Are You Tuning In To The Changing Face Of Video? Mobile and cloud computing technologies will change how video services are adopted. Better quality mobile handsets and more affordable mobile-data plans have led to explosive mobile growth. Mobile adoption has reached 88 percent in the U.S., and many individuals carry more than one connected device. The devices individuals carry are also more full-featured than in the past. For example, Nielsen reported that over half of all mobile phones subscribers in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2012 were smartphone users. Moreover, Apple has sold 67 million tablets in just two years. As smartphone and tablet adoption grows, consumers have video-capable devices in the palms of their hands.

While the cost savings argument for using video and telepresence rooms still resonates with many large companies, mobile is changing the value proposition of video. With mobile, video is no longer tied to a telepresence room or a desktop computer. Video communications can move to smartphones and tablets. As we move to greater use of mobile video, the use cases won’t be the same. IT and business leaders are looking to video as a way to change how business is done. Video is expanding beyond face-to-face conferencing for meetings. “Video on the go” is about integrating visual elements into a company’s business processes. For example, insurance companies can use video to capture damage at a site. Field technicians can use video to capture the process of repairing equipment, and doctors can use video to treat patients.

For example, Orlando Health enables its neurologists to perform patient exams remotely if necessary via video, which saves lives. Hospitals can send medical images and video clips to specialists to verify treatment. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) can contact a doctor from the ambulance and share video that may help save a patient’s life.

Another change in the video services landscape relates to cloud computing. The concept of business-to-business and business-to-consumer video communications has never existed in the enterprise-class video market. Most companies were accomplishing this type of video connectivity with consumer-grade Skype services. The market had always been proprietary video calls within your company or between your company and another company with the same video solutions provider. When you wanted to reach out to your supply chain, it didn’t work if the company was using a different video provider.

Cloud technologies and services are providing the foundation to change this with Video as a Service (VaaS) solutions. With the growth of new cloud-resident video services, a company can extend securely connect with its customers, partners and suppliers. It can also integrate with disparate video solutions.

Video, when combined with mobile and cloud computing, will change how a business interacts with its customers, employees and partners. To achieve this vision, IT and business leaders should define what business processes can benefit from the portability of mobility and the richness of video. IT should evaluate video solutions based on multi-platform support and interoperability. IT should evaluate cloud versus premise-based video solutions and look for video offerings that deliver multi-platform mobile support and interoperability amongst various video solution providers. Many of the technical issues we’ve experienced with video solutions can be solved with cloud-resident services or the latest on-premises tools. The possibilities for video to transform business are endless. Our job is to discover how we can use video to transform engagement.

Is your company thinking of new ways to use video to drive engagement? If so, I’d love to hear about it.