Revolution in Motion
Minhaj Zia, Director, Collaboration Sales, Cisco India & SAARC
Dubbed as the new 'voice,' video has provided users across the world with an opportunity to disregard restrictions created by geographical boundaries and made communication geography-agnostic, in the true sense of the word. Today, the versatility of video and its ability to facilitate quicker communication allows it to be optimally used across sectors.
For instance, it is possible for people in remote villages - where exposure is limited and opportunities scarce - to access best-in-class academic services by using technology to connect with educational institutions in nearby cities. Similarly, patients in remote parts of India can employ telemedicine to communicate with doctors hundreds of miles away and understand what the best approach to treatment is. At another level, technology is helping banking professionals communicate with subject matter experts and offer demanding customers' quick and well-informed counsel.
Video has already gained a strong-hold over Internet traffic. According to a Cisco visual networking index report, video traffic is projected to become 63 per cent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2015.
Video in the workplace
Within a work environment, video conferencing, once a tool that was restricted to the boardroom has become more flexible, versatile and allows seamless access to information. Influenced by the consumer world, employees have changed the way they work and come equipped with knowledge of how to use collaboration tools like video at the workplace. They are influencing corporate decision makers to explore and understand the potential of tools like video and put in place strategies that take full advantage of collaboration.
Use of video at work is not entirely a new concept because many organizations have been using Telepresence in their meeting rooms for a while now. However, room-based systems require usage to be pre-arranged and managed and come with restricted access. As Telepresence adoption grows, organizations realize that Telepresence meeting rooms are not easily available for scheduling meetings and are therefore adopting desktop Telepresence.
By enabling videoconferencing at the desktop level, visual collaboration becomes a seamless part of the every-day workflow and benefits an organization in multiple ways. It equips employees to adapt better to crisis or disaster situations - whether natural or man-made. In unprecedented situations, business can continue as usual because employees have the same tools at home as they do in office.
The cost question
With every new technology, there is always one big question- the cost. For businesses, video presents both a major disruption and a significant opportunity. Companies across industry verticals that use video to improve collaboration will turn winners in the coming years because they can gain significant competitive advantage by harnessing the benefits of video. The reasons for using video in the enterprise have evolved over time; while there are a set of users that adopt the technology solely to cut costs, there is a growing lot of organizations who use video to strengthen their strategic edge over competition and provide customers with exceptional services. Video also facilitates fast and efficient decision-making and enables organizations to grow in a sustainable and time-efficient manner.
Additionally, video presents important green advantage. The dramatic increase (by 30 per cent) in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere over the last 100 years has become a serious cause for concern for businesses today. Video communication, which substantially reduces the need to travel, helps organizations reduce carbon footprint.
Consumer adoption of video has seen a dramatic increase in recent times and businesses are now thinking of new ways to meet the varied demands of this generation of users who are mobile, connected, tech-savvy, expect seamless connectivity and the ability to collaborate anytime, front anywhere and through any device. The proliferation of video in the consumer segment indicates that the market for video enabled devices will continue to see rapid growth in the near future. Organizations that make use of that opportunity stand to benefit immensely because the ability to view content becomes more interesting, stimulating, compelling and engaging with video.