The New World of Video is Here
We’ve been hearing that “video is the new voice” for several years now, and it appears that video communications are finally starting to take off. Whether in a formal video meeting room, on the desktop, or even a mobile device, video is helping businesses become more productive.
Combining work context with the ability to escalate voice and video interactions brings a richness and social aspect to communications not previously available. Video communications goes beyond the words and lets you see whether someone is rolling their eyes, nodding their head in agreement, or looking confused.
Benefits of Video – From Killing Email to Hiring New Staff
The benefits of video communications are clear. According to a recent survey by BlueJeans Network, well over half of the 4,000 employees worldwide interviewed found that seeing people rather than just hearing them provides tremendous productivity benefits. For example, 68% of the respondents noted that live video will save them time spent in unproductive face-to-face meetings in the next five years, while over half see it significantly reducing the volume of email traffic. In addition, 82% of respondents feel that live video is important for collaboration, training, and troubleshooting. Around 72% of respondents have higher expectations of information being readily available than they did two years ago, and believe that video technologies can change the way they communicate at work. 82% see live video playing a useful role within their organization over the next two years whether in training, troubleshooting customer issues or product collaboration. The demand for video in the workplace is growing, as 51% of the respondents said they would prefer to work for a company that embraces live video as a way to communicate, and 73% believe hiring of new staff could be transformed with video.
Video is easier than ever to use, and can be as simple as dragging and dropping an individual’s name into a “conference room” or clicking on a name and selecting “video chat” from the drop down menu to initiate ad hoc conferences. With video across the firewall, collaboration is expanded to customers, vendors, and partners. Cost savings from reduced air travel and hotel expenses can be tremendous. For example, one video consumer conducted roughly 100 client meetings over video estimating $2,000 to $3,000 in travel cost savings per call, noting, “That’s easily $250,000 a year.” Replacing employee travel with web and video conferencing and collaboration tools such as shared workspaces and document repositories, can save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Use cases for video are all over the board – from human resources to marketing to engineering, and of course, help desks and contact centers are taking advantage of the value that video provides. HR departments use videoconferencing for interviewing job applicants, while tech support can show someone how to fix a problem with their laptop. Marketing departments can share mock ups for new campaigns, while executives in different countries who don’t often get to meet in person can see each other and form more personal relationships.
The use of video is expanding beyond the video meeting room to the desktop – as well as to mobile devices. Video meetings are no longer limited to the meeting room, as mobile devices become important video endpoints, enabling video meetings from any location. We’re also experiencing the rise of huddle rooms, which are small conference areas equipped with audio, video and other technologies that let teams and workgroups get together in a more ad hoc and informal way without having to schedule a meeting room.
AT&T Video Solutions – Bringing it Together
There are a variety of vendors offering video solutions, but in many cases these solutions need to be brought together as part of an overall unified communication and collaboration solution. Companies like AT&T are stepping forward to help make video collaboration more accessible. As a strategic partner for large and global businesses, AT&T offers a series of technologies providing video solutions, including the Cisco line up of Collaboration solutions from WebEx, through the desktop, huddle and meeting room solutions, all the way to the super high-end telepresence solutions. The WebEx solutions can be combined with AT&T Global Audio Conferencing solutions to provide increased functionality.
For example, AT&T Conferencing with Cisco WebEx solution, when integrated with AT&T Global Conferencing, provides global audio capabilities, in conjunction with high-definition (HD) video and WebEx web conferencing features, enabling attendees to join conferences with local, in-country phone numbers in more than 150 countries. Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms Cloud (CMR) is an additional feature available with WebEx meetings that provides conferencing bridging capabilities to enable an instantly-available video meeting experience.
AT&T also offers video conferencing through Blue Jeans Networks, which is a cloud-based, multi-point solution to let users collaborate through a variety of mobile devices, desktop PCs, as well as room and immersive video systems. Blue Jeans allows users to scale their video conferencing capabilities without abandoning investments they’ve made in solutions from Cisco, Polycom, and others, while interoperating with Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business), Google, various web browsers, and more.
AT&T MPLS VPN customers have the added advantage of securely connecting to these providers for faster performance through a cloud based solution available on their network.
New Challenges on the Horizon
As video becomes a more prominent part of enterprises’ UCC environments, expect to see new players, new technologies, and new challenges. Enterprises need to think about the most effective ways to integrate the various legacy solutions with the newer video capabilities, while making video accessible to workers in any location using any device.
A quality video experience requires a secure and guaranteed network, leading edge technologies, as well as the skills and expertise to manage and deploy the solution. Video is the new voice – are you ready?