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Video Conferencing: There's a Mobile App for That

January 20, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Kelly Teal / Channel Partners Online

The BYOD blitz within the enterprise not only allows employees to work from anywhere, it also enables the use of video for meeting with colleagues and customers. As a result, collaboration suppliers say they see increased interest from organizations wanting to provide video conferencing that works across PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets, and that provides capabilities such as quality of service that consumer services such as Skype cannot. Indeed, mobility is, according to suppliers, driving overall collaboration adoption among end users because professionals expect to be able to work together from any device. For channel partners, this means the chance to make more money from existing users by supporting mobile video collaboration, and, of course, to deploy collaboration from the ground up within organizations that have not done so. (See table, Collaboration Providers' Mobile Video Options.)

The global workforce has gone mobile and end users now expect to be able to connect to their companies' collaboration tools from mobile devices. To that point, 34 percent of respondents to a March 2013 survey fielded by Wainhouse Research for Polycom Inc., said they access video conferencing from a tablet, while another third (33 percent) said they do so from a smartphone.

September 2013 research from Gartner Inc. paints a similar picture. Over the next three to five years, the research firm said businesses will use mobile collaboration to empower workers, make them more productive and engage customers in better interactions. Plus, Gartner expects most collaboration applications will be equally available on desktops, mobile phones, tablets and browsers by 2016.

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