Video Conferencing Trends in 2020

Video Conferencing

The Next Big Things to Expect in 2020

The Next Big Things to Expect in Video Conferencing in 2020

Two years ago, we praised the rise of video technology in the conference room. We showed how it dramatically changed the way workforces want to communicate, and we cited the strong market for video tech in business. After all, video conferencing seriously cuts down on travel time and all the costs that come with it, while protecting your organization from unforeseen events. Best of all, video conferencing adds a great deal of value by improving your organization’s communication capabilities.

Today, the global video conferencing market has soared to heights even we couldn’t have predicted. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global video conferencing market reached $3.02 billion USD in 2018. Now, it is projected to double by 2026 with an estimated projection of $6.37 billion USD. That would exhibit a compound annual growth rate of 9.8 percent during the forecast period.

With the level of innovation this industry has been experiencing, team collaboration and online meetings are becoming better and easier to manage than ever. As the digital ecosystem continues to evolve, let’s break down the newest trends IT managers and team leaders need to expect in video conferencing this year.

More Attention Towards Visuals and Acoustics in Meetings

The time people spend attending ineffective meetings has been the bane of managerial existence for years. So far, nobody has come up with a foolproof solution for holding the perfect meeting where everyone stays engaged, on-topic and every agenda item gets addressed. Unfortunately, this translates into not only wasted time, but money down the drain. In fact, according to a 2019 Doodle report, more than $399 billion is wasted each year in the U.S. due to poorly organized meetings.

As the global video conferencing market expands, companies and employees will demand smarter and more sophisticated visuals. Large, high quality screens such as micro LED displays have emerged as a top choice in the global workforce. Technological advancements such as these allow for hardware and software vendors to partner up and provide users with “room” versions of their mobile and desktop apps, better known as room apps. This way, users can easily run video conferences through a room app and cut out the stress and time it takes to set up a meeting room system.

Another technology that will play a significant role in the future of video conferencing is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will join your meeting room as a facilitator. Tech leaders are creating machine learning programs that can transcribe audio, count attendees and provide insights into attendee engagement, helping you focus on the most impactful pieces of the meeting.

AI will also cut out a lot of the noise in meetings. Machine learning algorithms will be able to discern which speaker should be active, and ensure that their voice is fully heard by finding and minimizing background disruptions in calls. This means that car horns or distant chatter will no longer disrupt your meetings – and this is only the tip of the iceberg. In the future, AI will be a fundamental piece of the meeting room experience.

However, keep in mind that you can cut out stress in your meeting room today by establishing a clear agenda. Outlining an agenda is your first step towards holding better meetings. Have you considered, however, that when it comes to video-enabled meetings and conferences, ensuring you have good acoustics is another top way to boost meeting effectiveness? That is because bad sound quality due to poor reception is one of the top irritators in the workforce. In fact, respondents to that same 2019 report overwhelmingly indicated that a video meeting with bad acoustics is almost as irritating as a disorganized meeting.

Chalk it up to this: people have higher expectations for multimedia, video, and communication technology these days thanks to great leaps in visual and sound quality in their home systems. Naturally, they do not have the patience to wait for buffering visuals or listening to muffled sound and extraneous noises like the buzz of office printers, ringing phones, or other people’s notifications sounding off. Without sound absorption, there is no control of the sound. Without proper sound management, any video conferencing event can quickly become frustrating, to say the least.

Video Conferencing Will Be Commonplace

There’s no doubt about it: video conferencing will fundamentally change the way people meet around the globe for work. With the rise of Microsoft Teams as an all-encompassing solution for enterprise communication and collaboration, there has been a corresponding rise in the use of video conferencing. As employees discover, explore, and leverage business tools like Skype for Business or Teams, the demand for video conferencing technology to be woven into overall UC strategies has grown.

What users experience at home will continue to drive the cutting edge in the workplace. Employees have gotten comfortable with user-friendly, engaging interfaces that are easy to learn and integrate with software they already own. That is now their expectation when they come to work, too. After all, Logitech reports that video conferencing has increased by 800 percent over the last four years, and technology has to be able to meet the growing standard.

And speaking of employee expectations, how about the boost of the remote worker, or teams who are always on the go or in the field? Once again according to Logitech, 70 percent of employees around the world work remotely at least one day a week. Today’s organizations need an alternative to the in-person meeting, or this growing body of workers and contractors will be left out of essential communications and collaboration efforts. You also may be wondering about where partners fit into this equation. Any enterprise that regularly collaborates with clients and partners to provide services or develop products needs to be able to white glove their video conferencing standards, too. The benefits include reduced travel costs, increased productivity, and higher engagement levels at meetings.

Meetings are More Likely to Be Held “Anywhere”

Long gone are the cubicles. Open offices, collaborative furniture, biophilic design, flexible office spaces: these are the hallmarks of the modern workplace. And just as the notion of what constitutes the typical office has been upended, so has everyone’s idea of the typical meeting space. We now have “huddle rooms,” where small groups can meet much less formally for shorter periods of time, breaking out of the old conference room motif. We also have meetings being held in non-traditional spaces – someone’s personal office, for example, can suddenly become a conference room if the right technology is enabled.

Widespread adoption of integrated software platforms like Office 365, of which Microsoft Teams is a part of the larger umbrella, has helped facilitate this shift to the modern workplace. Barrier-free communication for everyone, including remote team members, vendors, and partners, is brought about by Unified Communications (UC) strategies that integrate software and hardware for easy collaboration and communication.

At the ISE 2020 trade fair, a few vendors rolled out collaboration displays such as Microsoft’s SurfaceHub Series. These touch panels allow you to interact with others on the call, manage documents, and more. The idea is to enhance collaboration as much as possible, even if you’re speaking to colleagues who are halfway around the world. The overall result of the rise in UC has been the “liberation” of the meeting. Many offices are turning towards easy to deploy, all-in-one video conferencing and away from traditional conference rooms that are riddled with legacy infrastructure. They don’t want to trip over cables, configure AV equipment, and deal with technical difficulties – they’re ready to confront the future of conferencing.

That is once again where the integration of hardware and software comes in. Microsoft Teams Rooms is one technology that can be adopted in many different rooms, from huddle spaces to boardrooms. So, it is an option to mount a Teams Rooms touchscreen in a common area so the space can double as in informal collaboration space, while the C-Suite uses another Teams Room for internal planning. This increased mobility in video conferencing will help empower future workforces.

Organizations now truly have the opportunity to make meetings a unique experience that fits the needs of everyone involved. Remember, if at any point you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by developing a video conferencing strategy, you can always partner with a team of experts like SoftwareONE who can help guide you in the right direction.

Make Your Workspace Future-Ready

As you can see, the way we meet and collaborate at work has changed dramatically. Those huge, sterile rooms with their rectangular tables, bad lighting, and beige carpeting of yesteryear are fading into oblivion. In their place, there are sophisticated display and video conferencing solutions – all enabled by technology that lives up to the standards that today’s workers expect.

The common denominators are collaboration, better technology, effortless integration, and an overall unified communications strategy that makes it all happen. Now, all there is left to do is act on these emerging trends.

Boost Your UC Strategy with Video Conferencing

Ready to take your meetings to the next level with video conferencing as part of your unified communications strategy? Learn more about how the SoftwareONE team can help your organization collaborate like never before.

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New in March 2020

A free 6-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams, is now available. Microsoft is making this special E1 Trial license available in response to the increased need for employees to Work From Home (WFH).

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Author

Homero Gessler

Homero Gessler

Solution Specialist

Future Workplace

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