Firewalls are probably one of the biggest peace-of-mind purchases that an enterprise will make to ensure it’s secure from the outside world. More comprehensive firewalls offer a vast suite of tools and features to make the life of the administrator easier by automating as much of the process of security management as possible. When it comes to video conferencing technology, the lion’s share of firewall solutions are not as video friendly as the feature set suggests.
Recently, IDC reported that the worldwide enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence market had declined 10% year over year in 2Q, 2012. The ripples from the news included speculation that there are many cheaper and improved forms of video available today that are taking over. (e.g. Skype, Google Talk, FaceTime, etc.)
Does this falling market spell the end for room based video conferencing systems? Is the market moving to desktop and mobile video?
No. And Yes. These answers might seem contradictory, but I think they are complementary.
There is no question that the desktop video market, spawned by Skype, is growing and video is becoming more common place in person to person communication. In fact, once you get comfortable using video you wonder how you made do without it; and when you can’t use it, the conversation just isn’t as rich.
For me this is most apparent when using video on the personal side – communicating with my son away at university. When I can see him, the conversation is so much richer. I can tell if he is tired. I can see if he is stressed. I can see if he is jazzed. I can see if all is well – just by looking at him.
Visual clues enrich the conversation at work as well. I don’t need to travel or wait for a face-to-face meeting because I can get the visual part of the conversation using video. There is a huge benefit to using video to reduce travel and even more important, accelerate the business execution cycle. [Future blog topic]
I have no doubt that the use of video on desktop and mobile devices will grow tremendously over the next decade, to the point where video conversations are the norm. And the majority of those video calls (85%+) will be person-to-person or point-to-point, in technical jargon. This is the dynamics of telephone calls worldwide and video calls will echo that dynamic.
That means that desktop and mobile devices will be used for those point-to-point video calls, not a room based video system.
Lots of people can get by with personal video technology, BUT room systems are still extremely important. Why?
1) Without exception, every company or agency I speak with has a lack of meeting room space.
- They are overbooked and do not have enough meeting space
- They do not make effective use of the rooms they have
2) As desktop and mobile video proliferate the need to connect to room systems that are video capable increases. This will drive demand for video capability in ALL meeting rooms. Those rooms will require a set up that provides a great video experience. See these blogs
- Screen Real Estate – a Critical Factor in Making Video Calls As Good As “Being There”
- The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made in Determining Screen Real Estate in a Video Conferencing Room
3) Video enriches the conversation and increases collaboration between the meeting room participants and the virtual participants
4) As trends like workplace transformation, remote workers, and the velocity of collaboration continue to increase there will be more demand for room based video systems
5) The benefits of a well executed Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) strategy are game changing. [Future blog article]. Room systems are an integral part of a well thought out and executed UC&C platform.
So what does this mean for your company or organization? It means that you need a well thought out room strategy.
- Your rooms need to be technically capable of easily connecting in video users calling in from their desktops and mobile devices
- Your rooms need to be an integral part of your UC & C framework
- Your rooms need standards that are implemented globally [Future blog article]
- Your rooms need to be capable of fostering and accelerating collaboration in your organization
- Your rooms need to be easy to use
The collaboration technology in your company’s room systems are going to be even more important tomorrow than they are today!
To make that happen requires some different thinking than approaches from the past. Your organization will need to consider some if not all of the following:
- AV & IT technology taking a single approach
- Real Estate & IT working together
- Desktop and Room systems working together
- High level sponsorship
- A partner who can … consult, implement, monitor, maintain
If you need assistance with any of the above, please contact us at the ET Group. Our capabilities span from consulting and assessing through to implementation. We will work with you in whichever area is the most important to you and your organization.