In the early days of communication for businesses both large and small, most companies relied on traditional voice solutions (e.g. public switched telephone network, or PSTN) and simple email to connect with their employees, partners, and customers. While these conventional methods of communication are still helpful for companies today, relying on these tools alone is no longer enough to stay competitive and ahead in today’s dynamic business landscape. In the digitally connected world (thanks to the cloud and real-time data), it’s crucial for businesses to go beyond traditional voice solutions and start leveraging more engaging and interactive communication tools and channels to enable true collaboration in the workplace.
In this article, Bin Guan, the Chief Technology Officer at Yorktel, explains why video solutions are crucial for a business' overall communications strategy and shares how Univago, their convenient and intuitive cloud-hosted video platform, helps transform enterprise communications and make collaborations both meaningful and productive.
Video in the Enterprise: Why It Matters
“The overall perception is that video is simply something to get people together,” said Guan. “However, there is a different generation of people who like video...and in turn, also some generations who dislike it. But to us, these are just different customers to work with; and from our perspective, we are driven to help these people collaborate and communicate together to drive user adoption.”
In the recent State of Video in the Enterprise survey, 96 percent of the surveyed participants revealed that video helps train employees better and faster while 91 percent said that video makes executive communications more relatable and personal. Furthermore, an estimated 94 percent also said that video plays a crucial part in bringing together geographically disjointed teams. With these compelling insights into the impact of video, it shows that more organizations are putting great emphasis on using video options to achieve full collaboration.
According to Guan, the use of video is more ubiquitous across the business communication world. “User adoption is what Yorktel has been focusing on as we see more and more studies of how the new generations of employees are using video channels,” said Guan. From meetings to training and seminars, there are plenty of ways businesses can use videos to communicate, connect, and collaborate with their teams in an efficient way.
Moving to the Cloud or Hosted Video Collaboration Services
“Video conferencing lives under the whole unified communications (UC) and collaboration space, which is an umbrella solution,” shared Guan. “Because of this, vendors and providers want to create easy to use collaboration experiences, and so we try to help users adopt and adapt through a simplified experience. And we see more and more customers moving in that direction, especially from a consumer base.”
For businesses employing video communications platform throughout their UC environments, security concerns are at the top of the list. So how can Yorktel protect businesses and safeguard their remote workers when connecting from nonsecure locations?
According to Guan, Univago, Yorktel’s cloud-hosted video platform, is built with a number of access points and HIPAA compliance to ensure that the company and their services can seamlessly support customers. Developed as a self-service offering that is accessible through the cloud, Univago helps businesses overcome the most complex issues relating to QoS, interoperability, secure remote access, and scalability.
“Security is something that Univago takes very seriously,” said Guan. “Today, there is more education and folks are getting better at understanding the advantages of the cloud; but also, the security levels are getting better too, and advancements in technology can help improve [security] in order to move businesses forward.”
Key Factors that Drive Adoption of Video Collaboration Solutions in the Workplace
As a new generation of employees enters the workplace, business culture continues to change; thus, prompting companies to evaluate how they operate. “The adoption rate is getting better with the bigger companies, and now [this change] is more about the rising generations, and eventually more and more users will take advantage of business video conferencing,” said Guan. “It is a matter of culture change!”
For businesses, it pays to know the trends that are changing today’s modern workplace because this knowledge will enable them to adapt seamlessly with the changing business landscape. It will also help businesses stay ahead of the competition. According to Guan, some of the key factors that drive the adoption rate of video conferencing and collaboration in the workplace are:
Microsoft. “From a training perspective in the industry, Microsoft is a big trend, and we see more and more users adopting Microsoft technology going forward (ie. Skype for Business has more adoption across the board),” shared Guan.
Mobility. People want access to a solution from anywhere and anytime, on mobile, tablet, and laptop devices. "The key challenge for video solutions will be how [the system] can get better in regards to data usage so as not to challenge data and/or bandwidth limits on mobile devices," said Guan.
User Experience. Video can help improve the user experience. Through videos, businesses can convey more information and deliver the message clearly, and also offer training and educational opportunities internally.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Businesses are now also placing a bigger focus on APIs. “The key thing will be APIs, and how developers can implement them into workflows,” noted Guan. “This software development adds value and services, and it will be a big shift in the industry across the board.”
APIs are the answer to more and more requests for implementation into workflows. The key driver behind this is the user experience and how businesses make it better for the user (regardless of whether the integration is into workflows or other platforms and applications). “For instance, if customers have tools for customer service and want to bring Yorktel services in, they have access to the APIs,” explained Guan.
APIs are a huge market trend in the collaboration and, and Yorktel is working closely with internal development to make sure APIs are available for customers going forward. They have put in a lot of efforts and invested heavily in APIs. “The user experience is key because if a company puts a lot of investment into a tool or tools and if no one is using them then it is a waste of money,” said Guan. “Back in the old days, there were lots of efforts in video conferencing, but [most solutions] were too complicated and so customers often didn’t use them. Nowadays, it is very important in organizations and large companies to utilize conference rooms and video conferencing. And with the help of the IT department and a simplified user experience, this is a surefire way to help drive more adoption of video and collaboration.”
Unleashing the Power of Video with Univago
Leading provider of video-centric collaborative services and solutions Yorktel aims to improve business efficiency and performance by integrating video collaboration solutions in a company’s workflows.
As Yorktel’s cloud-hosted video platform, Univago goes beyond just video conferencing and looks into the different angles and use cases to help businesses succeed. This innovative video solution addresses today’s businesses’ increasingly complex needs not only by offering simple cloud bridging services but by delivering other specialized solutions. “From the Univago perspective, we are much more than just a video service,” said Guan. “We deliver APIs so customers can seamlessly implement workflows to give businesses the best tools they need so that people can leverage and provide integrations.”
According to Guan, Univago supports a growing number of applications that address real-world shortcomings. “When customers are looking into more hybrid or private cloud environments, most providers offer a public environment only, but Univago gives more private and hybrid deployment cloud options,“ said Guan. “The second piece is applications for healthcare and education, and how we help to support and provide a service to these industries. The third differentiator of Univago is that we can help support different gateway services if a customer is looking to deploy Skype for Business or WebRTC.”
Guan also identifies three major use cases of video today:
- Multi-corporations. Businesses with multiple offices across different locations can take advantage of video collaboration platforms to enhance their connectivity and to support collaboration for their globally distributed workforce.
- Healthcare Industry. “There is a desire for how doctors and patients collaborate together (especially when they are not in the same room) in addition to remote education and how others can be trained by faculty through video,” said Guan. And through video collaboration solutions, healthcare professionals can easily connect with each other to expand their medical knowledge, provide an accurate diagnosis, deliver concise therapeutic instructions; all of which can help optimize patient care.
- Marketing and Sales. Videos not only promote businesses, but they also influence customers buying decisions. Whether it’s for product launches or trade shows, videos have the capacity to support an organization’s marketing and sales endeavors. “There is a cross between business-to-business and business-to-customer and how a business is going to communicate to and with consumers through videos,” said Guan.
To learn more about Yorktel’s video collaboration platform and other business communication solutions, please visit Yorktel’s website.
Yorktel is a leading provider of video-centric collaborative services and solutions. Based in New Jersey, the company provides comprehensive unified communications and collaboration solution and video managed services that support some of the largest government agencies and enterprises across the world. Univago, Yorktel's cloud-hosted video platform, helps businesses work smarter and become more productive with its capacity to improve next-generation collaborative workflows.