How to Improve Experiences – and Lower Costs — in Global Video Conferencing using Acano
Is video conferencing coming to your workplace? According to a recent survey from Nemertes Research, 32% of organizations plan to deploy video-conferencing in small meeting rooms. Much of this investment is driven by two key trends:
- Increased use of shared workspaces is driving a need for private areas that employees can use to meet with remote colleagues
- Greater employee demand for video
I use video every day for meetings. I meet with colleagues based throughout the U.K., Europe, and across the U.S. The increased demand for video makes perfect sense to me. If we weren’t able to see each other, our meetings would be more time-consuming and much less productive. Seeing each person in the group as we discuss a topic really helps with ensuring that we avoid misunderstandings that can create such havoc. Like figuring out who just asked a question, and whether someone else is getting ready to answer it!
At Cisco, we are lucky to have access to video in every meeting. We can join from shared offices, meeting rooms, or using desktop systems such as the DX80. Attending meetings from smartphones or laptops is also straightforward.
Nemertes cites increased employee demand as the primary driver behind investment in small-room video conferencing. Secondary is the recent improvement in user experience.
In my opinion, user experience becomes even more important in meetings with many participants.
As meetings include more people joining from different types of systems, each person’s experience is a crucial element of the value that they gain from the meeting.
Many organizations are reaping the benefits of cloud-based video conferencing solutions such as CMR Cloud, where the experience is defined by the service. But many IT organizations need to deliver that experience via on-premises video infrastructure. And they need to meet budget restrictions in the way that they deliver services. Traditionally, it’s been difficult to manage conferences spanning multiple premises-based video conference bridges, requiring high bandwidth usage and resulting in high costs.
For these organizations, Acano (acquired by Cisco earlier this year), provides a very clever solution. As people join an Acano video meeting, they’re automatically “homed” to the closest video bridge, which hosts all participants closest to that bridge. Each video bridge then communicates with the other bridges in the same conference. Acano manipulates the video connections so that all attendees experience the call as if everyone were using the same video bridge. The bandwidth between each bridge is equivalent to that required by a single meeting attendee. This means you can distribute video bridges in different locations, based on where employees are located – allowing you to carefully manage bandwidth costs.
In short: Everyone enjoys a great experience with reduced IT costs.
As organizations move toward new ways of working, and more employees look to use video in virtual meetings, investing in the right solution is crucially important for every IT manager.
We will be showcasing the Acano solution in our booth at Infocomm in Las Vegas, June 6 to 10. Come see us there!
As always, we welcome your perspective. Let us know how you feel that using video in meetings is bringing benefits to your organization.