Videoconferencing Beyond 2021

Videoconferencing Beyond 2021

Supposing you skipped the future and asked someone else to summarize the year 2020 in two words, what do you think most people would say? Chances are the answer would be Covid & Zoom! Check this out- both terms occupied the top of Google search trends for most of that year. Interestingly, the idea of videoconferencing isn't entirely new. The initial use of videoconferencing stretches back to early 1964. Think of it: Back then, a mere three-minute call from New York to Chicago using the AT&T Picturebooth would cost you a whopping $255! Admittedly, technology has- since come a long way. Actually, video calls had already become an integral part of our lives long before the pandemic came along. The Fortune Business insights report that the global video conferencing market was valued at $5.32 billion in 2019. Analysts expected the market to grow to $10.92 billion by the year 2027.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world in March 2020, many schools, offices, and corporate establishments went into a mandatory lockdown. Henceforth, videoconferencing became the only means to communicate with friends, family, and co-workers. Without delay, Zoom quickly seized the big opportunity. Zoom's easy-to-use interface and other support features that accommodate up to 100 participants quickly became the modus operandi. Yes, Zoo became the new default place for various social activities that could no longer take place in a physical location. Fast forward to February 2021- most people are still resigned to their webcams and spare rooms due to the breakout of the second wave of new coronavirus infections and on-off lockdowns.

Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly transformed the traditional workplace culture for good. This sudden pause in life raised a new magnifying glass to the way the world's workplace was organized. Many were caught in a flurry of non-stop meetings, stimulation, and engagement. Then came the realization that "Monday to Friday" doesn't have to be the only arrangement for work. Soon, a survey found that 77% of all employees were demanding more flexibility in the post-coronavirus pandemic workplace. Inevitably, this would translate to a flexible and permanent remote working policy in many organizations. Most global companies, including Unilever, Google, and Netflix, have already announced they're committed to arranging for a permanent remote working environment. But this kind of hybrid working requires the creation of new infrastructure and other facilities. This will ultimately become a reality by means of modern technology. Today, the video market is described as "ever-growing but fragmented." Think of it: In May 2020, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams surpassed the 50 million downloads milestone. Due to the explosion of online communication in the recent past, videoconferencing interoperability is now a hot topic. "Interoperability" is a term that is used to refer to the unrestricted sharing of resources within different systems. There'll be many technical issues and much rigidity associated with communicating with people on different platforms without video conferencing interoperability.

As such, the more prominent UC companies (including Teams and Zoom) have already picked on this. From 2021 the companies made it possible to launch a call from Teams room to Zoom. Zoom also made it possible to launch a meeting for hours on end. However, there are many other videoconferencing platforms. Hence we've not reached the era of full interoperability as we'd like to. Of course, we'll never really have a single videoconferencing forum (the same way there's no such thing as a single email provider). Instead, as often happens in the corporate world, we'll always have a few big players dominating the market- the big boys.

But we can always have variety and choice. So different people have the freedom to choose other solutions- Teams, Zoom, Webex, GoToMeeting, Blue jeans, and the like. The modern business market demands adaptability. Overall, businesses should take advantage of the situation and embrace diversity. They may even go ahead and create interoperable meeting places where anyone can make the type of call they want. For example, using the Launcher meeting room software, anyone can walk into a UC-equipped meeting room where they can instantly launch calls. With this solution installed, all kinds of meeting spaces are able to accommodate various types of videoconferencing software that different clients or teams prefer. With Launcher, you can always make the meeting rooms fully operational and interoperable.