Silverlight is gone! Microsoft has promoted SharePoint as supporting rich media like training and marketing videos. This capability is designed to include features such as thumbnails, and document sets for videos (an interesting concept – access the video as well as training documents or other materials as part of the document set). Site owners can define standard sizes (i.e., renditions) for how rich media is accessed and presented. Content authors can resize and crop images without other applications.
Another interesting feature is the ability to drag and drop videos onto sites and set the frame image that will be presented to the user as the thumbnail. Multiple stream rates can be set up as well.
Our Take: While these powerful features are easy to utilize, it is clear that to be truly effective in an enterprise environment, providing rich media in SharePoint 2013 should be treated as a service offered by IT. This service will likely include considerable customization of master pages and other pages to support the presentation layer and optimize usability. An example is providing “channels” for users to access large amounts of videos and rich media. These are actually publishing pages. IT organizations will absolutely need to develop a strategy, a service, templates, and training to truly use these new features effectively.
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Jim Kane is the Director of Collaboration and Knowledge Management (KM) at Paragon Solutions. Jim leads the KM practice with a focus on knowledge management and SharePoint-based solutions that support day-to-day business optimization via virtual problem solving, communities of practice, knowledge repositories, role-based communication portals, partner collaboration, and information dashboards. He is co-author of a patent, “Methods of Knowledge Management,” and has over 15 years of experience teaching at the college level as an adjunct instructor. Jim has presented at numerous regional and national conferences on the topics of Knowledge Communities, Adoption Strategies for SharePoint, and Global SharePoint deployments.