After attending Enterprise Connect 2015 and demoing our video collaboration analytics products for hundreds of end users and partners alike, we’ve started really analyzing some of the problems with video collaboration today.
These are the 5 biggest roadblocks and how to gracefully avoid them with data and insights into your video network.
1. LACK OF RESOURCES FOR SCALABLE VIDEO COLLABORATION
Video adoption is growing rapidly, particular in the enterprise space, with video collaboration growing on average 27% per year. In an article I recently read, Jitesh Shah, CEO of InterCall India says, “The VC market is expected to grow from $146 million in 2013 to $299 million by 2018 in India.”
2015 is a particularly big year for cloud unified communications services that include video conferencing, VoIP, and instant messaging. This is great for enterprises, but it also means IT will have to start looking at capacity, call control and utilization spikes to manage large networks efficiently. IT Support needs to be prepared with a proactive solution to quickly analyze and resolve the growing demands of a large video network including – call failures, lack of licensing and bandwidth issues.
2. PROVING RETURN ON VIDEO INVESTMENT – MEASURE COLLABORATION EFFECTIVENESS
How do you prove travel costs savings? How do you measure impact of video vs. audio? What is growing video adoption and usage doing for your organization besides taking up more bandwidth and causing more headaches for IT?
You can’t prove the effectiveness of video communications integration without first establishing a baseline, and then setting goals. For example: with historical analytics – you can look at growth in video usage for specific endpoints in specific areas and align with product time-to-market metrics, the sales cycle for particular business units, travel savings to and from locations etc.
The biggest costs associated with video tend to be in the areas of capacity, and IT support (equipment for large video conference rooms use to be a large chunk of change, but webRTC, smartphone, and mobile video integrations have helped reduce this cost burden).
The roadblock caused by lack of capacity and support resources cannot be overcome without adequate visibility, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
3. VIDEO INTEGRATION IN COMPLEX ECOSYSTEMS
Integrating video conferencing into a UC environment can be complicated for a large organization. It’s likely that in the near future, your UC vendor will offer a comprehensive UC solution that will include all of the necessary video conferencing functionality for effective collaboration. Right now, however, this can be a challenge and you should make sure your offer includes:
- Better compression ratios
- Higher quality images
- Multipoint conference capabilities
- Firewall traversal
- Content sharing
4. VENDOR SPECIFIC ANALYTICS TOOLS WITH LIMITED DATA
Unfortunately, comprehensive video and UC data sets are hard to come by in the industry. Now that enterprise video environments are so complex (often requiring multi-vendor solutions), network IT managers need insight into all video/UC technologies (e.g., MCUs, gateways, gatekeepers, management systems, video endpoints, external services) from a wide range of UC vendors.
Many single-vendor solutions don’t offer comprehensive historical data to enable your IT department to perform adequate capacity planning – allowing you to be proactive rather than reactive.
5. LACK OF RESOURCES FOR QUALITY SUPPORT AND ISSUE RESOLUTION
Enterprise communications and collaborations networks put a heavy burden on IT support resources, and if your organization’s IT department doesn’t have adequate visibility into the network, issue resolution is difficult and quality of service suffers.