Remember when video used to be a highly equipment-based sale requiring large codecs to be installed in rooms by specialty integrators? Well, that was then. And this is now. Today, with the rapid growth of cloud-based video conferencing services, companies can use desktops and mobile devices along with rented infrastructure to do HD video conferencing. This ease of use has led to growth in cloud-based video-conferencing-as-a-service (VCaaS) solutions that can be purchased—much like other managed services.
What is VCaaS?
“VCaaS is kind of like ‘Skype for the enterprise,’” says researcher and industry analyst, Andrew W. Davis, in a post on the nojitter.com blog. VCaaS solutions make it possible for multiple locations to communicate with real-time video and audio. VCaaS solutions are designed to facilitate real-time communications between multiple locations, using cloud-based servers to manage and store data. The cloud-based video conferencing solutions provide users with all of the benefits of the HD video conferencing—without the high-cost investments in infrastructure hardware and networking. These solutions make video conferencing available to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
But are MSPs leading the charge for VCaaS? Have they even taken notice? Perhaps they should.
The growth in this market is nothing to sneeze at. According to a report published by Technavio, between now and 2019 the global cloud-based video conferencing market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 39.06 percent. And, while messaging and chat apps are undoubtedly growing in popularity, and serve valuable functions, they don’t replace the power of video. Especially in the workplace.
The Benefits of Cloud-Based VCaaS
Video holds the advantage of allowing us to see the facial expressions and body language of the people involved. In video meetings, we’re able to pick up on subtleties in nuance and tone of voice that are easy to miss in a phone call and definitely easily misinterpreted in written communications like messaging or email.
The benefits of cloud-based video conferencing include the obvious savings in travel costs and employee time, as teams forgo face-to-face meetings in distant locations, for video meetings. However, according to survey results published by Polycom and Wainhouse, 94 percent of respondents state that the number one benefit is increased efficiency and productivity. According to Polycom and Wainhouse, the majority of people who use video conferencing participate in video calls often, from every day to at least weekly.
Additionally, cloud-based video conferencing is being used in business settings that go well beyond the conference room today. VCaaS solutions make it possible for people to meet using their mobile devices, and creative business use of VCaaS solutions can include things like facilitating communications in clean room environments in manufacturing and R&D, intensive care units in hospital settings, or the classroom when providing education across large geographic distances.
“Visual communications is becoming mainstream,” says Andrew W. Davis. “New recruits entering the workforce are digital natives for whom video and collaboration tools are second nature. Savvy managers understand that they need to offer more than email and desk phones for their information workers. Video and content sharing is the new voice.”
For MSPs Leading the Charge for VCaaS is the Logical Move
If the role of an effective MSP is to advocate on the client’s behalf and provide solutions that are secure, reliable, and scalable—and it is—then smart MSPs will move quickly to add VCaaS solutions to the services they manage. For many clients, the idea of managing the pieces and parts of effective and secure cloud-based video conferencing in today’s world can feel overwhelming. VCaaS may seem like the answer to their video conferencing needs.
The smart MSPs will get there ahead of their clients and be ready to lead the charge.
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Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.