Discussion on Conferencing and Video Interoperability with Scott Wharton of Vidtel

Discussion on Conferencing and Video Interoperability with Scott Wharton of Vidtel

By Marty Parker September 10, 2013 Leave a Comment
UCStrategies Experts
Discussion on Conferencing and Video Interoperability with Scott Wharton of Vidtel by Marty Parker

The UCStrategies Experts welcome Vidtel CEO Scott Wharton to this Industry Buzz podcast to discuss the state of conferencing and video interoperability in unified communications.

The podcast is moderated by Marty Parker, and includes Dave MichelsDon Van DorenPhil EdholmTsahi Levent-Levi, Bill MacKay, and Michael Finneran.

Loading media...

Transcript for Discussion on Conferencing and Video Interoperability with Scott Wharton of Vidtel

Marty Parker: Hello everyone, this is Marty Parker with UCStrategies and Unicomm Consulting and today I get to be the moderator on a fascinating topic which is conferencing and video interoperability. We have a guest today and I’ll come and introduce him in a moment, but I want to start with the point that video and conferencing really can be confused in the conversation. Some people say “video” and mean “conferencing,” or “conferencing” and mean “video.” But conferencing is actually, in our experience, a particular way of working, or some would say, collaborating. Conferencing can happen between a small group of people – I mean even two-party to some extent is a conference, but three-party, four-party in an ad hoc mode, from their desktop. It can happen in either unplanned or planned team work sessions where people move to a huddle room or increasingly kind of to an open space with an electronic white board in it for annotation and sharing. It could be in a meeting room, a larger meeting room classically known as a video conference room, and so it could work in all these different ways so that the function of conferencing has different places in different parts of the business and different work flows. The latter parts of people moving into a work room or being in a larger video conference room means they’re probably going to connect to other locations, sometimes those locations are all internal to the company, maybe they’re all on the same brand, maybe they all easily interoperate across the wide area network. But then sometimes they want to include external parties, whether those parties are on a PC or a mobile device or whether they’re in a meeting room at another business or enterprise supply chain partner, and now you’ve got an interoperability problem. How are you going to have those devices work?

In the old days we shared 14-digit ISDN numbers and tried to dial each other, but that’s so yesteryear that we won’t even talk about it. Today, Scott’s going to tell us what is happening and so let me get to introducing our guest. Today we have Scott Wharton, who is with Vidtel. Scott, you’re going to introduce your role at Vidtel more, but Vidtel is in the business of conferencing and video conferencing and interoperability – both within the enterprise and with firms that are outside the firewall. So Scott, talk to us a little bit about Vidtel, what applications you’re serving for the clients, and where you see this market going and then we’ll come back and ask you some more questions.

Scott Wharton: Thanks, Marty and everyone else, thanks for having me. Vidtel has been around for little more than five years, and our vision is providing this idea of any-to-any video conferencing. Part of our vision is when we looked at the problems five years ago when we were getting started, in the video conferencing space it was a really a tale of extremes. Where you had very high end telepresence systems that were going in, if you only had quarter million dollars per room system, and then the ongoing maintenance, you could get really true great video. And then you had the emerging things on the low end with Skype that were more consumer oriented, which worked okay but they weren’t quite as...not nearly as good as the telepresence system. And part of what we saw is that there was kind of nothing in between for most businesses between the super high end and low end. And then if you wanted to make video calls between different endpoints, between different systems, it was really hard to do that.

So what Vidtel does essentially is a cloud-based video conferencing that bridges people together either through multi-party conferencing or allowing people to gateway into other people’s conferencing and solve some of the complex problems of buying, running and managing this conferencing server infrastructure.

