By Steve Vonder Haar
Streaming video is busting free from its spot on the corporate island.
At times in years past, vendors of webcasting technologies would be justified in feeling a bit left out of some big market opportunities when dealing with their little corner of the business communications landscape. After all, while many executives love webcasting to convey engaging messages to large target audiences online, a large percentage of organizations treat online video more as a venue for delivering a big “event” rather than a technology that needs to be baked into a long-term corporate communications strategy.
That is beginning to change, however, with emerging solutions that aspire to pull together multiple technologies into a single enterprise communications solution. Called “unified communication & collaboration” (UC&C) by many, these solutions bridge the gaps that now exist between the worlds of audio conferencing, web conferencing, traditional video conferencing and streaming.
As illustrated in mid-February, when Microsoft rolled out its feature roadmap for its Lync collaboration platform at a conference held in San Diego, CA, the traditional lines between conferencing platforms and streaming capabilities are blurring significantly. Two of the core messages of the Microsoft Lync roll-out is that video is becoming a bigger part of collaboration experience and that the combination of collaboration and video needs to be accessible from any desktop or mobile device.
In short, UC&C means that the importance of video is increasing in the enterprise and that vendors of streaming-enabling technologies are finally being invited to the party.
No one expects this transformation to take root universally overnight. Getting effective UC&C solutions built and deployed likely will take the better part of the next decade. Crafting the vision for UC&C into a market reality will require a slew of technology partnerships and corporate consolidations as well as rounds of spirited technology evangelization.
That said, one-to-many streaming has a place in the blooming UC&C universe. Video-enriched collaboration used in small meetings is a natural bridge to using online video to deliver messages to the large audiences typically served by streaming solutions. With UC&C, streaming becomes just another point along the corporate communications continuum. It’s no longer an island unto its own.
Already, savvy streaming technology vendors are laying the foundation for competing in the UC&C world. More and more developers are creating applications designed from the start to integrate simply with other communications solutions. Not only does this make it possible for vendors of complementary streaming technologies to join forces, but also it opens the door for more rapid integration of streaming applications with existing conferencing solutions.
The vision for the future of UC&C may be straightforward, but the roadmap for achieving this long-term market vision is not. To help you chart your own UC&C course, Wainhouse Research is offering free access to a one-day online event that can help you begin making sense of the evolving unified communications industry.
Called the UC&C Virtual Summit, the event is accessible via desktop PCs and iPads and will feature presentations from technology decision makers at companies such as Glaxo Smith Kline and RWE/Essent, who will share their experience in addressing the challenges presented by the changing UC&C world. In addition to webcasts presented on a scheduled basis through the day, attendees also will have access to a dozen more presentations that provide more detailed information on specific UC&C technology categories of interest. Participants in the Virtual Summit also will have the opportunity to collaborate with other attendees online and visit “virtual booths” from a range of participating exhibitors, including Winnov.
Registration is free but access to the content will be limited following the conclusion of the March 7 event. Click here to learn more about the summit and how to register.
You may want to explore this. After all, clicking a simple link may be a great way to build bridges to your corporate island streaming while sitting at your own desk.
Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at email@example.com.