In the beginning, video conferencing technology often got a bad rap from IT departments and end users as being difficult to deploy. There was equipment to install, and usually you had to go to a specific conference room for reliable connectivity.
Then easier to use consumer video began making its way into the enterprise as part of the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) revolution. Being easier to use was a positive step, but often the video experience was not high quality. And even more important, video collaboration wasn’t part of existing workplace processes – it was still being “grafted on.”
This usually led to a poor user experience, and corresponding low levels of adoption. To unlock employee productivity, more enterprises are realizing they need to focus on providing a great user experience with video. As Zeus Kerravala shared in a recent interview, enterprise-grade performance and ease of use leads to more usage and widespread adoption.
To make this happen, the technology must be integrated into the current communications infrastructure. Kerravala says that if the user has to handle the integration, the technology will fail.
There’s no better way to provide integration and a great user experience than to integrate video seamlessly into existing productivity tools such as Skype and Microsoft Office. There are more than 350 million devices running Windows 10, and the Skype for Business application has been downloaded more than 1.1 billion times. With Polycom products integrated into these Microsoft platforms, end users can now schedule, join and manage a video call just as easily as audio.
Through the end of 2016 and early 2017, IT leaders can see what simple looks like at a series of Collaboration Tech Summits across the United States and Canada. Scheduled at Microsoft offices and MTCs in over 20 cities, these summits will demonstrate the latest voice and video solutions and deployment strategies for Skype for Business and Office 365.
Mike McLean, Director of Systems Engineering at Polycom, put it this way:
“Showing the user experience on Polycom’s Skype Room System (the Polycom MSR Series) is almost a boring demo. You just walk up to it and press “join meeting.” I’ve had tech summit attendees ask me ‘what’s the catch?’ They can’t believe it that’s simple.”
It makes sense that if you want to empower employees to collaborate, you need to put technology where and in a form they can easily recognize. It’s logical, but there’s nothing more powerful that actually seeing common workflows enhanced with easy, reliable video built into existing business productivity tools.
These summits are a validation of Microsoft and Polycom pursuing a standards-based, best-of-breed approach. No one vendor can provide an end-to-end UC technology stack that meets the need of every customer. So effective IT leaders look for proven technology providers with a track record of playing well in the UC sandbox.
Collaboration Tech Summit attendees can see if for themselves, as well as getting information on a range of topics – from network considerations for Skype for Business, to choosing the right voice and video solutions for a seamless collaboration experience. You’ll walk away with actionable intelligence from Polycom and Microsoft solution experts.