How Cloud-Based Interoperability Will Turbo-Charge CollaborationCloud-based interoperability is quickly becoming essential for teams wishing to achieve high levels of collaboration and communication, and the marketplace is finally catching on. Microsoft and Polycom recently announced that they will jointly deliver the industry’s first cloud-based video interoperability service by the end of 2016, allowing Microsoft customers to leverage their existing video investments while uniting with those of other vendors. This joint initiative marks the beginning of a wider trend, where those that embrace cloud-based interoperability will experience turbo-charged collaboration while those slow on the uptake will be left behind.

Cloud Collaboration and Interoperability

Collaboration software’s dependence on the cloud has never been more apparent than now. “People are using mobile devices to do everything they do,” says Josh Steimle, contributor to Forbes, “and if there is something they can’t do on their mobile phone, they’re frustrated and ready to leap to the first offering that comes along.”

Cloud-based integrations have traditionally allowed off-site employees to connect their devices with a company’s core collaboration software, supporting a rise in remote teams among the global workforce. Interoperability is the next step in collaboration and productivity, referring to the seamless integration of multiple third party tools with a cloud-based collaboration suite. These tools can range from CRM or help desk software to online accounting and VOIP services, but currently, the biggest player in cloud-based interoperability is streaming video and video conferencing.

The Rise of Web Real-Time Communication: The Death of Internal Email?

In 2014 and 2015, the heavy hitters of the Internet browser game began supporting Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), an open-source technology and API standard that bypasses traditional phone networks to offer data sharing as well as voice and video calling, all in-browser, no additional application required. Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and iOS all now support WebRTC, and enterprise videoconferencing solutions are taking heed. Standalone voice and video chat apps that don’t provide back-end WebRTC interoperability may soon go the way of the dinosaur.

As such, PC Magazine predicts that “in 2016, cloud-based interoperability will merge a team’s videoconference window side by side with its live chat, putting every form of collaboration into one place.” Teams will essentially be able to work face-to-face no matter where they are in the world. On top of that, as collaboration applications and services offer better direct messaging and live video chat options for teams alongside their workflow tools, less time will be spent rifling through long “reply all” email chains that don’t directly concern the majority of recipients. With direct “tag” and “ping” chat options, employees won’t have to wait around for emails to and from one another either, marking a notable increase in productivity and collaboration.

Room Solutions and Video as a Service

While individuals with a more fluid or transient lifestyle might be connecting on-the-go via collaboration suites and browser-based integrations, those working from a static location like a traditional office will turn to room-based videoconferencing solutions. On the outside, these look like the two-way television sets you might have seen on The Jetsons, albeit with a flat-screen.

Combining a mounted high-resolution camera with its 720p or 1080p display, these room-based units will also tout internal computing hardware as well as communication and collaboration software to bring you the ultimate in plug-and-play collaboration. Just post one of these bad boys up at the head of the conference table, and start collaborating.

Interoperable though they are, these systems produce large amounts of data in an environment where hiccups and buffering aren’t acceptable. While some organizations will opt for an in-house infrastructure in the same way that big companies might manage their own VPN, most won’t be too keen on shelling out the big bucks for one. Fortunately, managed service providers offering Video as a Service (VaaS) will step up to the plate with offerings such as endpoint management, multi-point high definition bridging, and expert support to go with it.

Dont Get Left Behind

While streaming video has been around for a while, nobody could have predicted that it would take center stage so quickly, acting as somewhat of the keystone to the collaboration software suite. Interoperability will define a business’s ability to fold this technology as well as others into one manageable interface, allowing teams from all corners of the globe to collaborate like never before.

Businesses that don’t embrace the change will be left in the dust, scribbling on Post-it notes, huddled around conference lines, and sifting through emails, trying desperately to figure out who dropped the ball, and why they were left behind.

At Advanced AV we empower live meetings and remote collaboration by deploying the technology that helps your organization connect, communicate and engage with its customers, employees and stakeholders. Connect with us to find out more about how Advanced AV can help you achieve your business and technology goals.

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