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Sherman Black, CEO, Qumu
Sherman Black, CEO, Qumu

Qumu, an enterprise video content management company, has recently announced the opening of its Dubai office that will serve as the hub for its operations in Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. During his visit in Dubai, Qumu CEO Sherman Black sat down with CNME Online Editor Adelle Geronimo to discuss the growing opportunities in the enterprise video industry segment and the company’s plans for the region.

Please tell me more about Qumu.

We are an enterprise video software. We think there is a tremendous opportunity for enterprises to understand the power that video can do to their businesses. We provide an end-to-end solution that ranges from content creation, management, distribution, up to the viewer/consumer experience.

We think it’s a rapidly growing. Cisco recently said that during 2015 enterprises will be moving more video than any other type of content within the company. There were also some predictions that by 2017, it’s going to be a USD 1.5 billion market.

For consumers, it is quite easy to utilise the power of video – people use it for entertainment, education and for some other aspects in life. Qumu aims to give enterprises that same experience. We would like to pave the way to a seamless video content consumption within an enterprise.

We provide all necessary solutions for video content within enterprises. This means that we will give them the security they require – the content will only be available for a selected number of people (depending on client’s requirements) and will be distributed in a cost effective way.

How did you come about the decision to extend your operations here in Dubai?

The UAE has always been a leader in this region when it comes to technology. That is one of the reasons for choosing Dubai as our hub for this region.

We see a tremendous amount of opportunity in this region for enterprise videos – especially in sectors like financial services, the SME space and in the industrial space. A number of our existing clients have operations here as well.

When will you be officially launching your operations?

We have recently just finished establishing the Qumu head office last April. I think the next steps would be towards identifying potential value added distributors. We think that it is very important to establish our partners here in the region to ensure a smooth flow of operations.

Which industries do you think would be most lucrative for enterprise videos?

Speaking from our experiences in the US, Europe and Asia, the financial services sector is the most advanced in this kind of technology. We also see pharmaceuticals and other IT industries as the leaders in implementing this innovation. I think this is because they have the most in these sectors they are mostly comprised of knowledge workers. Their business run on information and one of the best way to distribute information and share knowledge within an enterprise business is through video.

Are there any challenges that you are facing so far?

There are some, of course since we are just starting here in this region. But, part of our strategy is hiring people who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in this part of the world. We’re looking for great partners who can help us move the business forward.

How do you plan to capitalise on the new innovations that are emerging in the technology industry such as Big Data, mobility and Internet of Things?

I think Big Data will be a big deal for enterprise videos. I do know that Big Data, cloud and mobility are all going to be big parts of our strategy not just in the region but in general. On top of that, I think there is also a very significant Big Data play here as well. For example, as a CEO of a company, I would want to know how many people watched a certain video I distributed or in which particular time did they stop watching it. With this information, I would know how I can change my approach. I would want to know if someone has shared the video that I gave them. Shared content means valuable content.

For cloud and mobility, by being able to deploy our solutions in the cloud we can make it easier for even smaller companies to utilise video for their business. Subsequently, everything today is mobile.

Which areas of an organisation can be enhanced by videos?

Mostly, using videos is an ideal way of communicating within the organisation. So areas such as sales, human resources and marketing are the primary areas that will benefit from an effective video content/ communication solution.

If I am a CEO of a company who wants to acquire your solutions, how do I go about it? Can you give a brief overview on how the process works?

Firstly we’d want to understand your goals, we’d want to know what you want to achieve by deploying a certain video content distribution. We will also ask you if you want to deploy it within premise or are you open to the cloud. Once we have determined those aspects we’ll have our sales engineers who can structure the solutions for you. After all those, we will send a team that can help drive employee adoption and a team who will assist in the technicalities of the solution.

We offer video content creation and management as a solution. However, our primary offering is the effective platform management for the enterprise video contents.

Any final thoughts?

We recognised that there is a tremendous opportunity here in the Middle East region when it comes to enterprise videos. Qumu will be working to recruit and establish a partner network across the region with particular emphasis on KSA, UAE and Turkey with the possibility of setting up a VAD presence in the region. This is an emerging industry and we are looking for partners who can help us grow this sector.

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