Video Collaboration in the Enterprise

The Increasing Benefits of Video Collaboration to the Enterprise

Thursday, July 25, 2013 | Kerry Butters

Video collboration is by no means a new concept, but it’s one that’s becoming increasingly relevant to modern enterprises in a competitive marketplace. This is not only because faster internet speeds and the advent of the cloud has increased the necessity and ease of collaborative working practice, but it is also being driven by strong mobile and tablet growth.

A study carried out earlier in the year by Wainhouse, End-User Survey: The ‘Real’ Benefits of Video found that video conferencing is also being used more and more by enterprises in order to make contact with clients and partners.

Of the 5000 asked, more than two-thirds of them said that they use video services in such a way. Indeed, it seems that video can be put to good use across various enterprise departments, as HR executives reported that it’s often being used to conduct interviews too.

This is ideal for finding candidates in other locations, especially since the skills gap remains glaringly wide in the UK.

Today’s talent is digital savvy and wants to be able to use video alongside mobile in order to create a collaborative work environment that means they can perform at their best. When mobile is thrown into the mix, this is even more the case, especially since video streaming is increasingly taking up more internet traffic.

Security representing a barrier?

For some time now a barrier to widespread adoption of video collaboration has been based on concerns over performance and security. For the former, this is becoming less of a problem as the world continues to adopt faster internet speeds. However, the latter remains an issue for some CIOs, especially with BYOD meaning that many employees can carry out video collaboration using personal devices.

In the past, solutions such as using a series of cloud gateways that allow workers to connect to the enterprises video network have been considered and rejected, and so has the idea of providing a basic video client for download. The problem that has been found with these solutions range from limited functionality alongside questionable security. In essence these solutions are not business grade solutions and are therefore unsuitable for enterprise use.

[ Related White Paper: Beyond Enterprise Boundaries - Extending secure, high-performance video collaboration to any user, anywhere ]

However, as video conferencing has matured, so too has the approach to ensuring an agile and secure business solution. A web browser can be used by all employees who need to connect to the video network, no matter where they are or on what device.

This involves users connecting natively to a cloud-based secure video network and allows for a robust collaboration experience which allows users to access full enterprise features, such as contacts, once they have logged into the network.

This can be done even with users that initially access video using consumer products such as Skype. The difference then is that they are discovered and connected on a secure URL, rather than just the internet connection wherever they are situated.

Solutions tailored to each organisation

The beauty of this is that, depending on the chosen video vendor, different bespoke solutions can be offered for each organisation or industry. For example, the legal profession and the healthcare industry will have specific regulations that they will have to adhere closely to.

Independent systems integrators specialising in video collaboration, like Videocall, will work closely with such organisations in order to ensure that all regulatory conditions are met, without compromising on performance. This allows for a level of collaboration that can significantly increase productivity.

Whilst in the past, video conferencing has been subject to dropped or poor quality connections, the use of a common browser to connect users has done away with this. Further to this, consumer video solutions such as Skype and Google Talk have always had the potential for security issues, which is unacceptable to the enterprise.

Reduced costs for business travel

In addition to the obvious benefits to productivity, a video conferencing facility that is secure and suitable for enterprise use can save a significant amount on travel for many companies. It’s estimated that companies spend around £600 per employee on business travel, but with video conferencing this is no longer necessary.

Given the reduced costs that cloud services can also offer to businesses of all sizes, this means that today’s modern enterprise can significantly improve margins and increase competition amongst medium and large enterprises.

The benefits of choosing a well-respected service provider that can offer unified solutions which are agile and secure, as well as having the ability to allow regulatory issues to be addressed means that enterprises can take advantage of video conferencing to ensure strong growth in the future.

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