Your Introduction to Video Conferencing in 2020
There’s more to communication in the current landscape than emails and phone calls.
Video is quickly emerging as the ultimate way to connect with virtually any audience. Around 98% of people say that video conferencing helps with building relationships inside and outside of their company. Additionally, 90% of today’s workers believe that video adds more context to a conversation, so it’s easier to get a point across.
Video is the medium that comes closest to mimicking face-to-face interaction in the digital environment. No other service allows us to share the unique nuances of things like body language and facial expression.
The question for many businesses isn’t whether they need to add video conferencing into their communication stack in the years to come. Instead, we’re increasingly asking ourselves what kind of video technology we need, and how we can make this conferencing environment as accessible, yet secure as possible.
It wasn’t so long ago that video conferencing was largely regarded as an inaccessible technology for smaller businesses. The expense of the video conferencing tools on the market, and the amount of IT assistance required to get solutions up and running meant that only a small portion of the marketplace could approach video.
That’s all changing now. According to Grandview Research, video conferencing is growing at a rate of 9.9% from 2020 to 2017. Technology like plug-and-play huddle room systems that allow us to host video meetings in real-time and WebRTC for online streaming has made this environment easier than ever. We’re even discovering new and improved ways to make video more immersive.
Today, all you need to launch a video conference is a few basic tools, such as:
As remote teams and globalized businesses become more dependent on video for contextual connections, video is quickly becoming a crucial component of the collaboration hubs that businesses rely on every day. Services like Microsoft Teams and Slack give business users the freedom to start a conversation with instant messaging, then upgrade to video whenever they need to.
Combined with additional features like automatic noise cancellation in headsets and background blur for video meetings that support remote workers, video conferencing is becoming a more natural part of the communication stack.
The demand for video conferencing has increased rapidly in recent years, particularly thanks to the uptick in the number of employees working from home. The number of telecommuting workers has increased by around 115% in the last decade, even before you take into account the COVID-19 pandemic that arose at the beginning of 2020.
On top of that, video conferencing has also gained steam in an environment where new generations are entering the workforce. Millennials and Gen Z are far more accustomed to communicating through video because they grew up with access to things like Facetime and other video-enhanced technology. These new users are demanding the same kind of accessible video interactions and meetings in the workplace as they get from home.
The biggest trends in video conferencing right now include:
The increasing demand for video conferencing services means that countless companies are now adding video to their offering. Some companies started with videos and built out from there, like Zoom Communications. Others began with an internal collaboration service and added video as a crucial component, like Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, and Avaya Spaces.
Here at UC Today, we like to keep on top of what the latest video vendors in the digital market are doing. That’s why we have a full list of video conferencing providers here for you to browse. What’s more, each year, the UC Awards delivered by our team highlight the biggest and best players in the video conferencing landscape.
Although the features that you look for from a video conferencing vendor will differ according to your needs, we recommend examining some of the following features.
If you’re struggling to figure out which video technology is right for you, one of the best things that you can do is visit an AV focused or collaboration event. Here at UC Today, we always stay on the cutting edge of the market by attending as many events as we can. We also bring our readers plenty of interviews and insights from the expo floor.
Of course, there’s nothing better for getting your specific questions answered than visiting events for yourself. A video conferencing event could also show you how to use your technology more effectively. For instance, did you know that around 50% of video conferencing users say that they waste up to 10 minutes each meeting on meeting setup?
Use the time you spend at local events to:
As the marketplace becomes more cluttered with new solutions from a wide variety of vendors, choosing the right investment isn’t easy. You’ll need to make decisions about everything from video collaboration tools to the kind of hardware that you need to support meeting and huddle rooms.
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all environment for the perfect video conferencing experience, there are steps you can take to boost your chances of success. For instance, reading UC Today’s video conferencing reviews that we publish here on UC Today will give you an insight into the features you can expect from each vendor. You can also read the testimonials left by other customers online. Remember to check for:
Once you’ve searched for the essential features that matter most to your team, you can narrow down your options by looking for extra capabilities. For instance, do you need a video tool that integrates well with the other communication and collaboration options in your landscape?
Are you looking for something that you can extend and update with APIs whenever you choose? Perhaps you want a vendor who can offer you everything from hardware to software in the same place. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, our UC Today comparisons will help you to make that final choice!
The age of video-first communication isn’t just on the horizon anymore; it’s here.
Businesses are relying on video now more than ever for everything from meetings with employees, to even customer service experiences. Video can deliver more context to a conversation between internal team members and employees on the field. It can also deliver face-to-face interactions when extra human touch is required in a conversation.
In a world where video is more valuable than ever, you need to make sure that you have the right guidance. The UC Today Smart Guide discusses everything you need to know about video conferencing, from buyer’s checklist considerations, to team collaboration software and video endpoints.
Get your extra guidance today!