Leading integrator SCC has predicted that businesses across the country are set to urgently upgrade their video conferencing infrastructure as the UK prepares itself for a year of travel chaos.
With the public sector workers' strike on Wednesday November 30th tipped to cause delays of up to 12-hours at Heathrow, Britain's business community is bracing itself for the start of months of travel difficulties. Operating in an environment where a prolonged period of severe winter weather similar to the storms of 2010 remains a strong possibility and amidst predictions that the summer Olympics will lead to widespread transport disruption, many are being forced to consider safer, more reliable and cost-effective alternatives.
“In an era where we are in many ways defined by our mobility, businesses must give due consideration to how they will cope when movement is suddenly restricted. Every year vast sums are lost to the economy when the trains and airports grind to a halt, and with multiple potential issues flagged up for the months ahead, it's hardly surprising that we're seeing a sharp upturn in interest around video conferencing solutions,” said Ian Scott, SCC Director of Audio Visual.
Focusing on the range of hosted video conferencing options within its custom data centre, SCC is currently working to help a range of clients keep their businesses moving even when the traffic isn’t or flights are delayed. Delivering a range of services designed to facilitate internal and external communications and provide communication tools for home-workers or tele-commuting, the company believes that recent developments have underlined video conferencing's viability.
While values such as increased workforce collaboration, reduced travel costs, a decreased carbon footprint and improved efficiency have always driven the practice's adoption, SCC believes that the technology has now matured to provide a real, high definition experience.
Barriers to entry such as bandwidth availability, budgetary restraints, IT resource issues and gaining the necessary in-house skills meanwhile, have been negated by the advent of hosted video conferencing solutions. Such systems remove the need for up-front capital expenditure, providing 24-hour access and ample security without placing further demands on companies' IT departments.
With dedicated concierge services now rendering the use of video conferencing facilities far more user-friendly, the introduction of proper standards has also put an end to the problems many businesses previously encountered while attempting to communicate over disparate platforms. Modern hosted solutions can be integrated with conferencing systems such as Microsoft OCS, Lync, IBM Sametime and Cisco WebEx and have become platform agnostic, allowing users to connect to systems powered by Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize and a range of desktop clients.
Scott added: “The face of video conferencing has changed enormously over the past decade as the industry has worked to make it faster, cheaper and better. As we enter a period in which interrupted business trips and transport delays are widely predicted to become even more commonplace, it's small wonder that smart companies are rediscovering the technology as they move to keep their operations rolling.”