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A Case for Investing in Native Video Systems

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Video meeting
Image: Photographee.eu - stock.adobe.com
There’s a bit of a debate happening in the unified communications (UC) space on investing in video interoperability versus native systems. To join the argument, you must first understand the principle of each. Video interoperability is the ability to make two different video conferencing systems connect with each other – essentially a bridge where everyone meets. On the other hand, a native system provides broader functionality through a single platform. While some might say that video interoperability is in line with the UC mission of simplifying communication, I would argue that video interoperability is more reminiscent of early 2000s conference rooms with just basic capabilities, and that true UC goes beyond video interoperability via a native solution.
 
Why a Native Solution?
First, let’s look at the benefits of native systems. Because video interoperability is made for connecting with other systems, the most functionality you’ll see is basic audio, video, and maybe a way to share content. Comparatively, the functionality of a native system seems more like something out of Minority Report than your average conference room. With a native system, you can do things like:
  • Join a call from your phone, walk into a conference room, and seamlessly switch the call to room’s conferencing system
  • From a video conference, point at a whiteboard and have that whiteboard become part of your meeting through handwriting recognition
  • While presenting in a video conference, the system can make a person walking in front of the camera transparent so there are no disruptions
  • Collaborate on documents seamlessly in the video conference
With video interoperability, you sacrifice functionality for a works-with-everyone approach. But you can’t beat the functionality gained with a native system. Native systems are what’s taking meetings and collaboration to the next level.
 
What About Cost?
Cost, specifically in regard to licensing fees, is often seen as the major roadblock when it comes to the true adoption of an overarching native system. However, as video platforms shift and evolve, companies need to keep pace to remain interoperable. In the long run, this may end up costing more than investing in a native solution.
 
Is It More Efficient?
When an IT team only has to focus on keeping a native system up and running, it can keep up to date with new features and software as they become available. This helps to ensure a company’s conferencing system is never outdated or archaic.
 
How About Hardware?
This is an easy one. Companies need to invest in a hardware solution that works with any native system. This way, if a business chooses to change its video system in the future, the cost remains low as hardware can easily switch over to the new solution.
 
Many people mistakenly see video interoperability as the all-encompassing solution that will allow them to connect to others around the world quickly, easily, and at minimal cost. But by choosing video interoperability over a native system, employees will be missing out on full feature sets and new updates. Not to mention, the organization's IT department will potentially leave money on the table by not being able to easily upgrade. Native systems are bringing collaboration to a new level and are what businesses should look to when designing the conference room of the future.

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