Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Streaming Media West Red 2009 Carpet Interview - Linda Crowe, Sun Microsystems Inc.

In this Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet interview, Peter Cervieri talks with Linda Crowe of Sun Microsystems Inc. Linda manages Digital Multimedia Communications at Sun Microsystems Inc., and leads her team in managing Channel Sun, a leading-edge web platform for multimedia, video, and audio. In her role as Group Manager, she is also responsible for all aspects of multimedia strategy and digital multimedia production. Linda spoke at the Online Video Platform Summit on the Best Practices Round Table - Online Video Publishing Strategies and Tools.

According to Linda, Sun uses video for a variety of different applications but mainly for internal communications which ranges from executive communications and announcements from top leaders, state of the unions to staff, town halls and all hands meetings. She noted that one of the good things about working for a big technology company like Sun, is that they have a lot of bandwidth provisioned for a variety of video deployments. Her group helps conserve network resources by producing high quality HD video and then reducing the bit rate while maintaining high a resolution. Sun has been using Ustream for a lot of their live video and have been very happy with the service which is free too. Not all webcasts are available on demand but some are and they've also deployed Edge technology which allows employees outside the firewall to authenticate and get access to videos behind the firewall.

Sun uses Brightcove to power their Channel Sun video presentation platform for external communications. They syndicate content across the web including YouTube to reach their audience. It all feeds out from Brightcove which provides a central platform for metrics. Linda says that overall engagement with the content and CTA (call-to-action) conversions are the meaningful metrics.

She pointed out that,
"What we realized early on is that it's not just about clicks but it's about how far through that video people have seen. What kind of action did they take as a result of viewing that video and was that the action we had hoped they would take."
He group found that while the video views paled in comparison to text only web pages, the videos did have a much higher conversion rate and in some cases as high as 30%. For videos that were in a sales funnel it really proved the ROI on those videos through the higher CTA conversions.

Looking ahead in 2010, Linda is excited about the capabilities within Channel Sun that allow for employee generated video. Sun has already had "upload and share video" capabilities for over a year, but now users have a much richer experience to manage their own content.

Linda also taked with Beet.TV earlier this year, and you can see her video here.