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Team collaboration reduces the need for task-switching between various applications to operate thanks to integrations ranging from project management to HR applications to service management.
Fremont, CA: The field of business collaboration was in the midst of a rapid transformation well before the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), with applications moving to the cloud, team collaboration converging previously separate applications, and both IT and business leaders searching for new ways to quantify value from their investments. Let's look at five main developments that AV and IT leaders should be aware of with the present and probable future impacts of COVID-19 in mind, as they not only face the short-term pressures of the pandemic but also place their organizations for long-term success.
Working from Home
The most immediate effect that COVID-19 has had is a rapid, almost instantaneous, shift whenever possible to work from home. For those responsible for collaboration, this mass migration of people out of the office has created several problems. The two main challenges in the short term are 1) ensuring that home employees can still communicate efficiently with their virtual colleagues, and 2) ensuring that the home network's efficiency is adequate to accommodate innovations such as video conferencing. In their efforts to obtain ample network power, maintain proper wireless coverage, and even design appropriate lighting to facilitate high-quality video experiences, IT and AV leaders are struggling to assist new home employees.
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Although it builds on the first, the second primary theme is one we've been watching for the last few years. Video is finally realizing its ability to transform interpersonal interactions, thanks to dropping costs, easier-to-use and easier-to-deploy apps, the emergence of cloud-based services, and a workforce whose members bring their experience with video from their personal lives to the workplace. Moreover, the video moves beyond conferencing.
Team-collaboration applications incorporate email, calling, and meetings into a single hub for contextual communication and collaboration. Companies increasingly perceive team collaboration as the only place where people can go to do their job. It reduces the need for task-switching between various applications to operate thanks to integrations ranging from project management to HR applications to service management.
Thanks to apps such as BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams Meetings, and Cisco Webex and those from Pexip, Zoom, and many others, meetings have quickly moved to the cloud, save for the largest organizations. Calling platforms are also shifting to the cloud, with 43 percent of those using on-site private branch exchange (PBX) either assessing or intending to migrate to the cloud. Increasingly, businesses are also removing expensive on-site infrastructure in favor of cloud-based services, such as multipoint control units (MCUs).
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has long been hyped for its ability to automate various programs and processes and optimize them. Advances in AI in the collaboration space allow real-time translation, transcription, note-taking during meetings, and generating action items. By optimizing framing, audio, and video, AI embedded in videoconferencing endpoints and channels offers streamlined meeting experiences. AI-enabled virtual assistants provide the ability to monitor meetings by voice, as well as action-item recommendations based on actual conversations. AI-based facial recognition can start meetings quickly and allow participants on the call to learn about other individuals.