It’s Monday morning again, you’re getting ready for the week ahead and there’s barely time for lunch with all of the meetings scheduled and tasks to accomplish. You’re expected to balance more and more demands on yourself and your team while the IT department keeps adding layers of complexity as to how you collaborate. Why can’t you just have one single pane of glass – one collaborative place which is always there and on-demand – to bring your team together?
No matter which way you look at it, we’ll work longer and harder hours – and the need to schedule meetings ahead of time is not necessarily the right solution. Business moves at a fast pace and sometimes time isn’t on our side to wait for an Outlook invitation in order to fix issues. We want ourselves and our end users to use the tools we’re providing – but sometimes this notion can seem daunting and impractical to participants. This lack of user adoption in the collaboration space has brought upon us a transition in how these resources are engaged – and the primary driver behind this is video collaboration.
Legacy video collaboration was low quality and hard to use. Whether it was the handheld remote control, the lack of bandwidth or the sub-par resolution, video just wasn’t an optimal user experience. Part of the experience was the overall complexity behind architecting protocol interoperability and other technologies like ISDN. Well, those barriers are a thing of the past. In the new world, we have a myriad of video collaboration technologies from companies like Cisco and Polycom to make the interoperability simple for your end users.
However, one area where the manufacturers haven’t quite addressed users’ needs is within the multiparty experience. In the last few years, we’ve seen an emergence of companies like Acano, Blue Jeans and Pexip – whose sole purpose is multiparty video and advanced interoperability. These companies saw an opportunity to not only develop low cost, on-premises and cloud multiparty video, but to provide seamless integration with Microsoft Lync and Google. No matter which way you look at it, Lync (soon to be Skype for Business) is a leader in the desktop collaboration space.
These niche companies are providing tremendous value. In just over a year, solutions around these products are popping up all over the world. Personally, I appreciate these emerging companies, especially the fact that one of their advantages is their ability to adapt and innovate at faster rates than larger companies. At CDW, we’ve seen this firsthand with our internal solution development for customers. We see requests for feature enhancements coming in three-to-six months from inception – and this is exactly what the industry needs. While our technology is advanced, the rate of innovation needs to keep up with our expected user adoption.
User adoption-centered video has been on the upswing lately and many organizations have taken notice, especially the above-mentioned emerging companies. Businesses either need a scalable cloud offering or require an effective means to scale video to their entire organizations – all while keeping budgets in mind. Interestingly, I’ve noticed more companies are moving away from “scheduled” video calls and into the Virtual Meeting Room (VMR) concept to give everyone in their organization their own meeting place. So, now instead of worrying about scheduling room resources in Outlook, they can simply add a custom video address to each meeting.
Curious how video conferencing could not only simplify your day, but streamline your business? Check out this video to see how one CDW customer did just that.