Recently there was a talk about the future of video collaboration, at the UC EXPO 2016. Europe’s largest unified communications and collaboration event which took place at Olympia, London. Speakers included:
- Anthony Blake:EMEAR Video Acceleration Lead, Cisco
- Axel Albrecht:Senior Solutions Engineer, EMEA, Blue Jeans Network
- Mark Richer; Chairman of the Board, Starleaf
- Mike O’Boyle: Vice President Collaboration Solutions EMEA and APAC, PGi
- Rob Bamforth: Principal Analyst, Business Communications, Quocirca Ltd and
- Tim Stone: Vice President Marketing EMEA, Polycom
Foremost on people’s minds was the future of Polycom, with the recent acquisition announcement of Polycom by Mitel. It was too soon for Tim Stone to tell us much, other than the roadmap for the Microsoft products remain on course, despite the potential conflict of interest with Mitel services. More to be announced by Q4 for this year.
So how is the future for video itself? Well according to Cisco research 65% of Audio Conference delegates are doing something else whilst on a call. 9% are actually exercising’, said Anthony Blake. So video allows delegates to keep a check on engagement during a call. But why is video collaboration not happening more? ‘The lack of interoperability between video platforms ‘ according to Axel Albrecht of Blue Jeans. It’s ‘heartbreaking’ according to Mike Richer of Starleaf, that Apple and Facebook preclude other video platforms from interoperating with theirs. It is holding back the development of the video collaboration industry.
‘So the future is in the cloud’ is Rob Bamforth of Quocirca, ‘bridging enterprise and social network video effortlessly sharing data’ But all of this can only be achieved through wired connections. Mike O’Boyle believes the latency is too poor on Wifi. Do not use it. It will only frustrate you.
All said there seems to be a busy and bright future for video collaboration. It’s really a question about the strategy of the big companies and their acquisition trail. Mitel is another chapter in the story. We wait to see where it goes.