Video Conferencing Doesn’t Work!
Last century, Video Conferencing was seen more as a phone with video…….have we now returned to this ideal?
The opening keynote at InfoComm15 , the A/V industry’s premier annual exhibition & conference, included a question of the future, a look into the crystal ball. One panel member joked that in the future he would still be calling his IT guy to come and fix the video conferencing as it wasn’t working. Sadly this has been the view of users, even those in the industry, but why has Video Conferencing taken so long to evolve and achieve the hopes, goals and dreams of the pioneers?
It was long believed that Video Conferencing was just a phone with video and that’s what it should be, but the technical difficulties in making this happen meant the end for this strategy before it even began.
The phone (PSTN) network has long been established and is acknowledged as working well. Fundamentally it is a cloud service providing a number of simple functions, governed by a set of rules all agreed by the cloud providers, or Telcos. Call ID, transfer, hold, conference calling and messaging are all provided by the Telco and not the phone….in telephony terms your very Smart Phone is a dumb device.
But by controlling these functions in the cloud, which is also the point of interoperability between telcos, means that we can enjoy the simplicity of being able to dial one number which will ring – on any device, on any service provider, anywhere in the world.
Video Conferencing evolved as small islands of devices and networks. Yes, there were/are standards that governed video calling, but each vendor would add special features that only worked when calling the same vendor equipment. Interoperability was at this point, between devices….this meant it was and still is essentially, the responsibility of the IT team, within the end user company, to keep endpoints software up to date. Of course this cannot be guaranteed and many calls fail between differing vendor equipment due to poor interoperability between software versions being run.
But technology is fast moving and over the years we have seen massive improvements in hardware and microprocessors, software and internet bandwidth (all essential elements for the quality Video Conferencing call). These advances mean that NOW everything is good enough to revert to the original strategy of Video Conferencing being just a phone call with video.
StarLeaf, the British Cloud Video Conferencing vendor, is a pioneer here. By designing their systems and services around the CLOUD from the ground up, means they have an unparalleled performance coupled with being the easiest devices to use and reliability you would expect of your own phone. But that’s not all……it is also the easiest to scale from your meeting rooms to your whole company with their desktop and tablet application, ‘Breeze”. The slam dunk of the StarLeaf solution is that it is the most cost effective to buy and deploy – and you won’t even need IT personnel to look after it. As I said after setting it up and using it for the first time……..”It Just Works!”
The StarLeaf GTMini solution shown here is the start of a new revolution in Video Conferencing!
“The StarLeaf solution is the easiest to use and most cost effective solution around today”