Why business processes will soon be video-enabled?

From enterprise collaboration, video will get integrated into all kinds of applications, in all areas of business

Communication is an industry that is growing faster than most other areas in the ICT domain. With the improvements in infrastructure and technology, there is a visible shift from voice as the primary medium to video for business communication. Today video is primarily used by enterprises as a tool for business collaboration. Be it a project meeting between teams or a client/vendor meeting, video is getting used extensively as a fast and effective medium of collaboration. This market segment is serviced by various video conferencing solutions and services companies offering the services as on-premise or as hosted service under various commercial and Go-to-Market models. This trend will continue to grow as people become more comfortable in using video for communication.

The smaller or emerging segments of markets will continue the use of standalone solutions as they will be cheaper and not require integration with other systems. Over a period the free versions of these will become good enough for use by the market segment which is driven primarily by price.

In the mid and large enterprise market, these standalone services will over a period of time get replaced by various integrated Unified Communication (UC) solutions from organizations like Microsoft and/or Cisco where video will be an inbuilt part of the overall UC solution.

In the future, the applications for video will evolve beyond team collaboration or meetings over video conferences. Video will soon get integrated into workflows in all business functions and verticals irrespective of the kind of business. We will start seeing video being used extensively in supply chains, training & development, human resources, mass communication, investor relations, and technical support. Applications where today voice is the medium of exchange, we will see them getting enriched by being video enabled or video ready.

The interesting shift will be when we start seeing video moving beyond enterprise applications and getting integrated into all kinds of applications that impact our daily lives. These applications go beyond traditional Business-to-Business (B2B) use of video for conferencing or chat and cater to the huge Business-to-Consumer (B2C) segment of the market. The use of video can improve our daily lives by changing the way we receive services like education, healthcare, news, etc. 

The opportunity for video platform providers will be to enable application developers and solution providers to integrate video into their applications and solutions. The trend is already starting to emerge with various companies building video based contact centers, banking & insurance, e-learning and healthcare applications by embedding video into their core applications.

Application developers will no longer need to deploy their own video technologies or be constrained in any manner. They will leverage cloud infrastructure and video technology providers and integrate their applications with the latest and best in video technologies.

In markets like India where reach of quality services especially in education & healthcare is still a big challenge in the rural or smaller cities, this evolution will be transformational.  We will have scenarios where doctors are providing consulting or teachers will be conducting vocational training using video enabled applications from their big city centers. 

This growth and adoption will be driven by various factors:

  1. Network improvements enabling end users to have high quality bandwidth available on their handheld and mobile devices
  2. Emergence of cloud as the delivery medium for various Business-to-Consumer (B2C) applications
  3. Improvement in quality of video through the new generation codecs

The next few years will be interesting and exciting for cloud and video technology providers as we see more and more applications start adopting video and deliver solutions using global cloud infrastructures. We may not be able to envisage the full potential of this trend today but this is definitely the way video communication is going.

The new ecosystems will ensure the best use of technologies and business & consumer applications will become enable richer interaction and engagement amongst the users.

The author is MD, Arkadin India, an NTT Communications company


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