Welcome to part four of our Video as a Service (VaaS) series, where we delve into the subject and offer an insight into video as a service and how it can be implemented into business strategies. In our previous blogs, we looked at what VaaS is, why it is a firm favourite in the corporate world, and how it can help businesses realise new avenues of collaboration. In this article, we dispel some of the apprehension around video conferencing and associated service plans so you can understand why it is fast becoming a staple in the workplace of the future.
Living in the Visual
As we all know, technology over the past decade has seen an almost immeasurable rise. What was just in our imaginations a few years ago is now a staple of modern living. The corporate world has seen these changes implemented tenfold, with the average workplace now a hive of technical activity, aimed at making employees of every level more productive and efficient.
VaaS is a dedicated and fully managed communication solution which takes the difficulty out of organising conferences and meetings. Allowing a service provider to cut through the technical minefield means greater levels of productivity where it truly matters. But how do you know that VaaS will be as good or even surpass your existing service? What happens if something goes wrong or help is needed? There are many questions that you may ask that all come down to one thing: can I trust the company to look after this service?
Finding a Trusted Service
Trust is something that must be earned and built up over time; if you trust in a company then of course you will be more comfortable allowing them to run your service. Choosing a provider with a history of excellent service, testimonials on demand and detailed service level agreements (SLAs) is imperative. A successful VaaS provider will have numerous case studies and a multitude of positive reviews, as well as the ability to give examples of why implementation of their service will change the way business operations are conducted.
Video as a service is just that: a service. Therefore, a provider must consistently deliver what has been agreed upon in the SLA, resolve any issues or doubts quickly and ensure that the best interests of the business are put at the forefront of any dealings. Careful research into the options out there is very important, but there are some myths about VaaS which can lead to mistrust even before the SLA has been written.
Dispelling the Cons of VaaS
As discussed in our previous blog, The Benefits of Using VaaS, there are numerous reasons to choose such an infrastructure for your company. These include saving time and money, bringing disparate work forces together and enabling meaningful communication with all levels of industry on any device. In spite of all the advancements the video conferencing industry has seen in recent years, some still view it as an imperfect medium. There are myths about quality, service and purpose which we can dispel:
- Aren’t there always technical difficulties with video conferencing? If a third party provider is in control, how can I be sure not to lose service?
Many people still see video conferencing as a lagging annoyance, with quality and sound issues a-plenty. However, the technology has changed and so have those providing it. Cloud-based conferencing, like our ICE platform, allow for the quick replenishment of service should there be any faults. A provider’s service level agreement is also a good way to protect against poor quality services. Meetings can also be managed and monitored by a team of specialists so any issues that occur during a meeting are quickly fixed enabling a consistent collaborative experience. Meetings can also be recorded for review at a later date, so you will not miss a thing.
- I like seeing people face to face; isn’t video conferencing quite impersonal? And how can I be sure everyone understands me without being in the same room?
There are several levels of VaaS, some are more detailed and explorative than others. Videocall can install and maintain advanced telepresence suites that make it appear as though you are all in the same room. Intelligent 3D microphones pick up sound throughout the room so it appears to be coming directly from the person speaking. Smart cameras can capture the whole room, meaning colleagues can stand up and move around the room as normal. Furthermore, active speaker tracking cameras, such as the Polycom EagleEye, discern who is speaking and seamlessly adjusts the camera accordingly, adding to the ‘all in the room’ feel. One camera focuses on the person talking, while the others keep the rest of the attendees in view. When the primary speaker stops and another starts, the EagleEye picks up on it quickly, making the screen jump to the new speaker without delay.
- My business operates internationally. Can I talk to multiple time zones without faults and lag?
Because conferences take place on the cloud, multiple data centres are pooling a wide range of resources. A singular physical server can now be separated into several virtual machines, each capable of running multiple applications at an impressive speed. Video conferences are no different. With a range of servers working in tandem, there is a significantly reduced chance of issues regarding network outages, hardware faults and lagging sound or video quality. Don’t forget as well that any video enabled endpoint can become a meeting room, meaning that international attendees join conferences from wherever they are, on whatever device they have handy; smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop!
- How easy is it to use? I don’t want to spend hours training staff to use a new platform!
Many businesses are concerned about how to integrate VaaS into their existing workflow without disruption to productivity. Due to the interoperability of many VaaS providers, there is no need to replace the current workflow and no extensive training necessary. Videocall’s ICE platform, for instance, integrates smoothly with Skype for Business which therefore allows employees to arrange meetings and conferences using their current framework. As well as integration, the solutions on offer are immediately fit for purpose, with good providers understanding the needs of businesses and only giving them options that work.
- I’ve heard that set up, installation and maintenance are expensive. How can I ensure my business is not wasting money by implementing VaaS?
VaaS is a comprehensive option for businesses to enjoy a deployment rich in features, without capital investment into resources, equipment and maintenance. Videocall’s VaaS offers practical help during conferences, such as managing the booking of your meeting, inviting attendees and ensuring quality is maintained throughout the call. Moreover, we take care of the backend legwork. Automatic updates, maintenance of machinery and bespoke or industry-specific options all make for a complete package.
Who is Using VaaS?
As cloud services become more efficient, so too does the technology that surrounds it. Whereas businesses used to struggle with B2B video conferencing, mainly due to battling through differing corporate firewalls, interoperability means any platform and any device can connect through the cloud server. Now, there is no end to the collaborative methods your business can embrace. Find out how VaaS can work within your business here.
As the modern workplace changes, so does the mindset of many workers. The prevalence of millennials (those who were born between 1980 and 2000) in the global workplace has had a possible effect on how technology has been incorporated into the modern office. It is expected that by 2025, up to 75% of workers will be millennials; and their passion for tech at home has filtered into their expectations at work. As the first demographic of digital natives, much of a millennial’s life takes place virtually. Having a dedicated VaaS platform can inspire increased productivity and enjoyment in collaboration as it feels more akin to their usual methods of communication.
In terms of the industries incorporating VaaS, there really is no end to how many businesses can make use of this contemporary and vastly simplified service. Some people may believe that the collaborative strategies that they have had in place for years are still effective. This may be true, however with so much of the global corporate sphere embracing a revised VaaS strategy, it may end up being a case of catching up rather than anticipating the next move.
We hope to have de-risked your worries about VaaS as well as highlighting the potential uses it may have within your business. If you have any further questions or if you want to enquire about our services, call 01276 706 706 today.
Our integrated ICE VaaS platform is the next step towards making your business more productive and more visible, not just to customers but also to each other. Find out more about ICE in the next part of our series.