Managing user experience and scaling video conferencing technology is a constant balancing act for IT – mainly due to incompatibility between technology vendors and increasing demand for video at the enterprise level. Key players in the video technology industry have attempted to build user-friendly platforms before and come close but usually miss the mark because they focus on their part of the system instead of the whole experience.
However, there are some technologies that have succeeded in winning users over more recently. Acano and Microsoft have both done something a bit different.
Acano’s big announcement at this year’s Infocomm has me thinking long and hard about user experience and how important it is to every organization. Thus, I’ll use Acano as an example.
Acano Announces “Dual Home” Technology at Infocomm
In the latest announcement and release of Acano’s new “dual home” technology, they give an example of the type of experience that is typical when we connect S4B (Skype for Business) users with standards-based users like SIP and h.323. Connecting the two usually requires the S4B to change their video layout and reduce functionality, because the standards-based protocol will automatically become the “dominant” system.
Acano’s new “dual home” technology eliminates the impairment and allows users to preserve their chosen video conferencing experiences without interruption. Alternative integration solutions may require the installations of up to five individual products.
This type of technology is going over very well with enterprises who don’t want to throw away the money they have invested in their existing video environment.
“Acano’s technology allows organizations to leverage their existing investments in infrastructure while offering the flexibility to connect everyone.”
The way I see it, in order to achieve optimal user experience, Acano first had to battle user error, quality, and incompatible video and web conferencing technologies. But in the end, they came out with a simple-to-use meeting room concept called a CoSpace that supports multiple communication modalities such as video, voice, IM, document sharing and more.
The coolest thing about CoSpaces for user experience is that anyone can participate with the click of a button or tap of a finger. Acano deployments come with assigned CoSpaces for users within your organization – so everyone has their own CoSpace. At any point in time, users can send a link to their CoSpace out to anyone who can join from virtually any communication protocol.
The second coolest thing about a CoSpace for users is that you can join from any device, video software client, or video hardware technology. This makes it super easy to collaborate effectively on the go.
Skype for Business (Lync) & Acano Integration
Acano has integration functionality with one of the biggest players in unified communications today – Skype for Business (Lync). Integration supports the whole slew of Microsoft communication suites within organizations including Lync 2013, Lync 2010 and Skype for Business deployments. This alone is a huge indicator that Acano is all about user experience, but here a few of my favorite features that come with:
- Integration with consumer Skype.
- The ability to facilitate point-to-point calls between Lync deployments and non-Lync systems.
- The ability for any combination of Lync and non-Lync systems to participate in multipoint conference calls.
- Lync players can meet with anyone on a standards-based video system or client using SIP or H.323.
- Lync players can also connect with browser and WebRTC users.
Who likes to work from home? Figuratively and virtually, the Skype for Business experience is home to a lot of people, so Acano does a good job of preserving that for users. Skype for Business users have the comfort of home (maintaining a Lync user experience) while SIP/H.323 users on the call maintain their user experiences well.
Multivendor Connectivity = Better User Experience
In short, you can’t have a great user experience if you can’t connect in the first place, and you can’t connect unless your system works with all systems and devices. vAnalytics™ gives you analytics and reporting on virtually any environment including Acano analytics so you can manage better user experience from one single platform.