All forms of communications, collaboration, and entertainment are becoming digitized, and connected. New, rich media applications, such as video collaboration, IPTV, music and video streaming, are flourishing. So too is a new generation of devices which, for the first time, can play a role in integrated video applications. A multitude of video formats; devices and information sources are being integrated into innovative applications that are changing the way people interact.
Both consumers and businesses are driving this evolution. Video is becoming a key requirement for effective collaboration as increasing globalization drives a desire for more personal contact across geographic and cultural boundaries. Video users now demand the ability to view any content, on any device, anywhere. Today, businesses are using video to transform key business processes to create competitive advantage, lower costs, and to reduce environmental impact, particularly by avoiding the need for travel.
Increasingly, companies are leveraging investments in their corporate IP network by converging video applications, such as high-definition video collaboration, video surveillance systems, video-on-demand portals and digital signage systems onto a single IP network.
Media Explosion: In recent years the barriers to media production, distribution, and viewing, have been dramatically lowered. The plummeting cost of video cameras and a new generation of high-quality, low-cost devices have turned users into would-be movie producers.
Social Networking: The social networking phenomenon can no longer been seen as relevant only to the YouTube generation. The same types of communication and information sharing are just as effective in business as they are in a social setting. For example, employees are increasingly filming short videos to share best practices with colleagues, and to brief peers about projects and initiatives.
Multimedia Integration with Communications Applications: The explosion of media, and the new uses to which it is being put, is driving the desire to integrate audio and video into many forms of communication. The audio conference will coexist with the video conference. Collaboration tools designed to link together distributed employees will increasingly integrate desktop video to bring teams closer together.
Demands for Universal Media Access: Just like voice and data, as multimedia applications become increasingly utilized and integrated, users will demand to be able to access these applications wherever they are, and on any device. Participation in video conferencing, viewing the latest executive communications, and collaborating with co-workers, are applications that will need to be accessible to employees, regardless of their work location.
Each Organization is Unique: The exact mix, and nature of the drivers for adopting video, will vary from organization to organization, and by business function. Marketing, for example, is particularly challenged by globalization, and fast-changing consumer tastes; while the CIO’s focus may be on cost rationalization, IT’s alignment with the business, or green IT.
In the past, while stand-alone video-based solutions promised to reduce complexity, they often came at the cost of restricted functionality, and little to no integration with other applications. The net result was frequently an absence of an adequate return on investment (ROI). Today, the picture has changed. Video should not be seen as a collection of discrete applications. Its real power is leveraged by taking a holistic approach, one where Business Video is integrated across the fabric of the organization and, increasingly, even its value chain.
Most organizations will start to deploy Business Video in order to meet a specific and well-understood need. Such initiatives have the benefit of not only being supported by a sound business case, they also serve as a low risk entry to video, and the means to develop a better understanding of its benefits as user acceptance grows.