Thought Leadership

Collaboration Gets Better with Video

Collaboration Gets Better with Video

Minhaj Zia, Director, Collaboration Sales, Cisco India and SAARC

Today, we live in a globally connected environment. Greater business demands and a more competitive marketplace mean that organizations must continually find new ways to be agile and increase speed to market while reducing costs. Effective communication and collaboration are critical. The ability to engage instantly across geographies and time zones with employees, suppliers, and customers is a must.

Capturing knowledge and expertise is crucial as generational or location shifts occur in the workplace. At the same time, demand for greater work-life balance means freeing workers from specific physical locations.

In this context, the network has become critical to businesses as it can play and important part in increasing productivity and driving innovation to address the needs of the businesses. Countries around the world are using networking technologies to improve efficiencies, increase their competitive advantage, and empower individuals to build a knowledge-based, future-ready society.

An integral part of this transformation is the use of network centric collaboration technologies, mainly video enabled, to communicate, collaborate and learn. High-definition, immersive video communication is transforming the way business and industry collaboration is conducted. Technologies like TelePresence for example enable new ways of working, where everyone, everywhere can be more productive through face-to-face interaction and approach processes in ways never before possible. Next generation Video ready collaboration technologies help organizations to connect and virtually communicate from anywhere, at any time and on any device, to achieve business objectives.

According to the Cisco VNI report, by 2017, two-thirds of the world's mobile data traffic will be video. Over the next couple of years 90 percent of content traveling on the Internet is likely to be video. New-age technologies such as 3G, 4G and computing devices such as tablets and personalized mobile devices are expected to spur the use of video among enterprises leading to greater collaboration.

Trends Driving Business Video:

Increased adoption by industry: Unlike earlier, when collaboration was a trend seen often in IT/ITES companies, we are now witness to an era where collaboration and Video technologies including Telepresence are being deployed by manufacturing, education, healthcare, cement and other industries to quicken decision making and reduce travel costs.

Going green: Today organizations understand the need to reduce the carbon footprint and become more eco-friendly. This along with increased cost of fuel and other commodities is prompting organizations to consider alternatives such as video to increase employee productivity, connect with customers and partners seamlessly and ensure business continuity.

Social media: Most organizations today are aware of the importance of social networking and the need to embrace the trend. Use of social media to communicate with employees by providing links to shared work spaces, blogs, and other useful information and increasingly adopting video for connecting with experts is helping to improve employee productivity and implement projects with greater efficiency. This trend is expected to increase further in the coming days. While business video is enabling organizations to streamline operations and increase productivity it is also helping to transform key processes to gain a competitive advantage, create new revenue streams, lower costs, increase customer intimacy and scale knowledge transfer with little complexity.

Content explosion: The sheer explosion of media content is driving the demand for video on IP networks. While this media explosion is mainly because of consumer network traffic, it is quickly 'crossing over' to corporate networks where video communication is appearing in new and exciting applications. Increasingly, companies are leveraging investments in their corporate IP network by converging video applications, such as high-definition video collaboration, video surveillance systems, and video advertising signage onto a single IP network.

Mobile workforce: Users' demand to access information anywhere and on any device, is prompting employees to extend the workplace to the home, airports, hotels, and recreation venues using mobile phones and wireless networking technologies. Information shared via text documents, email, and slides, is being replaced by short videos. Collaboration tools designed to link together distributed employees are integrating desktop video to bring teams closer.

Clearly video applications including Telepresence, Rich media conferencing, Digital Media Systems (DMS), Physical Security and Unified Communications are shifting the dynamics of traditional business operations. Distance is no longer a barrier; real-time communication is instantaneous, and network-integrated security is a reality.

What Next

While video is making a dramatic impact on collaboration and business processes, the movement of video across any network presents several challenges. This in turn impacts the ease of deployment and end user experience. In order to successfully manage the challenges of performance, quality of content, and infrastructure security, traditional IP networks have to be optimized to support video. Networks designed for video need to support many rich media types along with traditional voice and data services. Media intelligence has to be embedded into the network infrastructure, distribution mechanisms, applications, endpoints, and the overall solution fabric.

To deliver an immersive video experience, greater collaboration is required between service providers, content providers and network infrastructure providers. Success will come from a holistic approach. By being aware of the potential synergy between assets, applications, and the needs of different groups of users, the full potential of video can be realized.

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