The Future of Video Conferencing: What to Look for in 2017
Our interconnected world makes it possible to grow and manage teams without setting one foot inside an airport. That’s why video conferencing innovation must continue to produce new tools for meeting anytime, anywhere, on any device.
2016 was a big year for video conferencing, as more small business began to see the benefit it had on their internal business processes, costs, and productivity.
In fact, according to a survey of more than 1,200 business in 17 countries, 96% of CEOs agreed that video conferencing improved productivity at their companies. Moreover, 76% of company decision-makers also report to using and excelling with video conference tools.
The future is looking bright for video conferencing, so what will 2017 have in store?
Let’s look at four trends poised to dominate the new year.
Video Conferencing For Human Resources
Looking to cut costs in your human resources department?
Human resources personnel have a lot on their plate. Job interviews, talent acquisition, follow-ups, conflict resolution, and employee development is just the start.
Doing these tasks in-person historically takes time, financial resources, and staff. However, video conferencing and virtual HR teams are helping global companies cut costs while making their HR strategies more efficient.
For example, Polycom’s Trio 8800 Visual conferencing device lets HR personnel send employment forms, employee manuals, and employee orientation presentations directly to new employees regardless of location.
Moreover, they can use their conferencing assistant directly from the mobile devices.
So how can video conferencing help companies cut costs in HR?
A recent survey from the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR) found that 70% of HR departments spend upward of $1,000 or more per hire.
Yet, according to a recent Aberdeen study, video conferencing tools are shown to reduce hiring costs by 32%, shorten hiring time by 35%, and reduce talent acquisition travel costs by a whopping 69%!
And speaking of talent acquisition, the more you fully integrate video conferencing into your HR protocol, the more talent you’ll attract as well.
Millennials are expected to represent more than a third of the global workforce by 2020 and 78% cite technology and innovation as important motivators for choosing their prospective employers.
Talent recruiters are already using Linkedin and other online career networks to discover millennial talent, so expect an increase in HR video conferencing to attract and groom talent in 2017.
Because of this growing interest, expect an increase in company-wide standards for video conferencing etiquette and software training.
VR Integration For A More “Natural” Conference
Video conferencing is quickly replacing in-person meetings, but one of the biggest challenges of this new method is truly capturing the essence of an in-person meeting.
While today’s video conferencing tools are improving productivity, recent innovations in virtual reality (VR) technology is expected to take video conferencing to a more intuitive level. Therefore, employees can conduct and participate in meetings in a more “realistic” space so to speak.
This is ideal for employees who are struggling to adapt to video meetings.
Body language, eye contact, and facial expressions play an important part in how our information is received and interpreted. And CEOs agree.
According to a recent video conferencing trends report, more than 90% of all communication is non-verbal, while 58% of global business leaders agree that eye contact is crucial for video conferences.
Rather than looking directly into a webcam, special VR headsets and forthcoming innovations will help team members maintain eye contact by naturally turning their head to interact, just as they would in any in-person meeting.
There’s also great news for the medical industry, as 3D telepresence is also poised for big things. Engineers are hoping that 3D imaging, coupled with conferencing tools, will help doctors better treat and counsel patients abroad!
Let’s think back to the 90s or early 2000s. Remember how chunky videos would play online? Video quality has come a long way, and it’s just getting started.
But time is money, and small businesses and startups particularly can’t afford to cancel meetings due to slow bandwidth, poor video compression, or audio problems.
Fortunately, there’s some great news on the horizon!
Video conferencing companies are now looking to take advantage of recent price drops in bandwidth, as well as increases in bandwidth availability altogether.
One conferencing model poised to make a splash is the “off-the-shelf-telepresence” system.
With this system, users would be able to use and pay for only the bandwidth they need to run their meetings. Engineers hope this will help companies “turn up” bandwidth as needed, and thus, reduce costs overall on the bandwidth they don’t use.
Increased Mobile Video Conferencing Development
As video conferencing moves forward, expect more developments in mobile conferencing capabilities.
Innovations in conferencing bandwidth conservation and networks will also play a pivotal role in making mobile conferencing more adaptable.
In the coming year, expect to see a rise in enterprise mobility strategies as companies take advantage of more bandwidth at less cost. This way, all individual employees have the same quality devices and don’t have to rely on their own data plans and networks to attend meetings.
Since mobility enterprise strategies are managed in the cloud, more companies are turning to SaaS video conferencing solutions like Skype For Business. Expect future SaaS conferencing tools to improve usability features like pan, zoom, swipe, audio quality, and file management.
As video conferencing progresses into 2017, companies will start to use it as more than just a meeting ground.
Conferencing tools also function as content creation tools, and more companies are starting to use their conferencing software to record webinars and tutorials for the web.
With the help of social media integration, marketers and CEOs can upload company announcements, job training, and international webinars directly to Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Expect to see more companies take advantage of the marketing power of video conferencing and use their tools to connect with prospective clients online.
2017 is going to be an exciting year for video conferencing, and you don’t want to be left behind.
Speak with a consultant today to get a head start on planning your mobility and conferencing strategy for the new year.