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So you think you know Video Conferencing?

Video Conferencing

You would struggle to find anyone in the developed world today who hasn’t used Video Conferencing over the last 6 months.

Global lockdowns have forced us to find new ways of communicating and even those who consider themselves least savvy technology-wise, are rushing to call their colleagues, family & friends. But how was their chosen Application made?

  • Did they go with the most popular?
  • Did they go with the vendor who spent the most money on marketing?
  • Did they go with the cheapest or FREE one?
  • Did they follow their employers lead or instruction?

For sure, the need to do something quickly, potentially trumped the desire to choose wisely.

Video Conferencing

So what is the best software application?

The answer is a very difficult one. Its like asking what is the best car, the best restaurant, the best clothing vendor – its all about personal taste and specific needs.

In fact, ALL the software apps work! They all make video calls, the quality is acceptable, and the ease of use is, well, easy. So, when trying to decide your Video Conferencing vendor for the longer term requires more than just considering the Computer or Software App.

UC or Unified Communications is the nirvana of most organisations, but after 20 years in the industry I challenge anyone to fully prove it has been achieved by any vendor.

For years in the computer industry, it was believed that one day all we would have in the corner of our living room would be a COMPUTER. We would watch TV & Video, communicate (audio & video) & manage our lives all from the one device. Of course, this was typical of how bad we are at predicting how people will live and work in the future.

Today

Today we have multiple personal computers PLUS tablets, PLUS satellite box PLUS phones PLUS and other “computer-based” devices, I even still have a dedicated calculator! Much of the software works on multiple devices and the thread that connects them all together is the ubiquitous internet connection. This has been the real revolution. It has allowed services to migrate to the cloud and be delivered more efficiently and cheaply and this also goes for Video Conferencing.

The relevant point here is that the software works and works on multiple devices but there is no one size fits all and for sure, if you are going to back into the meeting room one day, then your decision is even more delicately balanced.

Video conferencing in meeting room

Interoperability, once the goal of every Video Conferencing vendor is now a distant dream and those vendors offering it with their devices are in the minority market share. It is easier to design proprietary software, quicker and cheaper too. However, making it work or communicate with other vendors products is a highly technical challenge and not for the faint hearted.

Proprietary Versus Standards

I often hear criticism from users about some vendor’s products not working with TEAMS or ZOOM – however, is this fair – Microsoft & ZOOM made their products proprietary to keep competitors out, why is this the fault of their competitors?

Proprietary versus standards based is not an obvious decision either. Not having the shackles of having to conform to standards allows vendors to innovate and offer trinkets to their products that users may find attractive or useful, whereas standards based offerings may appear to inhibit innovation but brings together a more complete communications package that doesn’t leave you stranded on a technology island.

The Future

The future isn’t written yet and we are still waiting to see how life will be post COVID-19, but I am convinced the Video Conferencing market will continue to develop & innovate and no one vendor will take ALL. I am relieved however, I no longer need to convince anyone, anymore as to the merits & benefits of Video Conferencing, its harder to find those NOT using now than those who are.

If you want to find out how your Video Conferencing vendor stacks up against the competition get in touch with us. Now’s the time to make sure your Video Conferencing is working for you.

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