Q&A with Nick Barber, Sr. Analyst with Forrester Research on Video and AI

We asked a few questions recently to Nick Barber, senior analyst with Forrester Research on video and what’s changing with the advancements of artificial intelligence (AI).  Here’s what Nick had to say based on his research around enterprise video and related communications technology.

You can hear more from him on through this on-demand webinar: Transform the Employee Experience with AI Driven Video Communications.

Question 1: Why can’t I just use my web conferencing platform for enterprise video communications? 

If you’re trying to reach a large number of viewers at the same time in a live session, it’s important to scale beyond the capabilities of a web conferencing platform (most max out at a couple hundred people).  The limitations of these platforms are related to the fact that individual connections usually require SIP calls (a SIP address is a unique identifier for each user on the network). However, solutions that can by-pass this step to enable one-to-many streaming can offer virtually unlimited numbers of participants. Streaming technologies, in combination with enterprise content delivery network (ECDN) infrastructures that enable caching and stream splitting capabilities offer customers tremendous scalability to reach many thousands of viewers simultaneously.


Question 2: How does streaming impact my corporate network? 

Without an ECDN in place, each viewer downloads the same stream from the external CDN and that can overload the ISP links, while corporate network resources are also stressed serving the video traffic.  ECDN reduces the amount of network resources needed to serve the same amount of traffic; only the adaptive bitrate stream is downloaded through the ISP link. End-users connect to the local ECDN server and don’t have to go out to the external CDN.  ECDN software is typically installed on shared or dedicated hardware as a virtual server at corporate regional offices. Essentially, this protects your corporate network by offering flexible and scalable enterprise video delivery, allowing streaming video without impacting other business applications.


Question 3: Video has a history of being expensive and complex. Has enterprise video gotten easier to execute? 

Today, organizations can use hardware they already have (videoconferencing and webcams) to create video, and individual employees can use the phones and tablets they carry around to create their own videos as well. In fact, our research shows that today’s employees value this as a way to share their ideas.  Also, access to the internet and connection speeds overall in general have improved. When you consider the importance of the video stream origination point and access to the internet from there and the size and speed of the “pipe” from various locations, things have improved a lot for most businesses.  And cloud providers of SaaS based video solutions have made it very seamless to leverage the power of their networks. 


Question 4: How can AI be used to improve discoverability of video content?

With growing terabytes of video archives, every sizeable company is experiencing some challenges around making it easy for people to search and discover the video they want.  With artificial intelligence capabilities being integrated into video platforms, every spoken word and image can be identified, themes can be detected, content can be organized and individual assets greatly enriched with layers of metadata, all without much if any human intervention. According to our research, for high volume, low complexity tasks, one bot can do the work of 3-4 full time employees1. And, at the core, it’s all that metadata that ultimately makes things easier for users when searching for the content.


Question 5: How are organizations using enterprise video to retain millennial talent?

According to our research, 72% of employees say culture is a major determiner of loyalty, and 92% of employees agree their company will increase the use of video over the next 5 years2.  Companies are recognizing that there is real value in video to win and retain top talent. Video is often incorporated into recruitment strategies, the interview process, onboarding and on-going training, executive messaging and town halls, and increasingly, user generated content sharing across teams.


For more on all of the above topics, watch this on-demand webinar with Nick Barber, senior analyst with Forrester Research on video, which is available to be watched now: Transform the Employee Experience with AI Driven Video Communications.


About Nick Barber

Nick Barber serves Application Development & Delivery (AD&D) Professionals. He specializes in video technologies, including live and on-demand video within the enterprise and for customer experiences. His research centers on how companies can use online video platforms for sales and marketing operations and how they can enhance their business using video collaboration and video conferencing.

Prior to joining Forrester, Nick was the director of online video at IDG News Service, where he was a technology news journalist serving IDG’s global network of websites. He helped build IDG’s global video presence from both a content and technology perspective, and he produced thousands of videos on a range of enterprise and consumer topics.



  1. Forrester, The CIO’s Guide To Automation, AI, And Robotics
  2. Forrester’s Q1 2018 Global Digital Experience Delivery Online Survey