How To Bring Cloud-Based Video Conferencing to Your SaaS Cloud

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How To Bring Cloud-Based Video Conferencing to Your SaaS Cloud

By: Guest Writer, Randy Marcotte, PerfectVC

 

Cloud-based computing has allowed every business to invest less in physical infrastructure at each individual location and instead build flexibility and scalability with cloud-based solutions. One such solution that we have seen start to migrate to the cloud are cloud-based video conferencing solutions. These solutions allow dispersed teams the ability to collaborate without individual setup and support at each location.

Today’s blog is brought to us by a guest writer Randy Marcotte at PerfectVC who has first-hand seen the power of cloud-based video conferencing solutions.

Cloud-Based Video Conferencing as One Part of Unified Communications

Video Conferencing in the cloud? Sure, everyone else is. Almost no one builds premises-based, closed-loop, private video bridging. However, Video Conferencing “management” in the cloud? How is that even possible? More on that in a moment, Inflow has helped us build a complete Unified Communications system with video as arguably one of the most important pieces of their UCaaS offering.

Choice Fatigue From Traditional Video Conferencing Solutions

Here is what we always tell people and it continues to surprise our partners and customers.

“There is too much happening in the world of Video Conferencing. Options are creating chaos.

Our customers, friends, and prospects are showing signs of choice fatigue. They want an experience that is integrated, seamless, cost-effective. Most can identify a key outcome for a video conferencing deployment but many are stuck looking at choices with only one outcome. Some have made a decision that they might as well do video conferencing (everyone else is doing it, right?). Few find one clear pain-point that justifies costs and even fewer have time to weed through the confusion.”

The only clear choice in this world of Saas Cloud options is that choosing Video as SaaS is the most scalable solution. The point, however, is that in an increasingly subscription-based, software-driven world organizations need to understand and plan for the challenges that come with flexible video solutions and the opportunity that come with video solutions becoming an integral part of a truly Unified Communications ecosystem.

Beyond the hardware and physics of video conferencing lies the challenges of complex and changing options. Create a clear path for your future rather than having your vendors drive strategy.

Cloud-Based Video Conferencing Solutions are Irreplaceable

Now back to the questions of SaaS video solutions that are subscription based and the replaceable hardware that hangs onto them. Take, for example, a Google Hangouts “Huddle Kit” With the right plan, deployment and equipment you can indeed create a video system as stable as a traditional system like Lifesize or Polycom. However, today you have to buy that hardware and the subscribe to the software. IT and your team have to have models to support and manage.

We predict that many providers will soon offer free endpoint solutions, subsidized hardware or build lease and subscriptions that include hardware. At that point then SaaS and AV integration, Video Conferencing and Unified Communications will wrap into one neat, renewable and scalable VaaS (Video as a Service) platform. Lifesize has already begun this trend by not only making hardened, reliable, affordable room-equipment but when paired to their cloud bridge, the hardware updates and upgrades itself. Others will follow this trend for sure.

In the review process and consultations with our clients, we often refer to a “Cloudy Cloud” because our customers increasingly express fatigue and frustration when they are discussing uptime in the cloud. Every bridge vendor makes bold promises about features and benefits and few meet all the needs presented by a customer or the problems they need to solve. To do this, we think it is best to start with knowing the key things you do NOT know about video conferencing deployment and adoption in your organization.

How the Cloud Solves Traditional Video Conferencing and Collaboration Problems

As a refresher, here is the standing assumption this series and the problems our customers bring to the team:

Traditional video collaboration problems are easy to identify and solve. Perhaps it is travel expense reduction or better meetings. More often today we are seeing video conferencing being used for one-on-one support, training or development. We hold, however, that a well through-out video conferencing solution would take ALL these items into consideration as possible benefits, externalities or enhancements to a video platform deployment.

One-Size-Fits-All Video Conferencing May Not Work For Your Business

An organization is generally quick to create a great checklist that drives a video conferencing deployment. Here are a few examples the one size fits all approach you may want to avoid:

  • We did {name your solution} at another organization and it worked great. Let’s do that.
  • We did {name your solution} at another organization and it failed completely. Let’s not do that.
  • We need better meetings. We need better audio. We need to travel less. We need to communicate more effectively.

If you start with just those considerations you are actually not off to a horrible start. We would suggest, however, that it is short-sighted. A good video conferencing solution deployment should have a demonstrable return on investment within 6-8 months by just using the traditional factors considered when calculating ROI.

Unified Communications Solutions Should Include Video Conferencing

If you consider a wider range of considerations and, candidly, some of the new and unknown benefits of a unified video conferencing communications strategy, well then you have a core foundation to fix today’s problems and position for tomorrow’s solutions.

Here are some examples of innovation happening in the HD Video Conferencing space, and how these are becoming more of an actual VaaS model:

  • Does your CRM have open APIs available for video conferencing and does the solution your look for have pre-written integrations?
  • Is your website enabled for real-time video or voice communication between customers, partners, and suppliers?
  • Would it be beneficial to have video communications built into agent interaction in a call center?
  • Does the business want usage and adoption data?
  • Are there specific collaboration tools you want to see or functions that are on the wish list of various internal customer groups.
  • How are you going to support this, scale and manage to schedule?
  • Have you considered the day-to-day workflow of different internal and external stakeholders?

Survey those groups who are going to be impacted by a UC Video Conferencing solution and solve their problems by choosing a solution that anticipates their needs in 2 years, not just solving their problems presented today.

The Future of Business is in the Cloud

The future of cloud-based video conferencing is clear. It is here to stay and will continue to grow. Just how much you have to invest or how elegant and easy the solution will be in your environment will take some planning. Some version of camera-connected communications will be an assumption of doing business. Voice calling, white-boarding (brainstorming) and huddle room conversations are not going away either. We recommend you pick solutions that are not pegged into one particular approach.

Ready to Add Cloud-Based Video Conferencing to Your UC Capabilities?

Inflow Communications can help you build your UC offering with cloud-based video conferencing. Get in touch with one of our dedicated team members today!

About Inflow

Strategy. Execution. Optimization. In that repeated sequence Inflow elevates your customer experience and makes you a disruptive force in your industry through your unified communications and contact center technologies. We provide this advantage for our 800+ customers; will you join us in obliterating mediocrity and guiding your organization bravely into the age of the customer?

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