So if I look at conferencing, starting out you asked some questions about what’s changing in conferencing and what are the problems that need to be addressed. On the changing side, one of the big changes that’s happening right now is this move from having just basic conferencing being audio only, like this, and maybe having web-based conferencing, to adding multi-media elements like video. And some other changes that are happening is conferencing used to be this thing, especially in video where it was internal only. But people increasingly want to talk across boundaries to other people in other companies. It used to be only about conferencing in rooms where it’s moving now to individuals. Related to that, conferencing is very much something that you’ve had to plan way in advance, but people increasingly want to do it on an ad hoc basis. It was also a scarce resource; it was very expensive, so you had to really manage that resource where it’s moving to an area where it’s more abundant. And in addition I think everyone here knows that video conferencing is very much conceived as a stand alone application but it’s increasingly being needed to be integrated with UC. So with all these trends happening in conferencing it really creates a whole bunch of problems that need to be solved.

So one problem is that conferencing and video conferencing in general is getting really complicated. Audio conferencing was hard, but I can tell you the video conferencing has a whole bunch of firewall issues and standards and interoperability issues and running servers that just makes the management and running a video hard for even people that are in the industry that have been doing it their whole careers.

Related to that, video conferencing and conferencing has traditionally been very expensive. And also there are challenges in moving from B-to-B. We have a whole bunch of new devices now and form factors that used to be only conference room systems. Whereas now we have tablets and other devices; there are interop issues. People still want to have security; they don’t want to necessarily trust everything to a consumer system. One of the things that we find is a real problem is that people want customer support. So they want the ability to call someone when they have a problem. And then lastly I think there’s just a lot of confusion in the market, in conferencing there are new standards, new players all pitching their own approach and I think that’s creating a lot of problems for people in the market.

Marty Parker: Thank you for that overview. It’s really helpful to see where you see it. We’ll be back and ask you more questions about some of those points; so let’s go on and ask some of the UC experts to make a few comments and then pose questions back to you. Dave Michels, what questions would you ask?

Dave Michels: Thanks Marty, I wanted to kind of sort of framework around just the use patterns around conferencing. Working in a home office now I find myself on conferences regularly every day. But I could remember back, 10 years ago when I was working in a corporate environment and in fact, I even had a remote employee up in Alaska and we connected with him all the time via a standard phone on the table; you could only hear half the meeting usually, or half the participants and he could never see what was being projected. And he was really at a disadvantage and I think about that now and in my current patterns and when I go to onsite meetings I find that I much more prefer being at my own desk. I’ve got my ability to capture screen shots if I want to capture a slide, I’ve got control of the volume, I’ve got my note pad up and I’m taking notes and I almost feel vulnerable in a live setting now at a conference table trying to organize all these things. I’m out of practice; I don’t know how to do this anymore.

Is this just me or are you seeing, Scott, a general pattern toward individual conferencing, or is the standard conference room of the future doomed the way we used to use it?

One other point. I taught a class at Cisco and everyone in that class was looking at my slides on their own laptop with WebEx, even though they were being projected right up in front. I’m just wondering what happens to the old conference room in the old paradigm? Is it completely gone and obsolete?

Scott Wharton: I think there are two things that you pointed out there. One is that I think there are a lot of people are just increasingly just working remote and if you think about teams today, we’re not all in the same city. A lot of times people are just distributed everywhere and if you look at Vidtel, a lot of how we’re organized is we have people all over the place and I think we’re on the cutting edge of where a lot of other companies are going. So I think increasingly when you’re on conferences, you’re not just sitting around a conference room or in the same company or city; you’re all distributed. Having said that I think the primary use case that we’re seeing that people want to solve is, you have some people in a conference room where they are there and they’re looking at each other. And they want to be able to bring people in who are remote, but instead of having them be these second class meeting citizens where they’re just on audio and everyone there in the meeting is having a better experience looking at each other, and you’re on the out on audio, they want to be able to bring people in as much as possible and have them be full participants.

In order to do that, you really need two things. One is you need to be able to move from just having audio only to be able to support data and video. But I think the other thing is everybody is choosing their own different technologies. You can’t necessarily enforce that everyone is using one technology or one platform and that could be when you’re in a conference room not everyone is going to be looking at a tablet per say. They may be looking at some conference system or screen in the middle. But then people coming in remotely, they may just be on their own laptop or a client they use. So I think that points to the need to having some interoperability across the board.

