What you need in a video conferencing tool for the mobile workforce
Video streaming is an especially demanding—and popular—application. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, video accounted for 73 percent of all Internet Protocol (IP) traffic in 2016 and could climb to 82 percent by 2021. This expanding footprint for video also coincides with the rapid growth of mobile data consumption, spearheaded by video-enabled apps like YouTube as well as the growing ranks of business conferencing solutions.
Still, the highly performance-sensitive nature of video means that even as it becomes a more common fixture of team communications, its quality can never be taken for granted. Ensuring a crisp, lifelike experience for everyone who streams a webinar or participates in a web conference requires threading a few technical needles first:
- For starters, the underlying network infrastructure must be scalable and secure, to handle rising demand and shield against many potential threats.
- Next, solutions such as software-defined wide area networks (aka SD-WANs) may be necessary to avoid the performance hiccups that trickle down to teams as grainy video and glitchy audio.
- Finally, the video conferencing service itself must offer an intuitive cross-platform experience, one that’s as optimized for the telecommuter on his smartphone as it is for the in-office executive on her PC or Mac.
Let’s explore the third one in more depth. As workforces become more mobile and distributed, a video conferencing platform can be a uniquely powerful way to bring them together, to make them feel as if they are in the same shared space despite being potentially thousands of miles apart. Usability is particularly important in capitalizing on video’s potential here.
The building blocks of a great mobile video conferencing experience
Working from a phone or tablet on the go, or from any device at a site like a home office, often comes with a few tradeoffs. For example, some common yet complex tasks—like updating large spreadsheets or editing video footage—are challenging while working remotely. These often demand a desktop app.
Meanwhile, in-depth collaborations between remote teams like those involving back-and-forth discussion and white boarding can’t be done the old-fashioned way, with everyone side-by-side in a conference room. They instead require a focused, easy-to-use experience that many collaboration solutions don’t deliver.
Video conferencing services should address both of these issues by providing the same essential features on both desktop and mobile without making the overall experience too complicated. As you evaluate the possible options, keep these three items on your checklist to see if a specific solution makes the grade:
Simple doesn’t mean lacking power. A streamlined solution can boost productivity better than one overstuffed with features by making it easier for mobile and remote teams to connect without having to jump over the traditional hurdles.
In Cisco Webex Meetings, you don’t have to dial in or download any additional software to connect. The meeting works for you, instead of the other way around. You can have the meeting call you, and join with a simple click or tap—no long numbers or PINs to keep track of while you’re out of the office.
We mentioned spreadsheet parsing and video editing earlier as two workflows that don’t translate all that well beyond desktops. This is not the case with video conferencing services. Modern solutions make it possible to meet face to face from any device, anywhere.
Webex Meetings allows you to join from a phone, tablet, PC, Mac, browser, or video conferencing. Plus, it has special enhancements for mobile users, such as being able to natively share the device screen.
The bandwidth needed for video is both the reason it’s the dominant form of IP traffic and the cause of many possible headaches about its quality. There are many variables that can contribute to a video stream looking grainy, including the speed of the current network connection and technical issues around the wide area network.
The video conferencing service itself also plays a pivotal part in ensuring clarity. Webex provides unmatched quality, enhanced by custom layouts that simplify participation for all teams across your organization.
Video conferencing solutions are among the most useful tools for today’s mobile workforces. Make sure you have a collaboration application suite like Webex that can meet their expectations.
May 30, 2019 — Deepa Mahendraker
May 16, 2019 — Juan Gallardo
May 09, 2019 — Jillian Zimmerman
Apr 02, 2019 — Mandy Yeung
Mar 29, 2019 — Chris Palermo
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