We started this blog series on a Cloudy Cloud because our customers increasingly express fatigue and frustration when they are discussing uptime in the cloud. Every bridge vendor makes bold promises about features and benefits and few meet all the needs presented by a customer or the problems they need to solve. To do this, we think it is best to start with knowing the key things you do NOT know about video conferencing deployment and adoption in your organization.

As a refresher, here is the standing assumption this series and the problems our customers bring to the team:

Traditional video collaboration problems are easy to identify and solve. Perhaps it is travel expense reduction or better meetings. More often today we are seeing video conferencing being used for one-on-one support, training or development. We hold, however, that a well through-out video conferencing solution would take ALL these items into consideration as possible benefits, externalities or enhancements to a video platform deployment.

An organization is generally quick to create a great checklist that drives a video conferencing deployment. Here are a few examples the one size fits all approach you may want to avoid:

  • We did {name your solution} at another organization and it worked great. Let’s do that.
  • We did {name your solution} at another organization and it failed completely. Let’s not do that.
  • We need better meetings. We need better audio. We need to travel less. We need to communicate more effectively.

If you start with just those considerations you are actually not off to a horrible start. We would suggest, however, that it is short-sighted. A good video conferencing solution deployment should have a demonstrable return on investment within 6-8 months by just using the traditional factors considered when calculating ROI. If you consider a wider range of considerations and, candidly, some of the new and unknown benefits of a unified video conferencing communications strategy, well then you have a core foundation to fix today’s problems and position for tomorrow’s solutions.

Here are some examples of innovation happening in the HD Video Conferencing space:

  • Does your CRM have open APIs available for video conferencing and does the solution your look for have pre-written integrations?
  • Is your website enabled for real-time video or voice communication between customers, partners, and suppliers?
  • Would it be beneficial to have video communications built into agent interaction in a call center?
  • Does the business want usage and adoption data?
  • Are there specific collaboration tools you want to see or functions that are on the wish list of various internal customer groups.
  • How are you going to support this, scale and manage to schedule?
  • Have you considered day-to-day workflow of different internal and external stakeholders?
Survey those groups who are going to be impacted by a UC Video Conferencing solution and solve their problems by choosing a solution that anticipates their needs in 2 years, not just solving their problems presented today.

The future of HD Video Conferencing is clear. It is here to stay and will continue to grow. Just how much you have to invest or how elegant and easy the solution will be in your environment will take some planning. Some version of camera-connected communications will be an assumption of doing business. Voice calling, white-boarding (brainstorming) and huddle room conversations are not going away either. We recommend you pick solutions that are not pegged into one particular approach.

In the next post, we will cover some of the in-room considerations that increasingly cause the cloud options to be more confusing and frustrating than they are “cloudy”.

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