Video and UC Services Are Disruptive But Essential Business Tools
Those of us who have covered the communications space for a while have been hearing about the promise of videoconferencing and streaming media for decades. The benefits of video and unified communications (UC) solutions for enterprise collaboration have been well known, but only in the past few years have networking technologies actually evolved to the point where video communications are a reality.
Wainhouse (News - Alert) Research has conducted extensive research on the impact of streaming video and UC in the enterprise. The firm queried executives to find out which two communications channels were most effective for lead generation. Facebook (News - Alert), surprisingly, topped the list garnering 49 percent of votes, followed by YouTube, which was preferred by 39 percent of respondents. The social media giants were followed by traditional email and LinkedIn (News - Alert) as having the most impact in fostering lead generation.
The research firm believes social media platforms are still evolving and will ultimately stop growing in the consumer realm, becoming powerful tools for the enterprise. And because they are already built to handle large amounts of video traffic, they hold the potential to become video creation and distribution platforms for business branding and marketing.
Microsoft’ Skype (News - Alert) for Business is another example of how UC and videoconferencing are transforming the way businesses communicate. One of the biggest draws for Skype is that Microsoft (News - Alert) evolved it from its Lync offering, which means it integrates smoothly with other applications and OSS solutions. That’s a major benefit for businesses branching into “alternative” communications that want to monitor and track calls from a billing and accounting perspective. It also gives Microsoft a leg up on the competition since its offering is already tailored for enterprise integrations.
Third-party integrations are a key feature for any videoconferencing or UC solution, particularly from a networking and quality control perspective. As enterprises steadily transition legacy networks to SD-WANs and hybrid WANs to accommodate the traffic flows inherent with applications like video, networking monitoring and management integrations are essential. Being able to prioritize video traffic is key to successful communications, and another important component of tracking voice and video to keep telecom and accounting expenses in check.
Video and UC are certainly disruptive communications trends, placing heavy workloads and demands on already strained networks. But they are also becoming a necessary part of doing business, key to lead generation, social media branding and communications and collaboration. By implementing solutions that integrate smoothly with back-end systems, businesses can maintain high levels of quality while also tracking traffic and services to ensure appropriate call accounting and management.
Edited by Alicia Young