What nobody tells you about unified communications: don’t get caught with your camera down
Sharp new tech destroys video conferencing
Businesspeople must continually deliver more revenues and greater profits with lower budgets and in shorter timespans. Efficiency and productivity are their top two drivers behind what Grand View Research says will be double-digit growth rates (16%) in the unified communications industry between 2014 and 2020.
Be efficient and productive
Unified communications helps businesspeople achieve their goals by enabling them to be more efficient, more productive, foster agility through rapid collaboration, and ultimately deliver better customer experiences.
Video conferencing failed to deliver against expectations in the past because it was cumbersome. It used proprietary technology. It had to be the same at all ends. It required technicians to install and just to make it work for each and every meeting.
Today that’s changed. Unified communications systems today should, at the very least, allow people to communicate from anywhere, using whatever device they have at their disposal, by whatever Internet connection is available, with the ability to simultaneously share documents and other information.
Collaboration is key
The key is collaboration and being restricted to location, device, a phone number or any other limitation impedes collaboration.
Grand View Research expects the enterprise market to dominate unified communications adoption. It also expects the healthcare and education sectors to show particularly good uptake.
But while ICASA fiddles, regulation stymies competition, and local telecommunications service providers struggle to squeeze mobile broadband from limited spectrum, unified communications solution and service providers continuously improve what’s available.
Voice is primary
We identified voice as the primary means of communication. You can still communicate without video but without voice you communicate little. Data is the least bandwidth demanding application during unified communication sessions.
Traditional voice technologies, however, aren’t very good to smooth business communications.
Tech that breaks the mould
For example, echoes form when two people talk simultaneously on an electronic platform. Our echo cancelling technology eliminates the echo so people can hear each other properly. Traditional echo technology often cancels both voices. It may seem like a small thing but it’s really important to clear communication. It allows people to join conversations easily, adding their bit at appropriate moments without unnecessarily interrupting speakers or causing awkward delays and stilted discussions. There are other ways we’ve improved audio quality that you can check out here.
Video is probably the most bandwidth hungry communication medium. We’ve all experienced lagged or jittery video, which occurs when there isn’t enough bandwidth to relay all the data quickly enough to display the video smoothly. The compression technology we developed reduces the quality of the image so that it continues to run smoothly yet it’s still high quality that enables clear body language communication. If the bandwidth deteriorates further the technology shows a series of smooth frames that still allow people to capitalise on important body language queues. Further deterioration results in cutting the video feed but retaining smooth voice communications since they’re the number one priority. We call that dynamic media control technology and you can see more about it here.
These improvements may seem small but they’re exceptionally important to making unified communications viable in the real world where many factors may influence quality. And they make it a practical solution to meeting two of the most important business needs today: productivity and efficiency.