Meet Zype and the Backlight team at NAB, Booth W3157
Meet Zype and the Backlight team
at NAB, Booth W3157

VidOps Essentials: Break Down Video Data Silos With Streamlined Workflows

By Laura Balboni on March 19, 2019

Organizations of all kinds are now looking to expand the reach of O&O video content while maximizing value -- but many lack direction on the most effective approach. A VidOps mindset promotes visibility, collaboration and shared goals to cut through the clutter and complexities that drag down video operations teams.

Today, we continue working through each the core tenets that drive VidOps success, by picking up with tenet seven (learn more about on tenets one, two, three, four, five and six in previous blogs).

Tenet Seven: Establish streamlined workflows based on collaboration and visibility.

VidOps teams need a video operations workflow that consistently delivers the right content to the right audience, on the right devices and at the right time. While this often-used dictum is easy to say, achieving it is far from trivial. New devices and platforms continue to proliferate at an unrelenting pace. This challenge is compounded by a lack of true unifying standards across areas of the video ecosystem. In addition, crucial customer data is often isolated within distribution partners and usually only provides a partial view of your customers’ actions, engagement, and lifetime value.

Consequently, business functions which should be clear and routine are often plagued with redundancy, complexity and missed opportunities. Consider your own business. How readily can you determine which pieces of content drive the most engagement across your entire audience, tie that to that similar titles buried in your library and quickly publish and surface those prominently across all your experiences? How easily can you incorporate ad markers and timing to existing content to launch an ad-based monetization plan? What is involved with creating the appropriate media and metadata formats to multiple syndication partners?

If you don’t have clear and satisfying answers to these questions, it’s very likely you are not optimizing the value of your content and audience. The source can likely be traced to unneeded redundancies, disparate tools and siloed data. It may be time to reevaluate your core workflows and business insight capabilities to unlock more collaboration, agility, and efficiency.

To truly break-down silos, create real, ongoing business agility all with the goals of creating experiences that consistently engage and delight your audience, it’s essential for VidOps to focus on, and maximize, two overriding goals:

Information must be unified, harmonized and easily surfaced to provide real business insights to all VidOps stakeholders

To make these insights truly actionable, workflows must be streamlined.

In working with a broad and diverse base of customers, Zype has identified a number of key principles to guide your efforts in unifying your data and streamlining your workflows.

Unify Your Data -- Not Your Portals.

Video teams frequently get drawn into the fallacy that the key to enabling transparency and collaboration can only be achieved through an “uber” portal - a comprehensive reporting and analytics engine that can satisfy the needs of all stakeholders within the business. The hypothetical value here is seemingly straightforward - the ability to create reports and tools highly tuned to the specific needs of our business stakeholders while providing a familiar and common interface.

While attractive at the conceptual level, this approach is fraught with ongoing complexity, cost, and potential for wasted investment. In addition, it often ignores the reality that commercial SaaS platforms have become the de facto reporting and business intelligence platforms for virtually all business functions.

A more effective approach is to leverage a best-of-breed reporting and business intelligence strategy. This allows teams to continue to utilize the SaaS applications they love while ensuring disparate teams are operating off a consistent set of underlying data.   Also, the business can forgo the cost of reinventing reporting and business analytics capabilities that already exist (typically 80% of the cost “uber portal” initiatives is spent on simply rebuilding already existing functionality under a common framework.) A best-of-breed approach focuses on solutions that centralize select data enables a clean, automated flow of data between video-centric and other Saas platforms supporting CRM, marketing automation, customer success, and support.

Streamline Workflows For Metadata; Not Just Media

The conventional approach to workflow optimization in video have centered on unifying approaches around the processing of the underlying media. Given the complexity associated with multi-bit rate streaming and the frequent need to support multiple formats (HLS, DASH, etc.) as well as manipulation of those manifests for services such as Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) or personalization, this is understandable and should not be discounted.  VidOps teams should target video platform providers which provide simple, point-and-click or API configuration of media processing workflows creating any combination of bit-rates, formats, and manifest versions.

However, it is equally critical to acknowledge that not only do workflows for metadata exist but that they are frequently as or more complex than of underlying media. Video teams need to ensure their platforms allow for multiple metadata workflows to be collapsed into a unified, configurable engine that supports a wide range of standard use cases. Common examples are:

  • Publishing of product catalogs and pricing to multiple app marketplaces and payment gateways.
  • Distributing of core video metadata to a range of syndication partners.
  • Ingestion of ad-timings/ad-breaks to Ad Decisioning Systems (ADSs)

The Value of Extensibility Can’t Be Overestimated.

Wherever possible, teams should seek to avoid building these integrations and associated middleware stacks. Instead, when evaluating video platform providers they should ensure they provide out-of-the-box integrations and hooks to all the other SaaS platforms they currently use or may adopt. These should extend across all core functions including: CRM, marketing automation, subscription management, payment processing, and app marketplaces, syndication partners, ad ecosystem (DMPs and ADSs), customer engagement, in-app notifications, ticketing, and support, as well as customer analytics

In addition, it is crucial to ensure that these integrations and hooks are exposed not only through a portal but through simple, well-documented APIs. These will typically provide higher levels of configurability to ensure that all nuanced integration requirements can be achieved at scale.

If you have yet to uncover the value of owner-controlled video content, breaking down data silos and streamlining workflows is a crucial step in the right direction. Start by assessing each of these objectives and principles against your workflows. We created the VidOps framework to help drive more collaboration and visibility, and we genuinely believe your business will gain the most value from premium video content by adopting each of the core VidOps tenets. Learn more here.

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