Group of coworkers in meeting room collaborating

Exploring the future of real-time collaboration

by ​Daniel Newman
With the proliferation of cloud, mobile, and social, we are more capable than ever to connect and communicate in real-time.

However, with so much stimuli coming from so many different applications, connecting in real-time isn’t always easy. As the demands for virtual collaboration increase in the future, we need to continue to invest in ideas that allow companies and their globally dispersed business units, employees, and customers to connect simply and securely, without limits on when, where, and with whom they are connecting over video.

​Ideally, video collaboration needs to be as simple as making a phone call, but the current complexity of video collaboration is the biggest challenge to this vision.

Effective collaboration needs to be simpler

Ideally, video collaboration needs to be as simple as making a phone call, but the current complexity of video collaboration is the biggest challenge to this vision. While ad-hoc video conferencing is available with many enterprise video platforms, most still require users to dial-in, or use special security settings to join the conversation. These added steps are not really as easy as they should be. For real-time video meetings to truly take off, users should be able to connect with a single click, like they do when sending a text, making a call, or dropping an email. While Cloud tech has taken collaboration to a different level, where connecting anywhere and at any time is possible, users can’t reap the benefits of these developments until video technology is able to support them.

Security is paramount in video collaboration

While we’re shooting for simplicity in video meetings, it should not be our only concern. For instance, there are many consumer grade video conferencing services that come with the promise of simplicity, such as Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts. These services are virtually hassle-free after signup. In fact, with the recent WebRTC integration, video-based browsers are soon going to make waves in the consumer video market. You might think these options are perfect for enterprise use, right? Wrong. These services lack an extremely crucial feature: enterprise-grade security. Enterprise collaboration often involves sharing confidential data and files, which requires users to have a tighter grip on security to avoid any data leakage or loss that puts them at risk for a breach. Consumer video services currently fail to meet these security standards.

Ideal video conferencing: A mix of simplicity and security

A peek at the present corporate landscape will tell you that video collaboration is being preferred over in-person meetings as a strategy to trim meeting costs as well as connect the scattered workforce in today’s digital workplaces. In fact, many companies are combining video and offsite meetings to create a modern collaborative environment that maintains its human touch.

However, the ever-growing need to connect faster and through more secure means puts video service vendors under pressure to create better and simpler video platforms with enterprise-grade privacy controls. As a result, many video service providers are doing things differently to create better video experiences for enterprise users. Services like Starleaf and Videxio deserve a special mention for offering high-quality, ad-hoc video and audio collaboration services that support industry-standards, and are fully encrypted. The ability to click and connect with anyone, from anywhere is the future of ad-hoc, real time communications. These services are taking a positive step in that direction.

Connect people simply and securely

Finding the right tools, with a blend of simplicity and enterprise-grade security are critical factors of real-time collaboration.
Daniel Newman
Dan Newman is the president and founder of Broadsuite, where he consults for a wide range of brands on their digital strategies. He is the author of 2 books, including the Amazon best-selling business book, “The Millennial CEO,” and “The New Rules of Customer Engagement.” Newman also contributes to Forbes, Huffington Post and Entrepreneur, and was recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the 100 business and leadership accounts to follow on Twitter.
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