Cloud Videoconferencing Infrastructure–When Does It Make Sense?

The cloud has changed the way that many companies approach technology, especially when it comes to communication. Cloud video conferencing is just one example of how the prominence of the cloud has changed the way that colleagues and clients collaborate. There are some particular instances where creating a cloud video conferencing infrastructure is particularly important for companies in the private sector, as well as for other kinds of organizations that need seamless video conferencing.

When Mobility Is Critical

One of the biggest advantages of using cloud video conferencing is that it frees up your team members to take video calls wherever they are. With traditional conferencing tools that use on-site hardware, members of your team have to be in the office to hold video conferences with their other people. Cloud video conferencing has the advantage of letting users hold conferences from almost anywhere.

When Budget Is A Factor

The cost of setting up video conferencing on-site is often much higher than the price companies will pay to invest in cloud conferencing. Many cloud video conferencing providers charge a flat rate per month for a specific set of conferencing services, which allows organizations with a limited AV budget to still get the communication capabilities required to conduct business successfully.

When Scalability Is Important

In many different areas, the cloud helps companies that want to be able to scale their processes up and down. Video conferencing is no different. When you buy AV equipment, like servers and computers, or retain staff members who are dedicated to managing video conferencing, it can be very difficult to scale your conferencing up or down as necessary. Video conferencing in the cloud allows users to make quick changes when it comes to how much video conferencing they need to conduct and how often they need to hold these conferences. Cloud-based providers of video conferencing usually allow customers to quickly pay for more bandwidth or the capability to handle more users.

A good example of the great scalability of video conferencing in the cloud can be found in Google’s Hangout technology. Google recently added Hangouts to its suite of business applications and increased the compatibility of Hangouts so that these conferences can work with a number of different kinds of devices. Hangouts can support video conferencing for as many as ten people, which makes it one of the most scalable cloud conferencing solutions available for today’s consumers.

When Employee Resources Cannot Be Allocated To AV Management

Another big hurdle to on-site conferencing solutions is that it requires some type of maintenance. You need to have someone in place who can monitor servers, apply software updates, and troubleshoot conferencing solutions when users are having trouble. Cloud conferencing providers generally offer all of this assistance as a part of their service, which reduces the staffing requirements of video conferencing.

Cloud video conferencing continues to develop and become more sophisticated as time goes on. If your organization needs a customized solution for video conferencing, a cloud provider may be the perfect answer to your needs.

2015 Unified Communication Predictions

After a brief period of dormancy, the unified communications (UC) industry took a healthy jump to life last year. What will this year bring for the industry? UC experts are predicting the biggest trends and what they mean for enterprises and institutions looking to expand and improve their collaboration experience in 2015. A recent article on TechTarget explored the top unified communication and collaboration trends of the last 12 months, which they predict will stay strong in 2015. Let’s talk about some of them.

The Growing Popularity of UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS). 2014 witnessed an increased adoption of cloud-based UC. The article cited some relevant findings from Nemertes Research’s Enterprise Technology Benchmark, “One in 3 enterprises moved to a cloud-based email or calendar platform, with another 12% planning to migrate in 2015.” According to Nemertes analyst, Irwin Lazar, cost-effectiveness, higher scalability, and quick deployment are some of the biggest reasons behind the popularity of UCaaS.

More Companies Using Cloud-Based Video Conferencing. Costly room video conferencing systems are quickly being replaced by less costly, cloud-based systems available for desktop and mobile devices. Pointing to Google’s 2014 announcement of its partnership with Vidyo, the article predicts that the blending of cloud-based video with on-premises systems will continue in 2015.

Tools Making Collaboration Easy. Last year Cisco and Unify released collaboration tools that would act as better alternatives to email for group communication, setting this year’s industry movement toward combining messaging, file-sharing, audio, video and Web conferencing into a single easy-to-use format.

UC Becoming More Social. Social integration has been one of the major trends in 2014 with social-embedded UC products like Unify Circuit and Cisco Project Squared arriving in the scene. This year we’ll witness “more robust versions” while “rivals like IBM, Jive Software, and Microsoft are likely to improve their more mature products.”

WebRTC Makes UC a Web-app Feature. The trend of web-browser based audio and video conferencing made WebRTC support crucial for browser makers. In 2015, more business software developers and UCC vendors will incorporate WebRTC into products. Not only this, more B2C businesses will start using WebRTC technology to add audio and video communications to websites and mobile apps. Twilio, a service API provider for voice calls, VoIP, text messaging etc., has jumped on the WebRTC bandwagon, and its rivals, Plivo, Voxeo Corp., and Tropo, are very likely to join soon.

Mobile UC Rises in Demand. With cloud-based UCC becoming increasingly popular among enterprises, there has been a growing demand for easy-to-use mobile UC that can help employees and executives connect and collaborate even on the fly. Big players like ShoreTel and AT&T are planning to expand their video conferencing services to mobile to make the most of this trend. This year, we can expect to see many new products and services entering the mobile UC market.

Other trends worth noting are: enterprise demand of UC monitoring software will grow; organizations will need to mitigate interoperability issues by breaking existing silos; and security threats to VoIP will increase.

After reviewing these prediction, do you think last year’s trends will be carried forward in 2015 or will we see some entirely new concepts emerging this year? Share your thoughts with us.