It’s Hard to believe we’re already in February 2014. It seems like just yesterday we were making cloud collaboration predictions for 2013– forecasting that cloud and the demand for interoperability would drive innovation and help businesses harness the power of video.

Well, 2013 saw all of that and more happen in the world of collaboration. And I predict there will be more from the cloud, as well as other smart, cool and exciting video innovations in our (near) future.

Here’s what I predict is on the horizon:

Communications will be ever more visual, so you’ll use video with more people and in more situations – and cloud makes it more accessible.

The 2014 workforce isn’t a sedentary group – it’s mobile, global and social. And people won’t move for jobs anymore–jobs will become more flexible for people. I know. I manage a globally dispersed team and on any given day find myself visiting China and the United States, all from my office in Norway. Adaptive, intuitive and connected video solutions will continue to allow an innovative and collaborative workplace experience that can be accessed anywhere – from the boardroom to the browser. This year, the cloud will continue to empower workers with access to video anytime, anywhere and on any device, including new environments and use cases such as “always on,” real-time collaboration in research labs and lectures in global classrooms.

2014 will be the year that business quality video is expected by consumers during their online business interactions. We’ll see video solutions used extensively in the Contact Center to build trust and brand loyalty by providing instantaneous customer service. This capability helps companies provide quick resolutions to real world issues and helps consumers quickly solve some of life’s problems (e.g. I need help changing a bicycle tire but can’t figure out how to remove it from the wheel).

You’ll be able to do cool new stuff with video – it will become ever more seamless, making the experience even better than being there.

As competition heats up in the video space, so does innovation. This means exciting new features that enhance the end-user experience. In 2014, video will go beyond face-to-face interaction and incorporate content flexibility and second screen experiences through mobile devices. Imagine viewing, sharing and editing a presentation on your tablet, while video conferencing on your laptop or dedicated video endpoint – that’s what we’ll see (and more) this year.

Dedicated endpoints will be the engine for collaborative engagements. 

This year it will become even more evident that dedicated endpoints are a need-to-have, not a nice-to-have. You can innovate at the software level all day long, but in the end, we need reliable, scalable, high-quality and cost-effective endpoints to maximize the features that software can deliver.

Dedicated endpoints also create simple, easy-to-use interfaces that can clean up the desktop by integrating the desk phone. This is an ideal solution for today’s fragmented desktop where we have contacts stored in cell phones, but make calls from IP phones. The technology integrations in cars seem to be more seamless than some desktops. By “smartening up” dedicated endpoints via offerings such as intelligent proximity, we can enhance productivity, collaboration, and, innovation.

Business quality video will become the de facto standard.

All video is not created equal – it’s critical to deliver the right quality at the right cost. Video is an integral part of the way we work – everyone should have access to affordable, best-in-class video. Imagine being in the middle of a multi-million dollar sales negotiation over video and having the screen freeze, audio cut out, etc. Not a good impression.  In 2014, we will see rich, intelligent features at a price point that is affordable and scalable. By leveraging the cloud, video collaboration can reach critical mass and become the de facto standard for business communications; that’s when the power of pervasive video can really be realized. It all begins with making the video experience intuitive and accessible, and connected on multiple devices.

What do you think 2014 has in store for video communications? Share your thoughts in the comments below.