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Is Video Part of Your Unified Communications Plan?

With the arrival of high-quality, low-cost video technology, more companies are choosing videoconferencing over traditional methods, in order to collaborate, stay connected, and conduct meetings.

However, cutting back on travel costs is no longer the sole motivation for companies to adopt videoconferencing.

Almost a third of the total global workforce will become mobile by the end of 2015, according to a recent IDG Connect survey. Remote work, mobility, and BYOD (bring your own device) policies are some of the factors driving video adoption in the enterprise.

The need to collaborate from anywhere, anytime, is now stronger than ever and businesses are looking to videoconferencing as the most viable and cost-effective option for staying connected with their remote teams.

There’s a good chance your organisation has also joined the video bandwagon, but whether you are using video as an individual tool or integrating it into your communication framework will make a sea of difference in how your company will benefit from this technology.

Standalone videoconferencing systems can get the job done, but they fall short of expectations for company-wide seamless collaboration. To truly benefit from videoconferencing, you need to tie it into your organisation’s overall communication strategy.

Businesses using video embedded within the unified communications (UC) architecture are already doing this. In fact, video has been a top reason for companies to purchase UC solutions.

In the UC Cloud and On-Premises Strategies and Vendor Leadership: North American Enterprise Survey (2014) by Infonetics Research, 88 percent of organisations said they have plans to deploy video as part of their unified communications strategy over the next 12 months.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons UC-enabled videoconferencing is a better choice than dedicated video solutions.

Dedicated Videoconferencing Vs. UC-Integrated Video

Scalability. Dedicated video systems usually offer limited user access and are restricted to certain rooms where the equipment lives, making it a less scalable choice for companies with fluctuating headcounts.

If you are an SMB this is important because you will need an option that can accommodate a growing—or shrinking—staff. UC easily gives you the capacity to scale operations up or down, as it suits you and your business.

Interoperability. Dedicated videoconferencing is more like an isolated technology island, which may or may not work in all environments and with other company-wide systems. UC-enabled video will expand compatibility, allowing the technology to work seamlessly in conjunction with other media, telepresence, and related applications.

User experience. Overly complicated systems and poor user experience are two of the main reasons why many companies have their video systems collecting dust in a corner. Employees need to feel comfortable with video tools, in order for them to feel comfortable actually using them.

UC allows people to launch or join video meetings with a simple click. The interface is familiar to people used to video chatting on their phones or watching YouTube on their tablets. Plus, it gives employees a more consistent experience across several devices.

Manageability. Dedicated videoconferencing deployments can involve extensive IT support and services, causing a drain on a company’s budget and resources. With UC-integrated video, there is a single point of contact and management, relieving a business of the burdens of maintenance and upgrades.

Due to the obvious benefits UC-integrated video offers over dedicated video systems, more vendors are selling video as a package deal with their UC solutions, which is good news for businesses.

According to Wainhouse Research Co-Founder and analyst, Andrew Davis, "It [UC-integrated video] makes video conferencing much more intuitive and easy to launch. You don't need a wizard with a pointed hat to keep it running."

This makes perfect sense considering the growing demand for technology that does more for less money.

With a workplace always on the go and employees scattered across the globe, staying connected is not just a nice-to-have option, but is crucial for businesses to function in this day and age. A company that sees the advantages of extending UC-integration across all levels of their communication strategies will reap the benefits and stay competitive in today’s tech-savvy business world.

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