Right now, our industry finds itself in a unique situation, and never before has it held so much potential. Yes, there is no denying there’s a lot going on in the world, but at the intersection of all this activity, we’re seeing the next stage in the evolution of unified communications take root.
At the very core of all this activity, we’re pressure testing just how flexible the technology is that we bring to markets like business, education, and healthcare. And with this, we’re helping to shape how people are learning, connecting, and doing business. We’re also seeing people approach situations with a greater sense of curiosity and a “let’s-try-it” willingness to experiment and find new ways to getting work done.
It used to be that phone calls and email were the foundation of our work communication, leaving tech like videoconferencing to move along at a slower adoption rate as most organizations reserved it for specific spaces dedicated to the task. Now that people have spent the last several months adapting to new tools, the use of videoconferencing platforms has become as ubiquitous as phones and email. Increasingly, people are more comfortable jumping on a video call and consider it just as easy as picking up the phone—and it’s a lot quicker than email.
Many have used FaceTime or similar apps to connect with friends and family from time to time in the past, but it’s the use of video in business—crossing that invisible boundary and giving a glimpse of our lives outside the office and professional settings—that many of us haven’t had the opportunity to embrace until now. And now that it’s happened, there’s no going back.
As we stand at this intersection, one of the greatest drivers changing the way we work is technology. With cameras on every device and unified communication providers continuing to refine their platforms, the introduction of tech like 5G and Starlink broadband will reinforce the flexibility companies are now embracing. In-room video enablement will continue to increase as we reenter the workplace, but we’ll also see more options to connect and collaborate through new form factors like kiosks and self-contained pods.
Whether you’re designing a solution that supports your company’s technology and your knowledge workers, or you’re ensuring your clients are investing in future-flexible solutions, it’s a balancing act to deliver what people want and what businesses need. In the end, it boils down to creating a variety of environments that enable people to stay focused, to connect, and to collaborate so they can work better, wherever.
Martin Bodley is speaking at the 2020 AV/IT Summit on AV in a Post-COVID-19 World panel.