By Bill Gerneglia
By 2016, smartphones and tablets will put real computing power in the hands of a billion global consumers. The C-Suite is just starting to prepare for the fact that mobile devices are not simply another device for IT departments and helpdesks to support. The mobile devices become the manifestation of a much broader shift to new systems of engagement offering video and business collaboration capabilities.
These systems of engagement help organizations empower their customers, partners, and employees with context-aware apps and smart products. Many organizations are moving to virtual applications to help promote employee use of social media and video conference and collaboration tools.
Some products offer to simplify the end user experience by offering collaborative video features such as true drag and drop and one-touch video capability. The products also offer high definition quality at lower bandwidths than ever before. Real time office collaboration is now a real option for many businesses.
Supporting evidence of emerging collaborations trends are highlighted in a new survey by TeamViewer. The results show that online meetings are on the rise and are most popular among women in the workforce. A whopping 77% of all respondents say online meetings and collaboration are on the rise. Some of the more common comments on online meetings were tallied. The results were broken down by women and men. (The first per cent given indicates women, second per cent given indicates men).
They could save money in transportation costs (women - 78% vs. men - 71%).
You don't have to waste time traveling to meetings (77% vs. 71%).
Online meetings are less nerve-racking (37% vs. 26%).
People are less distracted (22% vs. 16%).
Women were more demanding than men when it comes to expectations for online meeting hosts. When asked about the qualities most important in an online meeting host, they said:
Organization (women - 81% vs. men - 68%);
Fast-paced (64% vs. 52%);
Respectfulness (60% vs. 50%);
Fair (57% vs. 51%);
Decisive (40% vs. 34%); and
Clever (17% vs. 12%).
In another study, CEOs were seen as increasingly going virtual in their use of video to conduct meetings. In one sampling of 65 CEOs, the study shows they spend on average 18 hours of their 55-hour workweek tied up in meetings. But the real surprise was to learn was how many of those meetings were conducted virtually by many global organizations.
The cost and convenience benefits of cloud (hosted or private) based video solutions are now more evident than ever. After a decade of promises the immersive video experience lives up to expectations of most CIOs.
As with many of the latest enterprise technology trends, the shift began initially with consumer technology, where low cost or free services offered acceptable lower quality video conferencing capabilities. Services such as Skype are easily accessed via smart devices equipped with high quality cameras and Wi-Fi capabilities.
While the quality may not be perfect the service has always been good and the price reasonable. In addition, end users have been gaining in confidence and experience in the use of these videoconferencing applications.
Of course most businesses will have more stringent enterprise requirements for deployment to their entire organization. The overall quality of the experience remains a primary consideration because, in a business context, the technology needs to be almost invisible if the benefits of video collaboration are to be realized by the entire organization.
Today, high quality and simple to use video conferencing applications are widely available. The availability of capable devices, coupled with the increase in IP bandwidth across the globe, means that the quality is in place – so you can demonstrate live to an office in California what is happening in the field in North Dakota.
Telepresence today provides a true immersive video experience that is now so real that it has become a far more valuable tool to many senior executives – a meeting conducted via video conferencing now can feel like just another face to face meeting.
For the global organization the ability to bring together remote specialist resources, that are geographically scattered, into virtual teams yields a new productivity potential that can focus on specific issues for customers and group projects.
The rapid growth in enterprise video collaboration enables customers to see increased service effectiveness by having the best resources available from within a vendor’s global company targeted on their solution. This helps organizations consolidate a scattered knowledge base to boostthe global integration of certain business processes. The global collaboration can reduce the need for specialist outsourcing initiatives to solve local customer service issues. The most attractive human resource outcome from global video collaboration is the opportunity for your company’s workers to gain professional development opportunities from specialized training and collaborating with colleagues with differing skill sets.
The good news for CIOs is that today there is choice of affordable, good quality options. High definition, pay per use Video as a Service (VAAS) solutions can offer crystal clear quality and flexible deployment options from the office, home office, or hotel and accessed from a variety of devices.
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