Andy Howard
Andy Howard is Founder and Managing Director at Howard & Associates. Andy is a highly regarded IP video expert and...
Read Full Bio >>

Andy Howard | February 03, 2012 |


Video Conferencing from Anywhere

Video Conferencing from Anywhere Mobile device support for video conferencing is clearly in its infancy, but all of the vendors are going to continue to invest heavily in mobile capabilities because their customers are demanding it.

Mobile device support for video conferencing is clearly in its infancy, but all of the vendors are going to continue to invest heavily in mobile capabilities because their customers are demanding it.

Happy New Year! After taking some time off for the holidays, it is time to start thinking about all the amazing things that will happen on mobile devices in 2012!

In our last post, we provided an overview of the considerations that Enterprises face when looking at rolling out video to mobile devices. This included the ability to both "create" and to "consume" video on the mobile devices.

In this post, we will focus on the "create" part of mobile video. To do so, we will focus on video conferencing providers' support for mobile video. A bit later, we will investigate what Cisco, Polycom, and LifeSize have in terms of video conferencing support on mobile devices. But first, let's consider how these new capabilities will be used and what the "experience" will be.

The concept of video conferencing on mobile devices is fantastic, even futuristic. The ability to participate in a video conference from anywhere is, quite simply, amazing. Unfortunately, there are some practical considerations that organizations need to know before they jump into mobile video conferencing with both feet.

1. As I mentioned in the previous post, know what you are trying to accomplish. Do not rush into mobile device support just because the capability is there. Make sure it adds value to your organization. Understand the applications that people are requesting, and make sure you deliver those well.

2. To truly get the benefits of mobile video conferencing, you will either need to expand your current video infrastructure or deploy new infrastructure if you do not already have it. Or you can use one of the new cloud based infrastructure services that the providers are starting to offer (this will be the subject of a future blog post). The biggest reason for this is for security--if users are going to be able to call from anywhere, you need to make sure the solution includes firewall traversal and encryption so that your calls are secured.

3. The third thing to consider is: How are your users actually going to use the technology? Is it mostly going to be one-to-one calls for short durations? Or are they going to be participating in larger conferences with longer durations?

Why does this matter? Again, it is the user experience. As most people know, the video conference providers have gone to great lengths to make sure the video conference and telepresence experience is optimal. In "immersive" experiences, they even go so far as to build the entire room so that it feels like you are in the same room when you call someone on an identical system. Even for non "immersive" systems, good lighting, good sound, a proper distance from the camera, and finally high definition quality are usually implemented by the provider in order to ensure the best experience.

Mobile video conferencing, on the other hand, is the complete opposite! Remember, these are devices that cost hundreds of dollars, as opposed to immersive telepresence rooms that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And, the way that the mobile devices are used all point to lower quality experiences.

* The user can be anywhere--their office, the airport, or the coffee shop

* Lighting is typically awful. Specifically, the angle of the mobile device tends to get focused on overhead lighting. Or on a window behind the user.

* The sound is typically awful. There is a lot of noise in public spaces. And the microphones in mobile devices are not nearly as good as in professional video conference systems.

* The user is typically too close to the device.


May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.