Now that doesn’t mean that a company internally can’t do what they always do, which is try to have some system which is more harmonized, but we still need the ability kind of like what the PSTN gives us for audio to bring people in using enhanced functionality like video.

I think the other thing that you’re pointing out Dave, I think there’s an assumption that everything is going to unify into one thing, whereas I think if you look at a lot in life things not only unify but they specialize and balkanize and as much as there’s value in having audio and video put together, we’re finding a lot of our customers are saying, “You know what, sometimes I want the best of both. I want great video and I want to have it on dedicated devices or appliances and when I’m looking at the data...” they’re okay with using WebEx on a different screen, because the reality is a lot of people have two screens. They’ve got a tablet or a different lap top or something and sometimes it’s better than squeezing everything into the same screen, to have it be on multiple screens. So I think increasingly  for conferencing you may see it split up and it may be part of the same application but you’re right, it may be some people coming in on WebEx for data collaboration and then maybe people using something else for video where they kind of split it up based on what their needs are.

Dave Michels: I’m wondering if we’re getting to a point where, and I don’t work in the corporate environment anymore, we assume that you’re using these electronic technologies to bring together these distant teams. But what about when the whole team is in the same building; does it make more sense to meet in a room, or does it make more sense for everyone to go back to their desk for a meeting? Are we hitting that tipping point? I kind of feel like we are. I would almost prefer to go back to my desk, but I don’t know, maybe I’m an outlier. Have you seen any patterns like that?

Scott Wharton: To be honest I’ve seen a lot of people where instead of sitting in a conference room sometimes they want to sit at their desk because then they could be more comfortable and be more productive. I think it partly depends on the inconvenience. For example Google, I know, is a very high user of video and a lot of times there will be people who are on different floors or different buildings and instead of spending the 10, 15, 20 minutes wasting walking back and forth, they’ll just do a video call and that video call could be in a conference room or it could be at their desk. I think it’s nice for people to have the option so they don’t have to feel compelled to leave. It depends on what they’re doing.

Marty Parker: That’s a great conversation you two are having; I’d love to go on for another half hour on it because I think it is about a new way of working, but let’s proceed along with extending the different topics. I’m going to call on Don Van Doren. He has some questions about interoperability challenges that might occur in these environments. Don?

Don Van Doren: Thanks, Marty. Scott, you talked during your introduction about how your company is really set up to solve some of the multi-party conferencing issues that are going on there. We see this all the time in our consulting work, of course, and frankly Marty and I both participate a lot on video conference calls and the number of times when you’ve got to download clients or get arrangements for the meetings and then try to get all the things set up correctly – it’s often a challenge. I think that’s one of the value propositions of course that Vidtel’s come up with. My question is, where are we; how good is it? What are some of the challenges that are still out there from the interoperability issues or have you guys solved them all?

Scott Wharton: What I would say is I think the market is moving in two different directions almost simultaneously. I think there are companies like us and Blue Jeans and others that are I think doing a really good job of providing near universal interop where you can take the H323 or SIP systems out there and combine them with consumer systems or desktop systems like Skype or Google Talk or WebRTC or Lync. So I think more than ever there are now solutions that if you want to have something that’s heterogeneous, you have the ability to support that. At the same time kind of the industry is really balkanizing in a way that’s even more dramatic than I thought when we started Vidtel five years ago.

For example if you look back at 2008, the world for video was relatively simple. You had H323 systems and you only had a couple of vendors to deal with and a lot of video was run internally. But today you have new protocols, you’ve got different signaling standards, you have people trying to integrate with SIP and what I would argue is that SIP is going through some of the growing pains on the UC and video side that it did in audio 10 years ago. Where people were introducing SIP for the first time and they were getting all these interop issues and then you have new players and new standards whether they’re doing WebRTC or other things where they might not even specify what the standard is. And then I would add to that things that people don’t normally talk about. There are firewall issues, there are session border controller issues, and then there are just issues on IP networking.

