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Q&A With Rob Chipman, Founder of BizVision
Rob Chipman, founder of Salt Lake City-based BizVision, talks about the company's February 5 announcement regarding the availability of their nationwide videographer network and the state of online video in corporate and professional America.
Q: Who are these videographers and what can they do?
A: The videographers in our network are full-time professionals who currently handle a wide variety of corporate, training and special event projects in their local markets. Some operate out of a studio and employ several videographers and some are independent operators. All of them will work on location. They provide all their own cameras, tripods, audio equipment, lighting, encoders, switchers (when necessary), etc.
Typical projects include live webcasting of full-day seminars from hotels or other conference sites, multi-camera switched webcast productions, recording multiple concurrent sessions with teams of videographers, conducting/recording interviews, capturing B-roll footage, editing and other post-production services. Basically, any project where remote video production or webcasting is needed, our network can handle it.
Q: What goes into training conventional videographers to handle remote webcasting?
A: Of course, since we are only utilizing professional videographers, we don't have to worry about training them on video production. Some videographers have actually had some webcasting experience, while other need a fair amount of training before we can rely on them for live webcast events.
First, we train them on general webcasting issues like bitrates, streaming protocols, redundant streams, and CDN integration. Then we train them to troubleshoot common streaming issues and review best practices in live event webcasting.
Finally, we certify them on our approved encoding solutions and our webcasting platform. We then have them do test webcasts, often from the same venue where the event will be held, to make sure their equipment is properly configured and they are ready to go. Starting at least an hour prior and then during the entire live event, we actually monitor the webcast from our network operations center to make sure everything is running smoothly. We maintain contact with every videographer on the job in case we need to communicate with them.
Q: Who does this benefit? Who is the most likely customer for a service like this?
A: Until now, our network has primarily benefited our existing clients who also utilize our online e-learning platform. They use our videographers to record and webcast educational seminars from all parts of the U.S. Last year alone, we managed over 10,000 hours of live webcast events on the behalf of these clients.
We are now sharing this valuable resource with any organization that has a need for on-call, remote video production or webcasting, anywhere in the U.S., with a single point of contact - at very affordable rates. They are welcome to use our e-learning platform, but they are also free to use their own CDN - online video platform such as Brightcove, Ooyala or Kaltura; or live streaming service like Ustream or LiveStream.
Q: What are the industry trends with regard to having in-house video talent vs. employing a third-party platform?
A: We see both growing. We have several clients who have their own video production capabilities, and use our resources when they require a remote shoot or webcast. However, most of our clients prefer not to invest in their own internal staff and equipment. For them, BizVision's videographer network is a cost-effective and convenient outsourced solution.
Q: Online video has definitely become mainstream in pop culture. How quick have corporate America and professional organizations been in utilizing it as a standard tool?
A: Online video's use in the enterprise space and by professional organizations is growing rapidly. However, I still think we are in the early stages. BizVision has its roots in building and managing private satellite networks for large corporations, which used to be the only means of delivering live video at a distance. When the Internet got to the point where you could deliver good quality video without massive infrastructure expenses, I knew it was time to launch BizVision. Now, because of the power and impact of video as a communication and learning tool, more and more business and professional organizations are climbing aboard. Webinars are a good tool for many applications, but, sometimes, you need to take things to the next level with an engaging video webcast.
Q: Any thoughts on what will be the next thing in the webcasting/streaming video industry?
A: We're definitely seen a move away from audio-only webinars to more engaging video-based solutions. I think you can expect more and diverse users, higher quality video, more cloud-based solutions, more viewing on mobile devices, more live and on-demand content - pretty much more of everything (more or less).
Q: How do you charge customers of your videographer network?
A: We charge competitive hourly rates, which vary from market to market. Because our videographers are local, there are no additional charges for airfare, hotels, meals, and only rarely for mileage.
Q: If someone wanted to use your platform in addition to your videographer network, what does it offer?
A: Our platform was primarily developed as a comprehensive solution for online, video-based training and professional education. If an organization needs any of the following solutions and services, we'd be glad to assist.
- Rich media, custom-branded player with synchronized slides, downloadable materials, various options for interactivity, related URL links, and notes
- Presenter controls for advancing slides, playing video clips, switching to other presenters (even in different locations), moderating the chat room, and reviewing the participant log
- CDN services
- 24/7/365 helpdesk/technical Support
- Closed captioning and transcripts
- Online registration
- Certification/testing/viewer verification
- Course catalog or video library management
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