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There’s way more value to enterprise video than mere cost-cutting

The click-to-video revolution is coming to unified communications, but IT departments need to spot the right opportunities


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Using video simply to save on business travel costs? That’s so passé, says U.S. telecom veteran Marty Parker.

“That’s already over,” Parker pronounced in a recent webinar on click-to-video in the enterprise. According to Parker (formerly of Lucent, Avaya and IBM), businesses no longer look to video solely for bottom line cost cutting.

Here are highlights from Parker’s ‘state of video’ overview:

Room for growth: Only 36 per cent of webinar participants already have a video solution. Sure, it’s only an informal straw poll. But other research suggests there’s more room for growth in video services.

  • only 68 per cent of organizations surveyed recently by CompTIA have deployed video conferencing
  • that’s still lower than their deployment rate for VOIP phones, collaboration platforms and web conferencing
  • 14 per cent of the surveyed businesses plan to deploy video conferencing over the next year

Another study by Unify, meanwhile, found that while 72 per cent of employees want video collaboration technology, only 34 per cent of their firms have actually adopted it. Demand is not tapped out yet.

Video adds value: As mentioned above, it ain’t just about internal cost cutting anymore. Firms are embracing video to add value to various B2B and B2C transactions, including remote product demos, testing and diagnostics. U.S. private healthcare providers are using video kiosks in malls for virtual doctor’s appointments. And Dekra now processes 10 to 12 insurance claims per day using video to assess damage, up from six to seven per day through in-person assessments.

…but not everywhere: Enterprise is learning that video doesn’t add value in every business case. When it differentiates you from competitors and enhances your relationship with customers (by boosting transaction quality, not just speed), video adds value, said Parker. But for high speed, mass volume, low value transactions (think airline ticket bookings), video can be a drain rather than a gain, he warned.

Video technology is changing: Businesses have more options than ever. They can procure a UC&C solution, use consumer apps like Skype, log into a secure video portal or embed video into email, web pages or other apps with a platform-based API. Up next is Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC). By enabling video, talk and text via browsers (versus plug-ins, installs or downloads), it could be a huge disrupter – for video and all UC&C.

Security: Since video streams can be encrypted, Parker said the bigger concern is how to safely store video recordings and secure access to them.

What’s a network admin to do with all these insights?

Recognize that your firm’s workers may still want and need video tools. Ensure that your existing or future video solutions can add top-line value to your business. Keep your options open; video technology is evolving quickly. Don’t skimp on security for archived video, especially if you’re a highly regulated industry like finance or healthcare.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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