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Video IS Gaining Ground - And Avaya Appears Ready With Scopia

July 2, 2013 | Telepresence Options

Steve Leaden

Story and Images by Stephen Leaden / UCstrategies

Introduction

"Video Conferencing is here - period."�I know that looks like a BOLD statement, and the practicality that it has been challenged as a mainstay for years now could very well challenge that statement. However, practically speaking, if your organization and enterprise are not at least developing a plan around video conferencing as a fundamental way of communication, then think again. If your organization is just "dipping in the water" as user demands arise, it's time that one took a more strategic approach to this area.

Video has now become part of the conversation. For our enterprise customers, a possible need and practical application for video is here, whether in a desktop or meeting room format. In Healthcare it can be visiting with a patient and reviewing real-time patient medical results over a distance. In the Legal profession it can be a video deposition being recorded over distances. In Research and in IT, it can be a means of connecting specialists for answers to complex issues over large distances in an instant. In corporate America, it is a way of reducing travel costs significantly and enhancing the customer experience.

Why Video Will Become a Part of Our Culture

According to several major analysts, video WILL take hold as a mainstay over the next 36-48 months and will become (finally) a part of our culture. There are many practical reasons for this:

1.�There is continuous pressure to rightsize one's organization in today's market and increase margins to the greatest extent possible. Although a videoconference may never replace an on-site meeting (although close with Telepresence and HD video), the ability to connect with a colleague over great distances in real-time, without a lot of planning, plane ticketing and logistics, and a need for speed-to-market or sharing specialized internal resources is compelling. Practically speaking, travel costs far outweigh video conferencing costs.

2.�Bandwidth continues to get "cheaper" and video CODECs are getting better. Some video CODECs can communicate a conversation at less than 100k, close to the same bandwidth as a G.711 non-compress voice CODEC, making video practical over a Wide Area Network. Broadband and converged networks are here - IP is now everywhere and is flat rate. Same bandwidth today runs approximately 20-30 percent less than just 36 months ago.

3.�Video Conferencing pricing has plummeted - we have seen video conferencing systems costs go down by 20 to 30 percent in the last 36 months, making video conferencing a very cost-effective way to hold face-to-face meetings.

4.�Web conferencing and conference calling are established, practical, standard practice for meetings today. Most corporate users spend at least two meetings average per week based on an invite request via e-mail and "inserted" into one's calendar. Video Conferencing is now the next logical step in the evolution of the virtual meeting environment. Enterprise users can now leverage these technologies working anytime, from anywhere, face-to-face.

5.�Consumer-based technologies lead the way - Facetime and Skype, as two examples, are connecting the consumer in a practical, painless way, connecting relatives and friends across large distances in an instant, from just about�any�device. People are getting used to video as an alternative to voice-only calling at ZERO per minute costs.

6.�UCC (Unified Communications and Collaboration) integrates video as part of the UCC platform, and in effect "free" as compared with a VoIP-PBX only just 24 months ago. Historically, once technologies have entered the market at a lower cost point, migration, acceptance, and growth of such technology begins to take place. Mobility, for example, moved the "needle" once the rates of long distance dropped below $.10 per minute. The latest smartphone technologies and "flat" rates from the larger wireless carriers have encouraged its use even more, connecting everyone in a 24x7 anytime, anywhere world.

7.�1080p HD video is here, producing a video signal on par (or better) with any televised show at 720p HD video in the consumer market. SD video is no longer a practical, even acceptable way to communicate any longer.��

8.�QoS is Critical - Like voice, video does require Quality of Service, prioritized in front of any data traffic, to be practical and "enjoyed" and used by the enterprise user.

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