Forget FaceTime – Enterprise Video Is Coming To A Tablet Near You – NOW

Mobile video solutions are riding a wave of demand from technology-centric information workers to help keep them connected in today’s geographically distributed, frenetically paced workplace. Many workers are bringing their own devices (and video communications applications) to work today. Resourceful information workers use video communications solutions that they have used in their consumer life to help them succeed at work. I have spoken to a bank that uses Skype on Internet-connected TVs to hold internal video meetings to reach executive consensus in the decision-making process, and to system integrators that use FaceTime to contact on-site teams to improve response time and communications clarity when resolving issues. Several Forrester clients have shared that they are uncomfortable using consumer video solutions for business purposes — citing the need for compliance and security. Video conferencing vendors have taken note and are working to ease adoption of their business-grade solutions — two recent examples leverage the popularity of tablets with technology-centric information workers.

Polycom and Vidyo have announced tablet-ready versions of their personal video portfolios recently — and their applications are available in the Android Market and Apple AppStore today. Avaya* and Cisco** have also launched tablet-powered video communications solutions. Both offer the option of delivering video on their own end point devices to optimize all forms of unified communications on a tablet. These solutions bring business-grade video conferencing to increasingly popular tablet platforms like the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy — delivering slick, engaging video experiences as seen in this photo.

While these solutions do not deliver the engineered predictability of experience that telepresence solutions do, they are very engaging modes of communication and deliver superior communications capabilities as compared to simple audio or text.

What does this mean for video communications vendors? Business grade requirements can be met with easy-to-adopt solutions. The best video solutions will:

  • Run openly on the devices that users prefer, such as tablets, to drive utilization.
  • Work seamlessly as part of the communications infrastructure that businesses use to run their businesses (i.e., an integrated unified communications architecture) to drive business value.

Having more employees in more businesses able to use openly interoperable video communications, based on standards like H.264 and SIP, will improve the efficiency of communications and create larger, more valuable markets for video and unified communications vendors.

* Avaya’s tablet video is delivered by its software platform, the Avaya Flare Experience, which is currently designed to run on the Avaya Desktop Video Device and is being ported to other tablets, such as the iPad, in their labs.

** Cisco Cius is an integrated UC&C-centric device for Cisco UCC environments, and Cisco also offers tablet versions of WebEx (HD video runs on iPad today and Android is under development) and the Cisco Jabber client (leveraging video technology from Tandberg legacy products such as Movi).


Another Cisco Mobile Video offer

announced today 26 October, 2011
Cisco Jabber™ Video for TelePresence is a standards-based, HD video-calling software application designed to quickly and easily invite participants to join TelePresence calls from their desktop PCs, laptops or tablets. A TelePresence customer simply goes to a globally accessible website and sends an invitation so that mobile co-workers, customers and suppliers may quickly and easily join a TelePresence call for free. A global beta program for Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresence is targeted for the first quarter of 2012.