Videoconferencing, once perceived as a peripheral business tool, is now gaining global, cross-sector recognition as a powerful mainstream communications medium. The enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence market grew by 20.5 percent in 2011, reaching $2.7 billion, according to industry analysts IDC , with all signs pointing to further market growth on the horizon.
What's to account for this remarkable growth? Improved technology coupled with current social and market trends have set the stage for the rise of pervasive videoconferencing. Organisations now see videoconferencing as a must-have communication tool with the potential to drive cost efficiencies whilst transforming the way business is done.
A new white paper offers insight into how organisations can set about defining a forward-looking video strategy that can improve productivity, reduce costs and enhance collaboration.
[ White Paper Dynamic Video Collaboration: Developing the Business Case ]
Some key recommendations from the report include:
- Create a scalable business case: The goal is to increase the reliability, quality and usage of videoconferencing, and seamlessly combining video use with other productivity and collaboration tools. Core competencies and drivers include developing the operational efficiencies of videoconferencing without compromising on quality, growing the use of video among workgroups, desktop users and mobile device users, and choosing a solution that meets the various needs of the organisation.
- Make video pervasive across the organisation: Adopting a pervasive approach is crucial to making videoconferencing a part of the organisation's culture, as well as ensuring the highest quality experience and service possible.
- Develop a partnership with an independent solutions advisor: The partner can help clarify objectives, create a roadmap for the managing the organisation's requirements, implement and manage new innovations as they come to the market.
- Optimise technology: Developing an advanced video collaboration environment will require deploying and managing the right technological infrastructure. Optimising videoconferencing facilities across a range of offices, enabling systems so they can run over IP using an intelligent management network, and developing infrastructure that is both scalable and capable of supporting current video endpoints as well as third-party connections in high definition quality are the most popular requests today. Working with an independent solutions provider that can act as a vital point of contact and provide a broad technology skill set is crucial.
- Driving user acceptance and adoption: The success and impact of video is closely aligned with how closely and seamlessly video capabilities are integrated into other everyday activities, for example, email, instant messaging, social networking and web collaboration tools. Again, organisations are advised to work closely with a qualified partner to fully explore all video solutions. Key factors driving user acceptance and adoption include user experience, use of single service providers, success of widespread adoption across different user communities, ease of use, and interoperability of different video solutions for increased spontaneity of use.
- Services: Expert service provision at every level of the videoconferencing project lifecycle is crucial to ensuring pervasive use of video with tangible business benefits.
- Choosing a delivery model: The four most common options are cloud, hybrid, managed on-premise, and on-premise. Key deciding factors will include cost model (upfront capital investment versus regular ‘service' based payments), level of internal resources for out-of-hours support, flexibility and scalability, accessibility, and affordability. Other considerations may include company culture, current skill sets, assets and resource availability for the initial video rollout.
Above all, the impact of a video strategy will depend on how well organisations can combine video capabilities with other collaboration and communications tools such as instant messaging, document-sharing and email so that videoconferencing is as easy and natural as making a telephone call.Acceleration of decision-making, improved individual productivity, reduction of costs associated with travel, and enhanced collaboration are all laudable business goals and objectives that can be achieved through a pervasive video project. Increasingly, organisations must also consider deploying or updating a videoconferencing platform in order to benefit from a powerful communications medium that has the ability to reach customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in today's increasingly dynamic business environment.
[ White Paper: Extending the Business Value of Videoconferencing with Microsoft Lync 2013 ]