So I think the challenges there are still really strong and I think part of where it leads us is that we’re seeing a big shift, even for players that have had video internally for a long time, to want to embrace the cloud. And it’s not only the traditional reasons for economics or outsourcing, but it’s just the complexity of the system. And then it’s not only the complexity but I think they’re changing so fast that if you’re a business and you make a decision right now about what you’re going to buy there’s no guarantee that it will be the right decision in the future, but that you’ll have any guarantee of interop moving forward because we see things breaking so fast. So I think part of the value of having specialists in the network when you’re calling other people is to do that interworking across all these different domains. It’s not just the protocols themselves, it’s all this things in between, even the skill set of buying and running and managing these servers, which are not easy to run.

Marty Parker: That’s a really important question. Phil Edholm, you were wondering how the customers were going to behave. It seems like Scott’s just introduced some pretty interesting questions about whether customers going to solve these problems themselves, what are they going to do? Mix and match? What’s up here? What would you say about that Phil, and what would you want to ask Scott?

Phil Edholm: Scott, my question goes to what you’re seeing, I’ll call it the adoption use pattern. And I’m not talking about from the perspective of people adopting it, but how they’re adopting it. So if you look at WebEx, one of the things that appears to be true, and especially in the SMB market, it tends to be a single purchase. In other words, the owner of a business will buy a WebEx account and share it with essentially all the employees. If you look at people like 8x8, and they’re talking about the IP telephony market and cloud VoIP seems very similar. They’ll buy eight or nine subscriptions for phones and one conferencing subscription, which means that that subscription is getting shared. Do you see the same pattern? What are the cases where you begin to see more individualized adoption of these services that more looks from a monetization like what we consider to be the traditional communication market where there’s individual monetization versus a group service monetization? How do you see that today, group versus individual, and do you see that changing, and what are the drivers you see changing that kind of adoption?

Scott Wharton: Well we’re still seeing a mix of people buying either group or individual, and I think it partly depends on the IT people, if you have them in the organization. And part of what’s driving it to being more individual is that you have services like ours that can be bought literally with a credit card on the web. You can get it provisioned immediately and the people are finding that very attractive where they can do that, could be quasi-independently of what everyone else is doing in the organization. I think the other thing we’re seeing is that for larger companies you can have an internal solution but you may want to have something that’s separate where you’re not going through IT or what we’re finding when IT may want to have an overflow solution. So one of the things we’re finding in the conferencing side is that almost all the large enterprises that we talk to out there they’re basically at capacity for their conferencing. They don’t want to invest more in the current technology because they think it’s either obsolete or too expensive and I think it’s causing a lot of not only confusion but I think there’s basically, the market is being somewhat frozen by that. And the ability to buy a cloud solution is a good way to maybe defer the decision and what you’re going to do because you don’t have to make that big commitment now while you’re trying to figure out where the major investments are going; so I think we’re seeing it coming up from the bottom where people can just buy things that are easier where they would never consider buying things on a group level. And then we’re seeing it coming from the top where people are using it as a way to either do more B-to-B calling or as a way of deferring the decision about where they go because the market isn’t so much fluxed.

Phil Edholm: Thanks.

Marty Parker: That’s fascinating; good question, Phil, and interesting answer Scott. I’m going to call next on Tsahi Levent-Levi. Tsahi is very intrigued by how WebRTC is impacting this market and what it will do to the uptake of video. Tsahi?

Tsahi Levent-Levi: Yes, you’ve added WebRTC this year to the offerings that you have; so you don’t only support today H323 and SIP end points, you can also support half the browsers out there. And my interest here is first, has that changed the way people actually interact within the services that you offer, and do you see more meetings that are done through Vidtel that go not only internally within an organization but also externally to it because you can now send a URL and share a meeting with someone that is externally a lot easier.

