Enterprise is no longer tied to one physical office or location as those days are well and truly over in fact most global companies with employees are in multiple office locations and it is now becoming main stream to work part or whole from the home.
Communicating between employees and customers who can be literally any were in the world is now common place. This dynamic is also now being felt in SMB (small to medium businesses) as the challenge to remain competitive, resources accordantly and more importantly drive growth becomes imperative in remaining relevant in the market in which it trades.
Communicating via a desk top client is evolving at a rapid rate particularly with cloud based technologies which empowers businesses to be more productive. These types of technologies allow real time collaboration for organisations that have dispersed and mobile teams.
I believe that 2017 will continue to bring a wave of innovation in cloud based technologies as the major venders continue to improve and build the next-generation conferencing solutions that will allow for cross-platform integration. The following points will be the major trends to watch for in 2017
– Room-Based Video
Room base video conferencing will continue to be the linchpin of online collaboration. As cloud based infrastructure has created a cost effective plug and play conferencing solution, this has ironed out the AV quality issues that have plagued this space for the past 10 years. The introduction of sophisticated web cams and huddle room solutions are the contributing factors of the cost effective and easy to install “Room Based” solutions that when combined with multi-way videoconferencing, presentation and wireless content-sharing capabilities—all at 720p or 1080p video resolution it becomes very compelling. Although their outward appearance and functionality acts as simply as a flat-screen TV, these systems pack high-resolution cameras and computing platforms plus communication and collaboration software within one piece of hardware.
– Cloud Connected Devises
Cloud Based solutions is what connects a company not only at its core. It allows for universal accessibility across a myriad of devises that employee and customers use to interact with. Dispersed and mobile workforces are increasingly participating in the collaboration process by using Smartphone’s tables or laptops on the go. Cloud based video conferencing will continue to erode the barriers that have prevented enterprise and SMB from using this type of communication
As demand has dictated accessing it from anywhere on any devise, all venders of cloud base solutions will have the added responsibility of ensuring businesses have the option to connect their cloud software into all of the other third party services in which they have already invested in or their clients are using
The easier it is for employees to share documents and switch between services while collaborating will be the winning formula to ensure businesses can optimise productivity.
In 2017, collaboration and videoconferencing venders will need to include in more and more integrations and sharing capabilities with everything from calendar applications and enterprise device management solutions to voice over IP (VoIP) services.
– Dispersed Teamwork Made Easy
Email will still be the main source of communications, however cloud based collaboration software will continue on its quest to kill email dead in 2017
Cloud base applications and services offer more intuitive, easy to use, IM capabilities for direct messaging for individuals and groups. These applications are office specific communications along with workflow tools to streamline productivity –no matter where the team members are physically or what devise they prefer to use to communicate.
2017 will see a continued consolidation of all forms of collaboration into one platform. As this centralized mode of collaboration gains more traction it will replace long winded full of forwards and reply all email massages that we see in the workplace day by day. This will allow employees to spend more of their time actually getting stuff done.
The next generation in the Internet communication is upon us, in the form of voice and video calling directly embedded in the browsers. Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is an open-source technology and application programming interface. WebRTC allows Web applications to engage in direct voice calls, video chat, and data sharing without the need for any desktop or mobile applications, add-ons, or browser plug-ins.
Over the course of 2014 and 2015, all major browsers announced support for WebRTC. Enterprise videoconferencing solutions are already bracing for the WebRTC revolution by offering built-in Web browsers in their systems as a way of not only turning into the skid but latching onto that open-source momentum to innovate and improve their native browser-based communication.
In 2017, WebRTC’s rise should make one space nervous though: standalone voice and video chat applications whose existence may soon become superfluous. Microsoft is already taking steps to enable back-end Skype interoperability with WebRTC but those video-calling applications that don’t do the same may well be left in the behind.
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