Re-post article by Sara Adams from TheWorkSpaceToday.com
With the benefits of video conferencing in the enterprise being widely evangelized, the pressure is high to invest in (or at least evaluate) bringing visual collaboration into your business. But what your organization ought to do and what is feasible can be mutually exclusive.
Faster innovation, higher productivity, and travel cost savings are well-documented benefits of employees leveraging video conferencing as part of their everyday workflows. IT leaders must calculate whether the implementation and adoption can be achieved quickly and cheaply enough to create a desirable ROI on the investment.
To help with this calculation, let’s look at four of the top perceived barriers preventing enterprises from adopting and/or broadly leveraging video as a preferred communication platform.
Questions loom when an enterprise is considering investing a large sum of capital into newer technologies that solve immediate challenges. How long will this investment last before it is out of date or no longer meets the needs of the business? Will the complexity and cost of installation be too daunting? Will employees use the technology? How many will use the technology?
It’s indisputable that enterprises can offset the hard costs by saving a substantial amount of money and resources traveling to and from meetings by using video. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to convince decision makers who may think they need to invest a large sum of time and money up front to realize these benefits. And for large enterprises with employees spread all over the globe, the upfront expense of getting employees setup with the appropriate IT infrastructure can be staggering with a legacy, hardware-centric approach.
Budgeting and Resource Allocation
The need for new talent when the business is growing is a good thing. Without the proper planning and platform, however, user growth can put a major strain on IT infrastructure and hardware investments.
When hardware investments that were supposed to last 1-2 years can now reach usage capacity in 6-12 months, it can create a major budget and resource allocation problem. Suddenly, IT must go searching for additional dollars to create an infrastructure that supports the growing business. And instead of being a driver for innovation, IT is perceived as a cost center by leadership.
Users now expect “dial tone” reliability for all methods of communication within the business. And that expectation is the same whether they are in a 5 person team huddle or a company-wide meeting. But unexpected surges in concurrent users strain the infrastructure, which leads to poor quality, or worse – not enough bandwidth to support the call with participants inadvertently being dropped.
Planning for day-to-day business use cases is one thing, but there are plenty of unexpected ways for usage to spike. Let’s say your company experiences an unfortunate crisis as a result of a product failure, an executive who goes rogue, or an angry high profile customer who requires immediate attention. How do you plan for these scenarios where real-time, high-quality communication is paramount, without paying for way more infrastructure than you’ll likely ever need?
Regardless of how unplanned or unexpected the event, when user experience is impacted, the IT department’s reputation takes a negative hit while trying to solve the immediate challenge. And even if the infrastructure required to support these spikes is purchased and installed, users think twice about using video for their next important call based off their most negative experience.
Lack of Real-Time Usage and Reporting
To secure the budget for an investment in video, many IT leaders are on the hook to provide utilization data to track ROI of the dollars spent. And this same utilization data – along with call reliability and infrastructure uptime – can help identify root causes of slow adoption of these technologies. If one particular endpoint consistently failed to join a call during the first week it was deployed, it’s not difficult to discern why that room is rarely utilized today.
But these real-time reporting or analytics haven’t been the norm in video collaboration deployments. This is a key reason why many IT departments within an enterprise have yet to adopt video as part of their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Who wants to be surprised at the end of the month when usage data is way over? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to track critical metrics, such as a spike in traffic, network quality, and reliability in real time?
A New Solution – The Best of On-Premise and in the Cloud
None of these perceived barriers are impossible for IT to overcome. This is especially true in today’s environment with newer hybrid solutions that are simple, powerful, cloud-ready and available to dynamically expand concurrent user capacity on-demand.
While the four perceived barriers listed above seem very logical, this new hybrid solution makes these objections irrelevant as highlighted below:
- Cost: an enterprise will only pay for the capacity they need now, and for higher usage when needed under a hybrid platform.
- Budgeting and resource allocation: a hybrid solution serves as an insurance policy to help protect against capacity constraints as calls burst into the cloud.
- Quality: virtualized computing resources in the cloud enable a seamless connection during spikes in video call usage, whether planned or unplanned.
- Real-time usage and reporting: securely monitor capacity and performance, and better understand utilization patterns to drive informed decisions.
One solution for instance is RealPresence Clariti™, a hybrid, “cloud-ready” collaboration infrastructure software that works like a hybrid vehicle – when the driver needs more power than electricity can provide, the gas kicks in without interruption.
With RealPresence Clariti™ if there is a spike in usage traffic then cloud bursting services kick gear without an interruption to service or quality. So if you have 400 connections on one day versus 200 then this burst will automatically become hosted within a cloud environment.
Also, the pricing model with RealPresence Clariti™ is purely subscription based, and the model is based on the number of concurrent users. This enables companies to easily adopt the solution without all the extra hardware investments. Enterprises can simply purchase the software license or deploy a hybrid solution, whichever satisfies their needs in the most efficient manner.
Finally, RealPresence Clariti™ also provides many of the real-time analytics and reporting tools IT administrators seek out from a communication platform. IT administrators have the ability to better understand utilization patterns and drive informed decisions by pulling reports and analytics. This includes real-time call metrics, traffic spikes, and billing information.
As you analyze whether video communication will deliver significant benefits to your organization, it’s important to consider the latest collaboration infrastructure delivery models as these models eliminate many of the most commons barriers to implementation and adoption. Regardless of whether you are standardizing on (private or public) cloud hosting, or are keeping your infrastructure on premise, the cloud bursting capabilities of solutions like RealPresence Clariti™, have the power to significantly reduce risk while improving the quality of the user experience.