Scott Wharton: Yes, I think the main change – there were a couple of main changes on the end user adoption. If you looked at before WebRTC came out a lot of the need for ad hoc calling was being satisfied by Skype or Google Talk so people were comfortable with those and the feedback we were getting is, “Well, I could download a client but I already have Skype,” and it was primarily Skype, Google Talk to a lesser extent. So that was the way people were kind of doing their B-to-B calling. I think we’ve seen a pretty rapid shift, more toward WebRTC and away from Skype or Google Talk because WebRTC is easier to use for some of those ad hoc calls. I would say that if people are doing an ongoing meeting, some of the questions was, “What if I’m making calls all the time and I just have a lap top”? I think what we’re seeing is more of an adoption of clients like Cisco Jabber that are free, but you can download and use them a lot where they have more functionality in them and you can make calls not only through conferencing but point-to-point easier. But in terms of just the ad hoc calling, we’re seeing a lot of movement toward WebRTC. And part of that is not only the end user point of view. I think what we’re finding with our partners is that they love the idea of taking WebRTC and controlling it and rebranding it and doing other things that you can’t do with the clients, so having like a single sign-on into a portal and be able to integrate WebRTC into different things that people are using.

The other thing we’re seeing with WebRTC is we have a gateway functionality that not only goes into conferencing but it also allows point-to-point calling. So we’re seeing a lot of interest in people wanting to put a URL in their signature file as kind of a vanity URL thing, click-to-dial calling. So literally you just click on a link in someone’s email sig file and you want to call directly to their endpoint; so there’s a lot of interest in that because that really changed the nature of doing a video call where, “Where are you; got to add my buddy” and all that to “Hey I’ve got a video link, it’s got my name, it’s always on and all you need to do to find me is just click on that and initiate a call;” so it kind of changes the nature of starting a video discussion from having to have that coordination or escalation to just someone dialing. And they could do it in a way where they don’t have to already know each other which is the buddy paradigm, but more of a standard paradigm of like the PSTN, here is my number, here is my address, call me. More like email, than it is traditional video today.

Marty Parker: Well that’s going to be very interesting to watch how this diversity affects the market as well as the ease of adoption. I was intrigued by your point, Scott, about the ease of putting this into an email address or a web page or whatever because I think that is how communications will get embedded in business processes, but that’s another conversation,  different podcast. But if everybody is going to be using this, then we end up with a real big issue, don’t we, Bill MacKay? Bill is an expert all over North America on the topic of E911 services but this sure raises questions, doesn’t it Bill?

Bill MacKay: It does, Marty; of course one of the biggest challenges right now is Next Generation 911 and the fact that it’s any device, anywhere at any time. And video has a real promise of being able to deliver that type of information. But I guess a couple questions for you, Scott. One is the ability to be able to provide location-based information on a video call; so for example if I’m live streaming video information on a 911 incident at either an incident or an accident, how could we ensure that the location-based information is being provided?

And the other point I want to make is that there is an entire community is often not thought of and that’s the deaf or hard-of-hearing or mute, who need to be able to include 911, and would prefer to be able to perhaps use sign language in video conferencing as opposed to a video relay service. So I’m wondering if you might be able to perhaps address video in that context

Scott Wharton: I think one of the things that people don’t really think about with 911 is they always think about having emulation of what we had before; so it’s basically dialing in with voice and telling people who you are. But if you think of the old world of 911, it’s pretty limited and you call on the phone, nobody really knows who you are, there’s no presence and you can’t see anything; so I think the opportunity with WebRTC is not only just emulate and try to replicate what we already have, but to try to make it better. And I love the idea of having let’s say a link for Video for 911 and maybe you do it from your smart phone. So instead of having to do all that address, registration, all that stuff what you think about is completely irrelevant in a smart phone world where you’re taking this thing everywhere. You’re not in your location; you’re wherever you are and just leveraging all the information, your IP address, your GPS location, everything to actually find out where you are. So I think there’s an opportunity to do that much better, the challenge there is less going to be on the end point side; it’s probably more on the 911 infrastructure, the PSAPs, to be able to upgrade their video infrastructure. And with respect to the deaf, I think part of the opportunity with WebRTC is instead of everyone being locked into this, it’s got to be all H323 and it’s got to be all this system, I think part of the deaf community has always locked into some particular standard of technology.

