Enterprise Connect 2014: WebRTC and Video to Occupy Center Stage

Cindy Whelan

Cindy Whelan

Summary Bullets:

  • Video and WebRTC occupy a major role for Enterprise Connect conference sessions as well as planned announcements.
  • Cloud and mobility are constants in the collaboration marketplace, as enterprises increasingly embrace usage-based collaboration and communications solutions as well as manage employee demand for mobility options.

Next week, I will join my colleagues in Orlando, Florida at Enterprise Connect, one of the longest-running voice/UC/collaboration trade shows in the industry and a great opportunity to spend some time with companies I speak with frequently and get a look at new entrants to the market.  A quick glance down a recent list of upcoming show announcements included (not surprisingly) a long list of WebRTC and video-related launches along with a healthy dose of contact center enhancements.  I’m particularly interested to get an update on where WebRTC stands in the collaboration and communications service landscape.  Last year, WebRTC figured prominently at Enterprise Connect, with an entire mini-conference on the topic, and that is the case again in 2014.  WebRTC is still in its early stages: there are a number of aspects of the service still under development, and WebRTC is still not supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari web browsers.  Over the long term, WebRTC has the potential to be a real disrupter in the market, letting vendors and service providers implement easy-to-use voice and video applications for B2B and B2C communications.  Video, specifically ‘personal’ desktop applications, is another topic that seems to be generating a fair bit of buzz and publicity in advance of the show, as providers add services and features that take the complexity out of video conferencing in a bid to make it as easy to use as audio. Read more of this post

Will a $1,000 Price Be the Tipping Point That Thrusts Video Conferencing into the Mainstream?

Ken Landoline

Ken Landoline

Summary Bullets:

  • Of the more than 60 million conference rooms in the world, it is estimated that fewer than 5% are equipped to provide business-quality video conferencing.
  • High cost, interoperability issues, complex set-up requirements and poor video quality have been major deterrents to the widespread use of video conferencing.

It was just a few years ago that several global telecommunications equipment providers were proclaiming video to be the key element of enterprise telecommunications expenditure growth that would fuel the marketplace through the next decade.  Back then, the emphasis seemed to be on specialized video conferencing rooms with large surround screens that provided an ‘immersive telepresence’ video experience simulating life-size, face-to-face meetings of small groups of individuals.  The problem was that these systems cost in excess of $250,000 when the video technology, room setting and acoustics were included.  My immediate thought when initially introduced to these large room settings was that the market was limited to a very small segment of the enterprise marketplace.  More precisely, while video was still an untapped source of market stimulation, these systems were not simple enough, open enough or inexpensive enough to create that hockey-stick shaped upturn in the market demand that everyone was hoping to see. Read more of this post

Productive Collaboration a Target for 2012

Jerry Caron - Vice President, Analysis

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprise adoption of now-generation collaboration tools has been slower than expected
  • This could change in 2012 – if suppliers get the solutions right

The calendar made its ritual shift from one year to the next over the weekend – just another day, to be sure, but one that no doubt triggered a flurry of Facebook updates and a torrent of Twitter tweets with even casual users joining the devotees in contemporary online social revelry. Texting is so last century. And as for “Happy New Year” phone calls? Well, I did ring my octogenarian parents, and didn’t even use video. Read more of this post

Extending Corporate Video Conferencing to Mobile Devices

Brian Riggs - Research Director, Enterprise Software and Communications

Summary Bullets:

  • Mobility to be the next big product trend for enterprise video conferencing technology
  • There are a number of ways to extend corporate video conferencing solutions to mobile devices

The increasing adoption of video conferencing systems in the enterprise combined with the increasing adoption of video-capable mobile devices is set to both challenge and annoy IT departments. One of the problems is that the software and systems that deliver business-class video conferencing (from Cisco, IBM LifeSize, Magor, Microsoft, Polycom, Vidyo etc.) are completely different from the software that runs on the mobile devices wheedling their way into the enterprise as part of the BYOD phenomenon (from Apple, Google, Fuze, Skype, Tango, etc.). It’s unlikely that the two will learn to coexist peacefully anytime soon. Enterprise IT departments will continue to deploy on-premise or cloud-based video conferencing solutions that meet security and compliance requirements. And end users will separately use separate consumer-friendly video conferencing technology on their mobile devices with or without IT’s formal blessing. Read more of this post

When is a Tablet Not a Tablet?

Brian Riggs

B. Riggs

Summary Bullets:

  • Tablet-like mobile end points from Cisco and Avaya are distinct from consumer tablets
  • Cisco Cius and Avaya ADVD are distinct from each other

Cisco Cius and Avaya Desktop Video Device (ADVD) – They look like tablets: Mobile computers built into a flat touch screen, and are larger than a smartphone, but smaller than a laptop. They act like tablets with swipe interfaces. They have access to a variety of personal and video apps, and in Cius’ case, an app store. But they’re not tablets. At least IT managers shouldn’t think of them in the same way they think of tablets.
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