For more than a decade, unified communications (UC) technologies from industry leaders like Cisco and Avaya have been helping businesses collaborate remotely while reducing telecom and infrastructure costs by merging voice and data into a single network.
Today’s on-premises and cloud-based UC platforms take savings and efficiency to a higher level, going beyond voice, email, web chat and instant messaging to include multimedia collaboration capabilities as well. Best of all, the cost of endpoint technology is coming down, enabling small and medium size businesses to deploy sophisticated UC systems more affordably than ever.
UC/collaboration endpoints are connecting both colleagues and customers like never before. In 2016, with UC adoption rates spiking, we’re seeing prices for equipment leveling off – even as the technology advances. Give the capabilities of the current generation of video-ready desktop IP phones and the ability to use smartphones and PC’s within most platforms, videoconferencing is truly affordable for virtually any business.
Videoconferencing is the linchpin of online business collaboration. As new plug-and-play videoconferencing solutions do away with audio/video quality and usability issues, virtual meetings are replacing more in-person staff meetings, brainstorming sessions, and small team check-ins. The ease of deployment is also allowing businesses to leverage video during crises, enabling key personnel around the globe to assess a situation and develop response plans face to face.
All of those factors are contributing to the rise of cost-effective and easy to install “room-based” videoconferencing systems. Although their outward appearance and functionality seem as straightforward as a flat-screen TV, these systems pack high-resolution cameras and computing platforms plus communication and collaboration software into a single piece of hardware. Such room-based solutions combine multi-way videoconferencing with presentation and wireless content-sharing capabilities—all at 720p or 1080p video resolution.
- Data Sheet: Cisco TelePresence MX Series Data Sheet
- Data Sheet: Avaya Scopia Video Collaboration Data Sheet
Cloud-based integrations connect a company’s videoconferencing solution with not only its core collaboration software, but also with the myriad devices employees use every day. Off-site team members are increasingly joining in the collaboration process, using smartphones and tablets as often as a desktop or laptop PC. These hosted services provide efficient, universally accessible collaboration software and videoconferencing with the cloud serving as the back end. Such cloud-based collaboration will continue to erode device, location, and platform-based barriers to Enterprise and SMB communication.
Your Zones account executive can connect you with one of our UC specialists; the first step in creating an effective and affordable Unified Communications system for your organization.