Mobile Videoconferencing: Take Your Meetings on the Road

February 9, 2011 - 1 Comment

When The Who sang about going mobile, they were talking about taking a vacation with no particular destination in mind, not smartphones. But that song could be an anthem for the times: These days, just about every one of us uses a smartphone or mobile device, whether to check email, update our Facebook and Twitter accounts, and to attend teleconferences. But using your phone to attend to a videoconference? That’s the new trend.

Wait, what, mobile videoconferencing? Yes, thanks to a slew of different devices, videoconferencing on mobile devices is the next big thing—a trend that’s predicted to hit “critical mass” in 2011. Here at Cisco we recognize that mobility is a key trend—and one that unites our Collaboration, Borderless Networks, and video strategies. Essentially, we should be able to connect anytime, from anywhere, to any device.

So what’s influencing the rise in mobile videoconferencing? Here’s the rundown, as well as a list of Cisco solutions that help with videoconferencing, and an example of one the ways that one of our partners is responding to the trend.

The fact of the matter is that consumer behavior is influencing practices in the enterprise. Case in point: The iPhone 4 and Facetime. If you’ve ever used Facetime, then you know that it enables you to make video calls using an iPhone 4, iPod touch, or a Mac over Wi-Fi. While Facetime initially rolled out geared for consumer use, more and more enterprises are beginning to rely on it for videoconferencing.

The iPad is also an increasingly popular product in the enterprise, and Cisco has just the solution to use along with an iPad—the WebEx iPad app. Using the app, you can swipe your finger or tap the screen to instantly see the video of all meeting participants. You can also zoom into full screen mode to see video of the active speaker, and you can toggle between video and the content being shared.  The app also includes host capabilities.

Cisco also offers the Android-based Cius, an ultra-portable, mobile collaboration business tablet. The Cius includes 720p HD video TelePresence solution interoperability, enabling easy video communication. The Cius also comes with collaboration applications, such as Cisco Quad, and integrated, one-click access to WebEx Meeting Center.

So how are partners responding? Well, for example, Orange Business Services recognizes that collaboration via video is a growing trend. They also have seen that more and more of those working in the enterprise use smartphones to keep up-to-date on their work, whether they’re travelling or working remotely. And to respond to that need, Orange Business Services is working on IT services to support mobile devices.

That’s just one way, of course, that a Cisco partner is responding to changes in the marketplace. Is your company using mobile devices for videoconferences? Are you expanding your IT services offerings to respond to the mobility trend? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

And don’t forget—you can qualify to win an iPad if you “like” our Cisco Channels Facebook page. Here are the full details on the contest. Be sure to enter, so maybe you, too, can get in on the mobile videoconferencing trend!

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  1. mobile videoconferencing is the way of the future! its amazing to see now tech being launched everyday, it will be interesting to watch how much marketshare Cius is able to capture in the near future.