protocol such as HLS or DASH has the following benefits:

  • Portability across browsers and devices
  • Standardization of encoders and encoding algorithms
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming 
  • Standardization of encryption algorithms
  • Support for content delivery networks

While encryption of video improves the security of the content, it’s not bulletproof. Once the key is stolen, attackers can decrypt the video.

DRM – Digital Rights Management


DRM is a stronger encryption protection mechanism. It can work on an existing protocol such as HLS or DASH. It’s widely used by Hollywood and streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon, for compliance requirements. This method, however, depends on cryptographic module support from hardware and operating system vendors. 

Most DRM solutions are fragmented and available today are proprietary and may require licensing and royalty payment. Google’s Widevine DRM is a popular solution currently made popular due to out of the box support in Chrome and Firefox browsers. Other technologies include: 

  • PlayReady from Microsoft
  • FairPlay by Apple
  • ClearKey by MPEG

(Note: CircleHD has plans to support DRM in Q2 2020 for our enterprise plans and enterprises that require higher grade video security. Please contact our sales team if you are looking for a DRM solution for your enterprise video.)

At CircleHD, we believe the ease of access to videos should be every employee’s right. It’s worth noting that over-guarding content can create a barrier to consumption across your organization. Be sure to strike a balance between your enterprise video security needs and user experience to encourage adoption across your teams. 

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We’d love to speak further with you about how to effectively implement a secure content management platform at your company. Please contact us to learn more about how CircleHD can meet your video security needs while encouraging employee engagement and collaboration at your enterprise. 


Common Enterprise Video Learning and Adoption Myths

It’s no secret that many people turn to video learning when trying to acquire a new skill. In fact, on Youtube alone, 1 million learning-related videos are uploaded and accessed 500 million times every day.

Enterprises often explore the possibility of implementing this format for their own corporate training but persistent myths surrounding video learning make some offices apprehensive about the technology. Many of these arguments were formulated before the development of advanced equipment and the video online support that we have now. Let’s bust these one-by-one.

“Video is Too Expensive”

Back in the days when shooting a video required big, heavy, very costly equipment that only video experts know how to use, this was true. Now, there are endless options for video recording and playback options, thanks to advances in modern technology. Smartphones have become powerful enough to create edit, and broadcast high-quality video content.

“My Team Won’t Be As Engaged If We Use Video Learning”

It’s a common misconception that video learning promoted individualism over group learning, something that has been addressed by online platforms by offering video conferencing and interactive webinars. Now, learners don’t have to miss out on opportunities to learn from colleagues, while also collaborating and building social connections with each other. By platforms like CircleHD take this one step further by enabling further engagement through quizzes and other knowledge checks in video content.

“Video Won’t Allow Me to Control the Pace of Learning”

The idea that learning with videos is fast-paced may have come from the fact that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster compared to plain text. Content paired up with images is also easier to remember because information goes straight to the long-term memory. Video courses allow employees to access the content at their own time and go through lessons at their own pace. They can pause the video and even playback a section as many times as they need to fully understand the lesson.

“Video Takes Up Too Much Bandwidth”

Many enterprises are concerned whether their internal networks will be able to handle the bandwidth requirement of video courses. There are concerns about the videos causing networks to slow down and get saturated. Truth is, it will take a thousand simultaneous views to cause problems to a network segment. Uploading video content to the internet requires compression which makes it easily accessible even by the lower bit rate wireless connections.

At CircleHD, we understand how video learning can help you achieve your employee learning and development goals. We help set up your system so that video content is easily uploaded, shared and streamed by anyone within your organization. Videos are searchable and accessible even on mobile devices. Book a demo with us and we will show you how video learning can transform your employee training for good.


Should You Choose a Learning Management System or Video Platforms for eLearning

eLearning constantly evolves to adapt to the changing needs of the organization and its learners. Once upon a time, a Learning Management System (LMS) was enough to handle all your training needs. But since video has become an integral part of corporate learning, the LMS deemed quite inadequate.

If you’re still contemplating whether getting a dedicated video platform is worth it, this list will help you decide.

Many Learning Management System’s are not designed to handle video requirements

Sure, there are LMS that support video but when it comes to features and functionality, they are very limited. Since LMS cannot support large video files, there are often bandwidth issues and no HD video capability. It also has compatibility issues with different devices and video conferencing tools. If you require on-screen video capture or live streaming of lessons, you’ll probably need a more powerful video platform.

A Learning Management System is not conducive to social learning

Video learning encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing among peers and colleagues. By recording and sharing his own video, an employee will be able to contribute his own inputs/feedback to the learning system. Retiring subject matter experts can also use video to capture their institutional knowledge which will be stored and be shared with generations of employees to come. An LMS won’t be enough to handle the creation and sharing of videos and therefore would limit your social learning potential.

A Learning Management System does not support video analytics

If you want a more comprehensive analysis of your employees’ viewing behavior, you’ll need an upgrade from your LMS. A separate video platform not only tracks whether a video is clicked but also whether the videos were watched until the end. Knowing at which part of the video the learners stop viewing will help course creators tweak the course content as needed.

A Learning Management System cannot build interactive video features

Games and other interactive features such as tests and quizzes make video courses more fun and engaging for learners. LMS cannot make these modifications due to its limited video support capabilities.  

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A Learning Management System is a good reliable platform for your corporate learning. But if your e-learning modules are heavy on video content, you might want to get a dedicated video platform. Not only will it be able to provide all your video requirements and customizations, but it also manages video-related issues way better.


8 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement with Video Content

Whenever an organization implements a new program, its success is contingent on employee engagement. But video can sometimes take a little encouragement to make and sometimes it’s difficult to know where to begin. Here are a few video content ideas you can share with your team, utilizing everything from gamification to vendor collaboration, and beyond.

Hot tip: CircleHD has plenty of features to help you easily set up “games” for your company. Users can set a start and end date and a rewards section which are all tied to a points-system displayed on your virtual leaderboard.

SharkTank 

Is there an opportunity the company should invest in? A 2-5 minute pitch video may be the way to go. Big ideas come from anyone regardless of position and the best storytellers often win support. Let the collective smarts of your team identify and incubate winners faster.

Improvement Videos

If you can identify waste, you should have the job autonomy to fix it. Shoot a one-minute “before and after” video yourself, and encourage others to follow suit by highlighting the best content at the next company meeting.

A consortium of 500 companies in manufacturing, healthcare, and technology sectors have entirely transformed with this simple but high-impact culture hack.

CEO to CEO Video Series

RIP It

Want to record a live web meeting? Just rip it live from the source. Record your screen, assign it to a channel, transcribe and upload. Within minutes (not hours or days) your video asset is uploaded and published. Find spoken words now in search. Listen later in the company TV app on the drive home.

Vendor Corner 

Do you have a vendor with a particularly interesting proposition? Ask them for a video to share in your “Vendor Corner” where new opportunities go to be vetted company-wide.

Hackathon 

Set goals. Explain rules. Put the innovation to a video pitch. Highlight winners.

Sales Influencer Awards

The brands with the best stories pull ahead of the pack. Challenge reps to create their own unique video pitches then allow the company to vote for the best using the CircleHD 5-star rating system.

Train

Create a lineup of videos and assign a playlist lesson to other users. Viewers can mark when a lesson is complete.

Looking for something more complicated? CircleHD can integrate out-of-the-box with your existing LMS.

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Are you looking for a secure platform to host your original video content? Contact us for a demo and learn more about how CircleHD can facilitate better employee engagement and knowledge-sharing across your organization.