The opportunity for WebRTC is really to open that up so that anybody can really use that or be part of the discussion whether it’s for people who are signing, or people who can dial in from home who are being the operators, etc. And right now the problem in the deaf community is that it’s like $6 an hour for service and nobody can even make money; it’s like this ridiculous dichotomy. So WebRTC may democratize it and open it up so that it maybe can be more widely used and lower cost.

Marty Parker: Interesting ideas about that. You can imagine a bot that’s doing basically speech recognition, with conversation to signing. It’s not out of the range but I think that Bill raises a very interesting question that I won’t be surprised to see legislation that puts the same demand on any service provider that they currently put on the enterprise, which is, if you’re going to provide a communication endpoint to somebody then you have to be NG911 compliant, would you think that’s possible, Bill?

Bill MacKay: It may be possible; it’s going to be a challenge, and the biggest problem is going to be the interoperability. And the other part of it is that at some point in time there may be a need to perhaps be able to do real time conferencing. And real time conferencing may need to bridge a number of different types of devices in order to be able to satisfy a 911 call. So you may have somebody texting, you may have somebody on video, you may have somebody on audio and to be able to bridge all those together and still be able to provide all the information that’s going to be required could be a challenge.

Marty Parker: Yeah well okay, well we’ll watch -- we’ll keep an eye on that evolution. But speaking of mobile devices, Michael, Scott’s mentioned this a couple times, Bill has, is video on mobile going to be real? Obviously there are plenty of downloads, people are watching football games and everything else on their video device. Is video going to be the way the people use their mobile device for enterprise communications? Go ahead, Michael.

Michael Finneran: Right – I was going to ask Scott, are you seeing a lot of uptake? Certainly we talked a lot about desktop video; are people really moving this mobile device? Are they out and about and still wanting to involve video?

Scott Wharton: Well, think of the transition we’ve seen. When we started the company in 2008, I tried to explain to people in the U.S. that there were devices in the world that had a front-facing video camera that did video; people laughed at me. They said, “No way, I can’t even believe it. No one will ever use it.” And I would show them these European devices that we brought in to hack, like some old Nokia N95 devices and they would go, “Oh, what the hell is that”? They would look at it like we were Martians. And then a few years later, I think Apple really was the one through first the iPhone and the iPad that made people think about more using mobile devices for video.

Today, what I would say is that there’s this interesting transition where the cameras on your phones have now gone to the point that they’re so good, that they’re almost better than the ones on your lap top and some of them are even better than the appliances that are out there. But I think in the last 12 months we’re seeing a real transition partly culturally, but partly just the quality of the devices of smart phones and tablets. The quality is actually good enough where people can do a business quality call on one of these devices. I was going to call yesterday, a business call, and some people were ducking out of a restaurant in their iPad and we were on a multi-party conference call and the quality was great. I think that wasn’t true really up until the last 12 months where Apple and others put an HD camera, a real camera, not a crappy one, into these devices and I think that’s changing the whole dynamics of how people do video.

Marty Parker: Well, it will be an adoption curve, that’s for sure. I mean obviously we hear it in our client engagements as well. It can very well be generational, that there are people used to doing everything on their mobile device; so they are going to do this on it too, and it’s the enterprise’s problem to get the quality up as opposed to their problem. But we’ll see how that goes.

Scott Wharton: I think there are two things missing, too, with mobile video. One is I think people really need more of a mobile docking station, kind of similar to what ShoreTel did, but I’d like to see that more widely promulgated. And the reason is when you’re on a mobile call you don’t want people shaking it around all the time; it’s just really distracting. So you need somewhere where it’s kind of a stand where you can charge it with a speaker phone, etc.

