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A Snapshot of Whys and Hows of Video
The sense I took away from this webinar--between these polls, the audience Q&A, and the presentations--was that video is coming in 2009.
The latest VoiceCon Webinar covered the topic of performance management for voice and video; the sponsor, Psytechnics, is moving more heavily into video performance management, which is a story in itself that I'll discuss in a future post--presumably, this performance management company, which has focused on voice quality up to now, sees a market opportunity in the belief that enterprises will start to see video performance as a critical factor. But for this post, I want to just take a look at the audience polls we ran during the webinar (which you can replay by going here).The first question was, "How widely deployed is video conferencing across your company today?" The results:
* Executive/Key personnel use only: 35.1% (27 responses) * Video Conference Suites installed for general use: 39% (30 responses) * General deployment & availability that includes desktops: 26% (20 responses)
Interesting that more than a quarter of our respondents said video is generally deployed already. The big question, to me, is how this video will affect performance across the WAN. Another big question, to me, is what exactly those people are doing with the video capability on their desktops.
Later, we asked, "What is your primary business rationale for the use of Video Conferencing?" Here's what we got:
* Travel and cost reduction: 50.6% (41 responses) * Company "green" policy: 2.5% (2 responses) * Increased collaboration: 46.9% (38 responses)
To be honest, the only thing that surprised me about the "green" response was that it was as high as it was. "Green" may have looked like a good corporate position to take a year ago, but now it's a luxury that's going to go out the window, or maybe is already out there.
The fact that more than half the respondents expect to use video to reduce travel shows, I believe, that travel avoidance is now a real driver for video. Historically, it's been talked about but hasn't really happened. Now companies seem to be interested in exploring whether video technology really has improved enough to replace a meaningful amount of travel. I think this number will only grow in 2009.
The last poll question was, "How will your Video Conferencing solution be managed?" See if you can detect a preference:
* Internal IT support will deliver and operate: 82.4% (61 responses) * Operated by a "hosted" service provider: 6.8% (5 responses) * Fully outsourced to a "managed" service provider: 10.8% (8 responses)
Good news for IT: You've got more stuff to manage. Though as John Bartlett's blogs on this site have illustrated, there are times when it may make sense to use a service provider. I suspect that, at least for high-end video, there'll be more use of service providers/managed services than this result might lead us to believe: After all, the whole point is to connect with people in remote offices, and your IT staff likely can't cover that much territory itself; it'll probably make more sense to find companies that can help you in regions where connectivity and deployment issues are more difficult for your own staff to handle.
The sense I took away from this webinar--between these polls, the audience Q&A, and the presentations--was that video is coming in 2009. I have no idea just how much it'll grow--and given the economy, probably no one else really does, either--but it's an area that will demand more of your attention next year than it did this year.The sense I took away from this webinar--between these polls, the audience Q&A, and the presentations--was that video is coming in 2009.