If you are considering mobile video collaboration, congratulations. Mobile video offers incredible opportunities to speed up business communications, offer new sales and service models and improve remote and mobile worker engagement. Your employees (and even your customers) most likely already have video-capable mobile devices (tablets, smart phones, laptops).
Now you can harness that communication potential to benefit your business. To assist you, take a look at this two-part guide that will help ensure you implement a well-thought-out, properly-sized and future-ready solution.
Part One: Understand your Requirements
As part of your mobile video solution you may need to upgrade your network. The key is to have a clear sense of what you want to accomplish and what it will take to get there before you dive in.
What is your primary motivation for introducing video collaboration? Cost reductions? More effective remote-work arrangements? Eliminating or reducing travel requirements and the associated expenses? Productivity improvements? Deciding now what you want to achieve will inform many of your future buying decisions.
2. Define Success
What does a successful initiative look like for your business? For example, can you identify specific travel or training expense reductions you want to achieve? Can you define the employee productivity gains you hope to realize? Can you quantify expected improvements in sales or service? The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to demonstrate a clear return on investment (ROI).
How many video conferences need to take place at once? Do you need multi-party video or will simple point-to-point (two people at a time) be enough? Be prepared for employees to use it – a lot. At Avaya we discovered in rolling out our Radvision Scopia solution to 4,500 employees, that it quickly became a highly sought after—and highly productive—way to meet. You may choose to limit use initially but be ready for requests to scale up.
What types of mobile video devices do you need to support? Do you want to be able to easily extend mobile video services to customers, students, patients and/or suppliers without the need to ask IT to issue a network license or provide access through the firewall?
Is the ability to speak face-to-face enough or do you need to be able to share presentations, spreadsheets and the like? How about legal compliance? Is there a need to record the sessions and archive them? If you are offering customer training or other services, keep in mind that High Definition (HD) video may become more important in the future.
6. Existing infrastructure
What network, communication, contact center and collaboration solutions do you currently have in place? Is it important for your mobile video solution to closely integrate with those systems? Can you add mobile video collaboration as a modular extension of your existing solution?
Part Two: Selecting a Mobile Video Solution That’s Right For Your Business
Once you have a good idea of what you want to accomplish, you can evaluate mobile video solutions to find the one that meets your needs. Here are some important considerations:
7. Bandwidth requirements.
This really can’t be overstated: video takes a lot of bandwidth. Two solutions may appear similar in price, but if one requires you to double the size of your network to support video traffic, it’s probably not the best choice. Video solutions vary dramatically in how well they manage bandwidth requirements. Look for video solutions that support strong compression standards like H.264 High Profile. Also keep in mind that a smartphone screen requires a lot less data than an HD room system monitor. Some video solutions send the same amount of data regardless of the device used to display the video. Others are able to detect endpoints (device types) and send only the data needed for that device.
8. Network considerations
Mobile workers and your customers will typically connect over non-managed networks. A few video solutions, such as Radvision Scopia, can adjust for network conditions on the fly, dropping video quality temporarily in favor of completing the transmission and then returning to full quality when conditions improve. Other solutions may simply freeze when network conditions deteriorate, or may decrease video quality for the entire session.
9. Ease of use
Mobile video can have an enormous impact on productivity… if it gets used. Avaya IP Office customers, for instance, can make use of a built-in video softphone (included in the Power User and Teleworker applications), or can easily integrate a Scopia solution. It simply becomes an extension of the system your employees are already comfortable using. Also, pay attention to usability issues like one-click access and simple conference scheduling and control features.
10. Licensing and Firewall Issues
If you need to be able to regularly extend mobile video to new users, it’s important to have a licensing system that supports any user up to a given number, rather than named users. Also, consider firewall traversal issues. A few solutions, like Scopia, have firewall traversal built into the Multipoint Conferencing Unit (MCU). Most, however, require you to purchase and manage a separate server. This needs to be factored into the solution’s total cost.
Avaya has mobile video solutions to fit every business need and budget. Once you have a solid understanding of your requirements, talk to your Avaya Authorized Partner (ECS) about the right mobile video solution for your business.