“Search” is the killer app – but it also killed my deal

I had a potential new client turn me down the other day. It’s not the first time and won’t be the last. But of course, as an evangelist and someone selling a product, it is always difficult.

Tweet: “Search” is the killer app – but it also killed my deal

Rejection sucks

Rejection never comes easily. It’s tough because I know in my heart of hearts that perhaps if I had done something differently that the outcome might have been more positive. But in this case, I failed because I did not see the rejection coming and I was sure I was shooting a fish in a barrel.

So what went wrong? Here is what happened.

I was meeting with a large brand. They have a lot of video content that they create for internal consumption (HR videos, safety videos, etc.) and for external use (corporate communications, advertising, social selling, etc.)

There are quite a few departments involved. IT, Corporate Communications, Marketing and then there is a small production team as well. During my discussions with the company I was dealing someone from each of the departments until the head of production decided to take over the sales process.

I thought that made sense at the time. They are closest the production process and therefore they decided they were in the most need of Overcast within the organisation. When I went in to first see them they were using about 10 different free tools to share the video content around internally and with clients and they needed a new solution. But what they said they needed more than anything was a platform that could solve their storage problems.

“Search” is a common problem with video

In order for something to be searchable, it needs to be stored properly. And video storage is a massive problem in many companies. The files are big and complex and don’t sit easily on desktop computers. There are generally 3 ways to solve it:

• Buy new and expensive servers and install on site
• Buy cheap disks that sit under your desk and on shelves around the office
• Scale your storage into the cloud

The first option requires the IT department to review, spec, plan and implement. They may or may not have budget. But it is the traditional way of doing things and each time you need more storage you have to prove why the storage you have is not adequate and that often involves a spring clean of your servers. This is a good thing – but let’s face it, we don’t always have time for it and if we can avoid it then we will.

The second option is easy. We are all guilty of it. Even in organisations where disks are banned – I meet people who do this. Or they use their own computer. Or they use some workaround that if they were subject to a data audit that they would fail.

The third option
is logical but there is something about the cloud that makes us nervous. It has to do with our consumer relationship with cloud storage. Because the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft have all managed to back up our personal content onto their private clouds, we know that somehow at some point they are going to send an email (that we will miss) and they will somehow start charging us.

Cloud charges need transparency

Cloud storage charges feel a bit like mobile roaming charges – you know that somehow you are going to get stung with a whopper bill because you didn’t flick a switch somewhere on your phone. And then you are going to get angry.

But that said – if the cloud storage is transparent then there should be no problem storing the content in the cloud.

Ok – so back to my story. The guys in the production department I was dealing with were making a couple of videos per day. All types. There was very little quality control because they had no way of sharing with the marketing and sales departments so they were left to get on with what they were doing. They were disks and memory sticks all over the office.

They asked if Overcast could help them overcome this problem.

I showed them the platform and we decided to run a short trial.

Start with the workflow

Now – you must understand that their workflow up to that point was pretty standard. A brief came in from a client (be it internal or external) they would create a video, that video would be shared with the client for comment (often on memory stick or Wetransfer and email) and then the revisions would be done, there would be a final sign off and they would then transfer the video to the person distributing and all was finished.

The biggest issue always happened when someone wanted to reuse content or find a video at a later date. Then someone in the production department could literally spend up to 4 or 5 hours looking for a video on various disks or simply not finding it. This meant that they rarely reused content.

So we got the production department up and running on Overcast and everything went fine for a couple of days. Everything went fine until they realised there was very little for them to do.

“Search” is the killer app

“Search” killed my deal. Because they were able to find the video they were looking for without plugging in and out hard disks. Because they were able to share content with stakeholders in real time and get feedback. Because they stored all the content in a single place, they were able to reduce “search” down to near zero.

Here were the takeaways:

• The result and what they told me – they didn’t use Overcast enough. Not enough volume of video at this point. They said they would get back to me when they could justify the cost.
• The issue (that I failed to understand properly) was that because they were no longer searching for stuff all over the office, they had saved so much time that they were no longer busy.
• The irony – that by actually eliminating the problem we got to the point that they felt their jobs were in jeopardy. And for that reason, they could not recommend it to their IT department or their commercial department.

Ultimately, I don’t think the sale is lost forever, but it will take some convincing the guys in the production department that this is actually a good thing. I certainly don’t want any of them to lose their jobs, but as I have started to explain – the main goal of using Overcast is not to simply store things differently – it’s actually about being able to scale your video production and grow your business.

Thinking about growing your business using video?

Contact Philippe – +353 86 834-7881 or philippe@overcasthq.com

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