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Recent Trends Bringing Video to the Forefront in Web Conferencing

shutterstock_190621244A recent survey from Wainhouse Research is shedding some welcome light on Web conferencing trends. The decade-long survey tracked the growing acceptance of video in Web conferencing, and its transformative effect on how mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets are used in the work environment.

Over a third of the 800+ companies surveyed in the study reported using video in Web conferencing at least 50 percent of the time. A reported 44 percent of Web conferencing users relied on video to see their colleagues during their Web meetings.

The adoption of video in Web conferencing hasn’t been without its hiccups. Video Web conferencing adoption rates reached lows in 2007 and 2008 due to poor picture quality and questionable service reliability. Since then, improvements in video technology have helped drive a renewed interest and, as a result, an increased user base.

Changing Attitudes are Driving Trends

Not surprisingly, millennials are setting the trend for increased video usage in Web conferencing. As the survey shows, millennials are one of the major drivers of video Web conferencing due to their demand for face-to-face collaboration. Millennials are also more comfortable with the idea of using video than their predecessors.

Others outside of the millennial bracket are also demanding some kind of video capability in their Web conferencing platforms. This is especially true for those who are a part of the mobile workforce environment. Mobile workers prefer seeing those they’re working with, as opposed to more traditional methods of Web conferencing.

Many mobile workers also appreciate how video allows them to put an actual face to the voices they hear on conference calls. This presents a greater opportunity for building team cohesion in spite of their remote locations.

Taking Web Conferencing on the Road

Another changing trend is the growing support for mobile Web conferencing. According to the Wainhouse study, employee access to mobile devices has leaped from 42 percent in 2013, to a whopping 70 percent as of 2014. As a result, companies that heavily rely on remote workforces are now taking an outsized interest in mobile support for Web conferencing.

Fortunately, Web conferencing vendors have already taken the initiative in building greater support for mobile clients into their infrastructure. As a result, the groundwork for video has already been set in place, allowing for smoother adoption and increased effectiveness for mobile users.

When asked about the effectiveness of tablets for mobile Web conferencing, 51 percent of respondents said they were very effective while 39 percent said they were somewhat effective. On the other hand, only 20 percent said that mobile phones were very effective for video Web conferencing. Analysis believe that the larger screens offered by tablets make video Web conferencing more attractive on those devices than mobile phones.

Given the changing attitudes towards video, the proliferation of mobile devices in the workplace and improving technologies, it’s no surprise that video Web conferencing has become a popular staple for many businesses.

Cloud-Based Unified Communications: A New Direction for IT Leaders

shutterstock_75581158It’s no surprise that IT leaders are exploring better ways to communicate effectively and efficiently. Communication lies at the heart of today’s collaboration-driven enterprise environment and organizations of all stripes have an ever-growing need for smooth and seamless information delivery across the corporate spectrum.

When it comes to the next generation of unified communications (UC), the cloud promises to play an expanded role in creating a more efficient and customer-centric medium for delivering agile and streamlined services.

The Cloud as a Gateway to Converged Solutions

More IT departments are paying closer attention to how end users utilize apps and features. As a result, there’s been a growing trend toward centralized UC deployments that harness the cloud’s numerous capabilities. For example, UC within the cloud can supplement or even supplant a number of non-cloud counterparts, including telephony, instant messaging, and mobile device management (MDM).

Meanwhile, the move toward service and support-oriented roles in IT has made the cloud all the more compelling within the enterprise environment. For instance, the simplified implementation features from cloud-based UC suites make it possible for tech leaders to embrace an operational expense footprint. It’s a move that could help enterprises realize improved gains in their bottom line while redefining their infrastructure.

The advent of the cloud-based UC suite is a trend that’s showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. In fact, a recent Research and Markets: Global Unified Communications Market Report predicts an increase in hosted UC deployments over a five-year period, with gains reaching as much as 14 percent CAGR by 2019.

Streamlined Delivery Methods

Cloud-based UC deployments also offer a way to utilize streamlined delivery methods, most notably the popular “as a service” method. UC as a Service (UCaaS) promises a streamlined, more agile way of offering high availability among end users. This is true whether enterprises adopt single-tenancy, multi-tenancy or hybrid approaches to app availability.

The focus on cloud-based UC deployments makes economic sense to many enterprise leaders. In addition to built-in training and support apparatuses, IT departments can afford to devote fewer resources toward purchasing and maintenance tasks. This helps tech departments free up additional resources for other major projects.

As UC and cloud developments converge, enterprises should take the opportunity to maximize their communications investments with the latest in network tools. Cloud-based UC deployments offer the perfect focal point for tech leaders to build a highly productive and collaborative environment for their workforce.