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The Long-Awaited Video-Centric Collaboration Boom: Why This Time it Really is Different (Part 3 of 3)

July 28, 2010 - 0 Comments

In my previous posts I discuss how the growing ubiquity of unified communications and collaboration, along with the increasing role of service providers in the industry are driving the long-awaited video-centric collaboration boom.  Here in my final installment, I will discuss how positioning video as the new voice will tie together all of the aforementioned  drivers to create a tsunami effect in the explosive popularity of video-centric collaboration:

4) Video is the New Voice

What does this mean?

Just as the majority of personal workspaces such as desks, cubicles and offices have phones, making them voice-enabled, I believe the next big chapter in video deployment is the democratization of video through personalization of video.

Let me give you a quick personal story: I did a short internship at TANDBERG during summer of 2004 and at that time video systems were only in conference rooms. Those rooms had to be reserved days in advance since they were booked most of the time. There were no personal systems on desktops. Video was something we sold; not something we used to conduct business on a daily basis.

When I rejoined the company a year later as a full-time employee there was a drastic shift in the way business was conducted: every single employee had a dedicated video system on their desk. All meetings – scheduled or ad-hoc – took place over video. This acceleration of business pace through intensive collaboration can only be described as a culture shift.

As an industry, we now offer the infrastructure to deploy and efficiently run tens of thousands of video endpoints. Moving forward, the majority of these deployments will be at the personal level. It’s not about the cost – it’s about the accessibility of video.

High definition, ultra clear quality is great… but not enough. It has to work seamlessly with the existing investment in video; it has to be centrally managed so that tens of thousands can be deployed without bringing the network to a screeching halt; and most importantly, it has to be accessible. Much like your cell phone, it is dedicated to you. You can call anyone, and anyone can call you, at anytime. This is what collaboration is all about.

Which really brings me to my final, but most important point: no argument for explosive video growth is complete without mentioning the tsunami effect of Cisco’s acquisition of TANDBERG.

Not only does the large investment validate video as a central part of Cisco’s collaboration strategy going forward, but it also signals an oncoming culture shift that will reshape the way we as a society collaborate, work and live.

The end effect will not be a rising tide, but a tsunami, and this tsunami will raise all boats. As video accelerates its course on becoming a must-have, mainstream business tool to increase productivity; all vendors, resellers and service providers will benefit from it.

The future is about collaboration, with video at the heart of it.

The future is bright for our industry.

Welcome to the future.

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