• Broadband Video's Not For Media Companies Only


    While the majority of my focus is on media companies' use of broadband video, a presentation by executives of Wachovia Bank last week at the VeriSign customers' meeting served as a reminder that broadband is being used successfully by non-media companies as well.

    Wachovia, which is America's third largest bank by deposits, is making strong use of broadband, particularly as an internal communications vehicle, now turning out 800 individual video "programs" per year. These include, "Take 5," a five minute daily broadcast on their internal "V-Net" network, continuous video pumped into all of their branches, customer podcasts and support for live shots of their analysts from Wachovia's trading floors when interviewed on business news broadcasts.

    All of this is managed by an impressive staff of 18 full-time staffers, 10 full-time contractors and 20-30 freelancers. They're managing a state-of-the-art digital production facility in Charlotte that is likely comparable to anything found in the broadcast industry. The company has also deployed 80,000 desktops using VeriSign's Kontiki commercial P2P platform, which it says is highly reliable and scalable.

    Patty Perkins, a Wachovia VP who's been the key evangelist for video's growth, noted in her presentation that senior executives video consider video a critical mechanism in keeping the bank's far-flung employee base informed and up-to-date. In fact, Patty said that in internal surveys, the Take 5 program is consistently cited as the number 1 driver of employees feeling more connected to the bank and its goals.

    Patty and many of the others in Wachovia's enterprise video group are broadcast veterans. This got me to thinking, maybe with there's a new revenue opportunity for broadcast professionals to help enterprises understand how to leverage broadband for internal communications. If Wachovia's any example, there may be a lot of upside.