Video technology has been around for decades. In fact, even the ability to communicate over video conferencing is hardly a new technology. Face-to-face digital communication over great distances has been a favourite of science-fiction portrayals since the 19th century.
So why is it only recently that video conferencing has started becoming a ubiquitous presence in typical offices? To understand this question, it’s essential you understand hurdles video conferencing has had to leap to become the useful tool it is today.
The first major obstacle was internet availability and speeds. Technically, video conferencing has been viable over the internet since the dial-up days. But just because it could be used, doesn’t mean video conferencing was an effective replacement for more conventional communication like telephone and audio conferencing. Slow internet speeds and low bandwidth meant if video conferencing was used, the image would be choppy and low-resolution, with poor audio to match.
Once high-speed, wireless internet became a viable option, video conferencing became more popular. Services like Skype quickly capitalized on the desire for digital face-to-face communication, and grew rapidly. But these free solutions were hardly up to the task of enterprise-level communication, and large companies spent enormous amounts of money on on-prem solutions.
Enter cloud video conferencing – a service that bridged the gap between low quality video and hyper-expensive on premise solutions. It was more affordable than the traditional enterprise-grade solutions and far better than Skype. But even so, there was still a problem – using it and setting it up were complicated undertakings.
Now we’ve finally arrived at a new era of video conferencing. The technical and access issues have been ironed out, and all that remains is creating an improved user experience. Thankfully, companies like Polycom and RP1Cloud have taken this seriously, launching new solutions to common ease-of-use problems.
Here are a few examples:
Setting it Up
One of the biggest hassles for implanting a video conferencing solution has been the set up. Whether it’s paying a contractor to set it up or leveraging an internal IT professional, getting video conferencing setup can be time consuming – and expensive.
Naturally, it’s been a major priority for collaboration platform providers to make set up easier – but no one has done it better than Polycom and RP1Cloud with Zero Touch Provisioning.
In essence, Zero Touch Provisioning is taking the concept of “plug and play” and applying it to a video conferencing system. By simply buying a pre-provisioned Polycom endpoint with RP1Cloud installed on it, all you have to do is plug in the system, connect it to the internet and give it about two minutes to set up, and you’re ready for a video call.
By removing a major barrier to entry for businesses looking to avoid wasting time and money, video conferencing becomes more accessible to everyone.
User Experience and Adoption
Once you’ve got your video conferencing setup, however, there remains the hurdle of actually using it. With traditional video conferencing, the user experience has been complicated, to say the least.
Any early adopter of video collaboration platforms remembers SIP strings, H.323, long strings of numbers – all of which are intimidating barriers to casual users, not looking to take an IT course just to have a remote meeting.
Especially for first time users, a simple user experience is essential so that adoption happens and the value of video conferencing can be leveraged. Long strings of strange numbers that need to be memorized is the exact opposite.
Thankfully, One Touch Dialing is available on systems like RP1Cloud. Much like the conference calls you’re used to, with One Touch Dialing you can pick your meeting time, give it a title, and access it via Polycom endpoint with a single click. It’s nearly as simple as picking up the phone.
With One Touch Dialing, the onus of navigating meetings and memorizing complicated details is taken off the user. For companies looking to deploy video conferencing and ensure it gets used, finding a system that incorporated One Touch Dialing is essential.
Video conferencing has been overly complicated for too long. People have put up with it, because once you’ve experienced the benefits of remote face-to-face communication, it’s difficult to go back to older communication methods.
But that doesn’t mean improvements were due. RP1Cloud is making video conferencing easier to use than ever before, helping it become the ubiquitous collaboration tool people have been expecting for generations.
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