Advanced UC function poised for wider use

    When it comes to unified communications, the past few years have seen many businesses embrace the technology's simplest options, such as text messaging, data and communication integration and voice services, without going too far to take advantage of UC's advanced capabilities. This is poised to change, as desktop-based videoconferencing reaches a point at which many businesses are prepared to embrace the solution, InformationWeek reported.

    According to the news source, recent advances in the standards governing high-definition video coding and compression have set a foundation for more videoconferencing deployments in the enterprise. Furthermore, a survey performed by InformationWeek found 34 percent of respondents already have videoconferencing technology in place, while another 10 percent plan to install such solutions as part of their unified communications setup during the next year.

    The report said the appeal of videoconferencing capabilities is relatively simple, but offers a powerful solution for many organizations. Respondents to the survey showed a clear interest in videoconferencing's ability to improve enterprise collaboration by allowing employees to communicate visually, even between branch offices and with partners. This, in turn, can lead to a major reduction in travel costs within the enterprise because companies can setup virtual meetings that can be productive and avoid sending employees on flights to talk with partners around the world.

    According to the survey, desktop videoconferencing is emerging as an especially popular tool for employee training, but it still has not outpaced adoption of videoconferencing rooms. These solutions install a number of unified communications and video tools in a single conference room that is then devoted to virtual meetings. However, desktop-based video systems are being embraced quickly, even more rapidly than those built on iPads and other tablet computing solutions.

    Videoconferencing can also be built in as part of a company's business phone system. This is especially easy when using a cloud-based telephony solution. Putting videoconferencing in place within a premise-based system requires sophisticated and expensive infrastructure. While the same is the case in the cloud, the hardware is owned and operated by the third-party provider. This simultaneously improves disaster recovery while reducing capital expenses, creating a more accessible platform for video solutions within the enterprise. A cloud-based unified communications system offers similar benefits, and the gains could be even greater, as the video system is integrated with other telephony applications in such a setup.

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