Pexip Predictions for Collaboration in 2019
Jordan Owens, VP of Architecture at Pexip, gives his thoughts on themes for 2019
Concluding 2018 with an announced merger with fellow video conferencing provider Videxio, Pexip and video conferencing are hot property at the moment. Following the success of 2018, I spoke to Jordan Owens, VP of Architecture at Pexip to get his thoughts and predictions for the landscape of the video conferencing and collaboration industry in 2019.
The rise of interactive collaboration tools
Jordan commented on the key collaboration industry players beefing up their capabilities in the last few years – Google, Microsoft, Workplace for Facebook and Slack. “It’s become clear that organisations will no longer settle for one trick pony solutions. In 2019, modern meeting architectures – where both synchronous and asynchronous communication occurs within the same interface and workflow – will grow in importance. Furthermore, solutions will start to offer more embedded interactive features like simplified recording and transcription services to support better access, as well as shared whiteboard collaboration canvases and document sharing and collaboration tools”.
Data privacy to be a top concern – even in video
With the introduction of GDPR and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, data privacy was a common theme in 2018. Jordan said “this has had a trickle-down effect and data privacy will be a top concern in video conferencing in 2019. Companies will especially be stringent in cloud providers collecting metadata such as meeting topics, participants and content shared, or what they consider to be private information. Compliance will take a spotlight as more companies will face fines for not meeting standards”.
I asked Jordan if he thought customers genuinely think they can trust and deploy this technology without hiring someone new?
“Absolutely! Modern meeting architectures – whatever they may be – have been designed around simplicity across the board, including management. Granted, administrators will need some form of re-training on new systems and the syntax for those systems. But the reality is that the majority of these systems are quite simple to use and manage. In short, this is absolutely possible.”
“The key driver around the delay in adoption has to do with understanding the whole picture rather than security risks on its own”.
“People need to understand what they’re installing within their network and, as a result, what implications that system has on their security posture. Once they understand it, they can decide whether or not they want to accept the risk associated with that system (whatever that may be). For example, you may be hesitant to spend $100,000 on a new system when you consider that decision in an isolated environment. But if that new system will guarantee you an additional $100,000,000 in additional revenue paths, you are much more likely to move forward with adopting.
In other words, it’s not about making a decision solely based on security, but evaluating the system in its entirety – including the implication on security – that takes the longest amount of time.”
Microsoft and Cisco in VCaaS
I asked Jordan whether the video conferencing market is interop friendly or whether Pexip sees the larger players as a threat. “We’re excited about the prospect of what this type of competitive landscape means for the market. Although Cisco and Microsoft may not be the best of friends, each of their platforms has opened up a tremendous amount of opportunity in bringing those two environments together. There is a drastic need for this capability. It’s difficult, yes. But it’s absolutely possible. And doing it the right way is going to be a driver to support this opportunity.”
Whether Microsoft, Cisco and other large video contributors continue to play ball in 2019 is unsure. The current interop environment is open and fairly interop friendly. As more enterprises adopt video conferencing, the changes in collaboration tools that Jordan points to – as well as the security concerns and existing environments – will play a huge part in adoption. It will be a real positive for enterprises if the market remains interop friendly – with providers like Pexip at the forefront.