Featured Article from Conferencing

Poor Connections Keep Collaborators Away from Video Conferencing

March 23, 2016

Connecting multiple individuals in separate locations for a single purpose is often a challenging endeavor. Getting everyone on an audio call with good quality is one thing; doing the same with video conferencing is even more tasking. If audio or video is lacking in quality, the experience for all may be a little less than pleasant.

According to a survey of 200 attendees at Enterprise Connect, poor sound or visual quality tended to be the top challenges with video conferencing. A recent eWeek article covered the topic, highlighting that quality of service is a top concern for companies, with security being the primary apprehension. Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) provider 8x8 found that 35 percent view security as their primary focus when it comes to cloud communications. Quality of service was reported by 21 percent.

As the market continues to transition to UCaaS, vendors are focused on building out their cloud communications portfolios. Key to getting in front of decision makers is for these vendors, from Microsoft to Cisco to ShoreTel and Vonage, to demonstrate that they have robust solutions that will address both of these needs. The primary focus should be on small and midsized businesses as BCC Research found in January that these market segments will help drive the shift from on-premise systems to cloud UC and collaboration. Growth is projected at 22.5 percent between 2015 and 2020.

Data out of Synergy Research Group suggests the UCaaS market is one for attention, slated to grow as much as 16 percent per year. In a statement, the company’s founder and Chief Analyst Jeremy Duke said, "UCaaS continues to be a force for change within the business communications market. There has been a rapid rise of some disruptive new vendors and I do not expect the pace of change to slacken."

Even with this projected growth, users and decision makers are still concerned about quality when it comes to video conferencing. Security doesn’t necessarily come to mind for those reporting, but sound, visual quality, connectivity issues and being forced to download an app just to participate tend to be top concerns. And for those who have ever participated in a poor quality video conferencing session, there’s little attraction to continuing the practice.

The key to hooking individuals in the use of any kind of conferencing technology is focusing on their experience. This means the solution needs to be designed with quality, support and ease of use in mind. The quick link for connecting means little if the parties involved can’t hear other participants. Investments in these platforms need to address all three hot buttons for use, or traction is likely to stall before the true potential is realized.