Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

An Explosion In Video Business Comms Is Coming

Posted by Guest Writer - October 22, 2010


Guest Post By Sudha Valluru, CEO of ViVu

The necessity of real-time remote collaboration is now well accepted in today's global workplaces.

The days of holding office meetings with everyone sitting around a conference table, are a thing of the past. Workforce is now spread across from homes, coffee houses, to offices around the world and it involves exorbitantly high costs to gather them at a single meeting point at an appointed time.

The importance of "video" in collaboration solutions, to help simulate real-life, physical conferences and to develop a personal connection among remote participants has been well documented in various studies over the last two decades.

However, video conferencing was largely confined to the expensive conference rooms, affordable only to a few and severely restrictive even for those. It is safe to say that "video" has largely been missing in everyday business communications, due to limitations in technology, infrastructure and the lack of affordable, intuitive solutions.

It is precisely these limitations that have been sufficiently overcome in the last couple of years, paving way for the next generation of collaboration solutions.

Delivering HD video conferencing along with collaboration tools right to your laptops became a possibility, with more powerful video codecs, higher processing speeds of laptops, increased bandwidth, and affordable webcams supporting HD video. Furthermore, leveraging cloud computing services, helped achieve the twin benefits of scalability and low latency video.

Coupled with the ever increasing demands for more efficient remote collaboration solutions, the aforementioned advances proved to be the perfect recipe for developing video collaboration software, which is easy and affordable enough for daily business use.

While legacy vendors continued to maintain hardware-based MCUs (Multipoint Control Units, for video mixing), restricting scalability, a new paradigm shift has evolved. Newer approach doesn't require any centralized proprietary hardware as the intelligence has been pushed to the end-points, such as laptops.

The distributed intelligence in the laptops coordinates QOS (Quality of Service), CAC (Call Admission Control), and video mixing amongst the conference participants, while adapting to jitters and latency parameters. This ground-breaking architecture enables you to enjoy HD quality video at 30fps, right from your laptop and over regular internet connections.

When you host a group videoconference, the technology should further your business purpose, not create a distraction. Clearly, it is not enough to just deliver HD video conferencing to laptops, if it is not intuitive and easy enough to conduct and participate in these conference sessions.

It is again the newer vendors that have best addressed this issue as the overall user experience is designed with "video conferencing" as the core functionality.

To cater to enterprises, solutions also need to meet the additional requirements of scalability, security, and customizability, while delivering low latency, HD video. Our customer studies show that enterprises are aware of the changing dynamics in the collaboration space, and are in fact, looking for newer solutions that match their specific needs.

Enterprise needs are diverse ranging from delivering HD video to supporting interoperability with existing infrastructure like Polycom, from integrating social media like twitter to archiving multimedia meetings, from delivering SaaS deployments to on-premises deployments.
Collaboration is undergoing a paradigm shift with "HD desktop video" and adept enterprises and vendors have been preparing themselves to fully leverage this change.

With organizational culture across many enterprises better prepared to adapt video communications, video collaboration solutions becoming more affordable and intuitive, improved readiness of infrastructure to support HD video conferencing, I believe we will see an explosion of "video" in business communications over the next couple of years.


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