By Ed House – Sales Director of UC Distribution (UK & I)
The drivers behind video
Video conferencing isn’t a new term and is probably something that you are all aware of. What is new now though is the use of visual communication within the work place and the fact that it is no longer a ‘nice to have’ for a company, but a necessity… Notice I mentioned visual communications. Content is just as important as video, if not more so. The benefits of being able to see facial expressions, reactions and body language is well documented. Video gives you this without traveling to do face to face meetings. But it is content and collaboration improving the speed of decision making and is a massive part of the increased adoption of video. Being able to all see a document and highlight a section instantly, rather than the sending out over email and dialling into a conference bridge, is very powerful and improves team performance and output.
Video is also being driven by the future generation of work force that have grown up surrounded with video technologies such as FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype and now even Snapchat. Did you know that, across the globe, we average 8 billion hours of social video calls on Skype each year?
People are looking for companies that offer this technology. If they can get it on their personal devices, why aren’t they able to get it in the work place? According to a survey conducted by Redshift Research; 87% of young respondents would prefer to work for a more “video enabled” organisation over one that limits its investment in video conferencing… And attracting this young talent is key!
PGI conducted a study which showed that 66% of job candidates prefer video interviews over traveling to meet a potential employer. These ‘Google’ style cool companies are where people want to work. The attraction of ‘latest and greatest’ technology but bringing real benefits to productivity have all contributed to increased video adoption.
The cost is also a large driver for companies to adopt visual communications and this has been helped by advances in compression methods and decreased bandwidth costs. Simple subscriptions that are closer, if not cheaper, than mobile phone contracts. Giving every user a virtual meeting room and the ability to hold their own conference with a fixed number of seats.
Evolution of cloud
Now, all companies are able to offer video services via the cloud. Hosted services have had much wider acceptance over the last couple of years. Previously to have a video service for a company, you had to buy expensive hardware and keep it in a rack within a datacentre. Someone would have to manage this and if you grew and needed more ports to connect people you had to buy more boxes etc.
Now with cloud / hosted video services you don’t have this issue anymore. If you want to have a video service for your company you can place a PO, sign a contract and it can be set up in minutes via an email into your inbox. Your company grows or you acquire another company and double in size, no problem, you just add more capacity to the solution you have purchased.
Another benefit of these services is they can offer consolidation of technologies. A lot of them will allow you to have audio dial in, connection from ‘legacy’ equipment, SfB interoperability and WebRTC use. We have seen several customers that have an audio conferencing provider then using another provider to do document sharing etc. Most cloud / hosted services will allow you to do this together all for a fixed price and add additional service like video, instant messaging, streaming and recording etc.
The WebRTC piece and mobility is also key. These services pride themselves on being very much a meet me with anything service. Audio dial in with local numbers, video endpoints you already have (This is key. A hosted service can complement and improve an existing environment rather than having to rip and replace everything), tablet and mobile clients with simple downloads from iStore and WebRTC. A simple click on a hyperlink opened in Google Chrome allowing a user to have the video call on their web browser. Obviously, they will need a microphone and webcam to work, but most modern laptops are equipped with this.
All this technology can be confusing though and accessing the needs of your customer is vital. There are a lot of new services springing up all the time. On the face of a lot of the services they look similar but there can be some small KEY differences.
This is exactly where Nuvias UC can help.
To find out more about how Nuvias UC can support you in adding a video service to your product offering, to improve the response within your customer base and increase your revenues and margins generated, please get in touch: +44 (0) 1633 533109 / firstname.lastname@example.org