As humans, we gravitate toward visual experiences.
We’re naturally drawn toward patterns, objects, and faces. These patterns, when combined with our auditory senses, enrich the way we learn about the environment within which we live and work as well as the ways we build rapport and interact with the people around us.
What we see validates and reinforces what we hear, helping us understand context and make decisions based on the intent of what is as well as what isn’t said in the moment.
Technology shouldn’t stand in the way of these experiences, it should extend and enhance them. At Fuze we are rethinking the way people interact in the workplace. Our goal is to provide opportunities to have life-like interaction, fulfilling an individual’s need to connect face-to-face in ways previously not possible.
How are we doing it? We’re imagining a future of unified communications tools that marry global voice, video, and collaboration in new ways to give connected workers the control to extend their physical office and support ad hoc conversations, meetings, brainstorms and work-share preferences, however and whenever it’s most convenient. We’re helping distributed organizations ditch the communications silos that limits the quality of employee engagement creating frustration with remote, mobile, and global communications.
With a global economy and increasingly distributed workforce, the communication challenges between connected workers is greater than ever before. Video collaboration connects people across continents while also bridging differences in culture and language, providing essential cues to help parties better understand each other. Additionally, as the composition of the workforce evolves and millennials become the majority in many organizations – the largest generation currently in the workforce, expected to form 50 percent of the workforce by 2020 – demand for video enabled communication will continue to accelerate.
Video is the new dial tone: ring your colleague in the near future, and they’ll be reacting to your face on a screen as the norm. We’re quickly headed to a place where video interaction for personal and professional conversations is the rule rather than the exception.
So what matters most to today’s workforce for video collaboration? Here are my thoughts:
- User Experience (UX) is top priority. Maybe not in the alphabet, but definitely for video conferencing adoption, UX should comes first. User experience is the difference between technology that adds value to the way people work and play and technology that sucks the life out of everyone required to use it. The purpose of unified communications should be to get up and get going without delay; to function as a vessel for seamless human interaction rather than a focus on the “enabling technology,” as often happens if technical issues arise. Integrated video and mobile capabilities shouldn’t be an afterthought when developing apps, because these options are what users want today. Rich interactions should be consistent across communication devices, whether on a tablet in a shared workspace, a desktop, or in a conference room. The impact of better UX is twofold: for users, it means the tool gets out of the way allowing rich engagement between individuals and groups translating into improved productivity; and for IT, increased user adoption due to an user optimized UX reduces time to value for the investment, minimizing risk introduced when users circumvent existing platforms – a meaningful outcome.
- Can you hear me now? Good, great, lousy. Audio quality of a video conference call should set the foundation for productivity. We hear you. And by using HD VoIP often – as done 70 percent of the time by the average Fuze user – high quality reception can also translate into material cost savings for communications systems overall.
- Meetings are more than just talk. Nothing’s worse than leaving a meeting feeling as if there has been all talk and no action toward your goals. More than ever, workers need to do more over video and audio than simply talk. They must modify concepts, make decisions and build consensus. To do so, it’s essential to share content seamlessly regardless of connection or device. Presentations are important, but only set the stage for the collaboration that follows. Easy screen sharing, dynamic content mark-up and note taking with co-editing capabilities matter so that the ideas stemming from a great meeting have the opportunity to take shape more fully in real-time as a resource to be leveraged once the meeting ends.
- Technologies should work together in harmony. This means interoperability with existing video conferencing tools and desktop hardware. UC should be seamless, working with your existing tools to get to a future of communications that are free from the limitations of previous investments. Part of that transition will require the flexibility to meet you halfway until you can make a bigger change: with an all-in-one platform for unified communication leveraging voice, video, group chat and collaboration tools.