With enterprise video moving into the mainstream of business communications, organisations are now faced with the challenge of deploying video collaboration in the workplace. An executive brief from IDC called "Mobile Video Collaboration: The New Business Reality” describes the issues on the horizon as widespread adoption of video solutions continues to gain momentum across all sectors.
The push towards mobile
According to the IDC brief, the mainstreaming of mobile video is the result of three distinct "megatrends”:
- The consumerisation of IT, including the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon. With workers increasingly furnishing their own mobile devices for work purposes, consumer-oriented applications and video-capable devices have inevitably made their way into the enterprise.
- The rise of videoconferencing in consumer, SMB, and enterprise markets. According to IDC forecasts, roughly 30% of the U.S, population will use videoconferencing services in 2012, with that percentage expected to grow to 45% by 2015.
- Advances in mobile technology, including growing network broadband capacity and the proliferation of video-capable mobile devices. Worldwide shipments of media tablets is expected to reach 140 million by 2015, with smartphones taking up 45% of the global mobile phone reach , according to IDC forecasts.
Organisations must consider the trajectory of these trends as they begin to clear a path for video.
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Issues to consider when deploying video
With these trends set firmly in place, the time is ripe for businesses to take a closer look at the key issues involved in the widespread adoption of video solutions. These include:
- Interoperability. Organisations must integrate video collaboration seamlessly into the current infrastructure of multiple networks, including assimilation with instant messaging, telephony, web conferencing, mobile and social media. Users must be able to launch video sessions from familiar interfaces and everyday workflows. Multiple dial-in codes should be consolidated into one to seamlessly connect endpoints and devices to the enterprise.
- Scalability. Enterprise networks must rise to the challenge of an ever-increasing number of desktop and mobile video users. When more users are on a server, more calls are placed, which can be a challenge to the server's architecture. Rejected or dropped calls may follow when the number of calls exceeds the server's maximum. Easy setup and management is key to managing a fast-growing volume of endpoints.
- Security. This is a major consideration in light of the BYOD trend in which workers are furnishing personal devices to conduct business in the enterprise. Organisations must put together a corporate policy that establishes a secure environment for remote video solutions and services. IT managers can look towards technological advances such as embedded media encryption that supports secure videoconferencing. The H.235 security using 128-bit AES encryption is one advance organisations may consider when initiating a security plan.
- Ease of use. Finally, the success of video will rely heavily on whether video collaboration tools are easy to use and intuitive for users. Ease of use appears simple on the surface, but will require a number of hidden capabilities running seamlessly in the background. These include firewall traversal, access to a centralised directory, uncomplicated authentication, and successful encryption. IT managers will be responsible for enterprise-class management and redundancy as they control access and security to a complex yet seemingly simple video collaboration environment.
Consensus continues to build that the key drivers for mobile video collaboration are firmly in place, with mobile video collaboration trends showing no sign of slowing. This begs the question: what will happen to organisations that delay in recognising and accepting the benefits of video adoption? Once organisations recognise the value of videoconferencing in gaining business advantage, their ability to manage key issues—especially interoperability, scalability, security and ease of use—will help determine the winners in today's increasingly distributed and mobile workforce.
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