I think the second thing is to see WebRTC more widely adopted. So WebRTC is now you can get it in Chrome and Android devices, works with our service, but I think we’re really like to see some kind of either WebRTC-enabled Chrome or some kind of WebRTC-enabled app that’s on iOS devices. I think that’s what will really change how people use it because it will make it so much easier and you won’t have to get locked into a particular client that’s not really designed for ad hoc conferencing.

Dave Michels: I’m just going to throw in here that I have this brilliant business idea that I’m going to offer to the world here in this podcast right now that somebody should go after. I don’t understand why somebody doesn’t make a really nice desk lamp for the home video user that doubles as a microphone and a light that shines on the person sitting at the desk, because the lighting is so hard and sound is so hard, and the microphones and the camera at the right height. And this bolt-on on the top of the web cam on top of the monitor just doesn’t do it, and so I’m waiting for someone to make a really nice, professional looking desk lamp that does it all.

Marty Parker: What I’m looking for Dave, is a really longer extension cord so it can be a mobile desk lamp. What were you going to say, Phil?

Phil Edholm: Yeah, I think that’s a great idea and I agree. I actually was making some videos for the UCStrategies Benefit & ROI Tool and I noticed it was very hard. But Scott, I had one question I just wanted to ask you. One of the things that strikes me with small devices, the iPad is probably in this, but definitely when you get down into the hand held devices like iPhones, Android smart phones the difference between the ratio of the camera size and the screen size makes it very difficult to have quality business video. In other words, for you to see enough of me to have a quality experience, be able to see high resolution of me, see arm movements, see my torso, see body language means that the phone has to actually be about two and a half feet away from my body, a couple of feet away. On the other hand, if the phone is two feet away the visual image I get is so small I can’t see any detail. If I move the phone up close enough for me to be able to see the screen effectively, now you essentially see nose hair. So I guess the question is, do you really see an uptake of those sized devices being used for video long term or is this just an initial use and then that will fade away?

Scott Wharton: I think it’s all about the use case. It depends how mobile you are. I think if you’re at your desk you probably want to have a desk system or you want to have an iPad or some kind of tablet docking station that is really better audio and stability and stuff like that. I think if you’re on the road, then it all matters on where you are. I can tell you that I’ve seen and I’ve been on a bunch of video calls where people are coming in on iPhones or Android devices and the quality was actually acceptable for what it was. I mean would I like it to be better? Yes, but given where the people were at the time – and I think people are actually, and this is a cultural thing about trying to figure out how to do video. I think people are getting better at knowing even how to hold the device. So all those issues of holding it up to your nose or those things, some of those are being addressed with people just getting more experience.

Maybe one thing is another Dave example, maybe you’re on the road and you’ve got your smart phone, maybe you just need a little stand so that the phone doesn’t fall over, but also I think from a viewing point of view probably what happens is a little asymmetrical but people will see you really well on your device, maybe what you really need to do is see like a couple of people or three. You’re not going to necessarily see 16 people. But the reality is as you know, Phil, most video calls are at three to four people. I think it’s actually gotten to the point where it is good enough and acceptable. It won’t be great but given the trade offs and given how accessible, everyone has got a smart phone in their hand... I think you will see more and more people using it, even given the trade offs.

Marty Parker: Yeah great, this has been a great conversation, so I’m going to thank Scott Wharton, founder and CEO and Vidtel, for being with us and taking all these questions. I want to thank my fellow UCStrategies experts for their thoughtfulness and their posing of these questions and I guess I’ll put a wrap on it by saying it’s clear that there’s a lot going on, it’s clear that patterns are changing, and I think that the opportunity for us and the challenge for enterprises is to be as astute and alert as possible to how these changes will be integrated into their business environment, into their processes. And as we said for many years, unified communications is communications integrated to optimize business processes. So that’s what it’s all about and thanks to everyone today for advancing the cause.


No Comments Yet.

To Leave a Comment, Please Login or Register

BC Summit 2016 UC Alerts
UC Blogs
UC ROI Tool RSS Feeds