Video Conferencing Technology: Helping Businesses Thrive Amid COVID-19 Outbreak
We all are aware that global gatherings have shut down due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. From the Mobile World Conference to Facebook F8 and Adobe Summit and Microsoft’s MVP Summit, many large conferences are suffering in the wake of coronavirus.
However, various organizations and institutions are being forced to move away from physical places into a flexible and safer cloud environment. Reputed brands, including Facebook, Salesforce and Google, have asked their employees to work from home. Every organization, whether big or small, is adopting video conferencing technology that will lead to a permanent and fundamental shift in how people work currently.
While COVID-19 has emptied the workplace, video conferencing technology is bridging the gap to overcome boundaries imposed by health officials.
Video Conferencing Technology can bring teams of different sizes together and allow them to collaborate and communicate seamlessly.
Due to the increased demand for video conferencing software, the global video conferencing market is expanding at a rapid growth rate. However, in the current scenario, the market is significantly driven by the rise in remote working amidst the lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak globally.
Before we take a closer look at how video conferencing technology works, equipment required to set up video conferencing and industries that are leveraging this technology, let’s look at the statistics of the growth in video conferencing market amid the COVID-19 outbreak in terms of video software usage:
Microsoft stated that its Team collaboration platform has witnessed a 500% increase in calls, conferences and meetings on March 13. They have also seen a 200% increase in its usage on mobile phones in China since the 31st of January.
- Cisco Webex
Webex has stated that it has reached 6.7 billion meeting minutes so far in March. Also, they are hosting 4 million-plus meetings in a day globally. It represents significant growth.
Though Zoom has not shared statistics of usage since the beginning of COVID-19, Frost & Sullivan, a research company, estimates that it has witnessed a rapid increase in usage, up from 100 billion minutes run rate at the end of January. 343,000 people around the world downloaded the Zoom app, out of which 60,000 in the US on March 11. It is a higher number as compared to 90,000 downloads worldwide two months ago.
Neat has also witnessed a high demand as sales have expanded by double-digits week after week for the first two weeks of March. Depending on the current run rate, it is expected that Neat’s sales for 2020 could be five times higher than its original projections for the year.
- Google Hangouts
Day-to-day usage of Google’s enterprise video conferencing tool, Meet, is soaring. In March 2020, Google Meet’s day after day growth has exceeded 60 percent, with daily usage 25 times higher than it was in January.
Let’s discuss the technical side of video conferencing technology and understand it in more depth.
We have discussed the following topics in the article:
What is Video Conferencing Technology?
Video Conferencing Technology facilitates people working or sitting in different locations to communicate and collaborate effectively. The technology enables live visual and audio connections between two or more people who are dispersed across different spaces.
It is a two-way interactive communication based on telephone or internet technologies, allowing two or more locations to interact with each other simultaneously using audio, images, video and text.
As a crucial means of communication, video conferencing technology is highly attractive to many organizations and end-users.
Video conferencing technology can be of different types, including:
- Desktop Video Conferencing
Desktop Video Conferencing has been introduced to meet the industry’s requirements for video conferencing technology. It offers H.323 video, application and voice sharing.It comes with bulky hardware, add-in boards and easy installation features that make it convenient for many users. People without a desktop can also attend a video conference via a laptop. The flexibility offered by this technology is preferable for many people.
Since both laptops and desktops have in-built speakers and microphones that provide better communication, the option of video conferencing is popular among people-on-the-go.
- Telepresence Video Conferencing
Telepresence Video Conferencing is defined as a series of technologies that allow people in communication to feel like they are physically talking to each other. It is the closest representation of a live meeting as all members of the conference can make eye contact with each other and can communicate on a personal level.
- Integrated Video Conferencing
Integrated Conferencing is a new type of video conferencing technology that is mostly used in conference rooms or classrooms with multiple participants. It consists of a centralized wiring, the main camera and routed processors and other peripheral video sources.
- Multiway Technology
Multiway is a new type of video conferencing technology that is helpful for businesses established in various locations who want to include different video collaborative meetings. It accommodates many people across different business locations to maximize productivity.
Data-Sharing Video Conferencing Technology is perfect when it comes to delivering presentations during the video conference. It provides high-interaction and data-sharing capabilities. It allows the sharing of documents and spreadsheets in real-time, uploading videos during video conferences and scaling of shared videos.
Video conferencing technology comes with numerous benefits for individuals and businesses. The above video conferencing technologies are providing ways for efficient meetings. By facilitating a face-to-face connection, video conferencing technology allows participants to build a new sense of familiarity with people who are far from them or those they have never met in person.
Equipment Required to Set Up Video Conferencing
As video conferencing technology comprises of both visual and audio elements, it involves some AV components, including:
Desktop monitor, television screen or laptop
External speaker, Built-in computer speaker and Voice over IP (VoIP) conferencing phone
- Internet Connection
- Microphones and Cameras
USB microphones and webcams, Built-in webcams and microphones
- Video Conferencing Software
Video conferencing apps and tools for desktop and mobile
Industries that can leverage video conferencing technology
Technology has helped the world of long-distance learning to become a reality. As a result, the teacher does not need to be in the same room with their students. At the time when mass gatherings are not allowed and schools have been shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, educational institutes are leveraging video conferencing technology to continue online teaching.
Almost every country that is highly impacted by increasing cases of COVID-19 has started adopting online learning platforms integrated with video conferencing technology. It helps teachers to get connected with students without hassles in real-time. Edtech institutes can use data-sharing video conferencing technology that allows users to share data with each other during the video meeting.
Since the condition is critical in many countries, it is difficult to predict how long it will take to go back to the new normal. To ensure that the studies are not affected, you can rely on video conferencing and enable virtual learning.
Many instructors are using web conferencing tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Hangouts Meet and conducting meetings with students at the same time when they were meeting in classrooms.
At the time when social distancing is one of the significant measures to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, the healthcare industry has started adopting telehealth as a key technology for safe communications. A new WHO policy reveals that telemedicine should be one of the best ways for clinical decision support and clinical services.Telehealth involves video conferencing technology that allows doctors and patients to communicate online via a video call. In countries where the cases of COVID-19 are increasing exponentially and there is a lack of proper healthcare facilities in hospitals, video conferencing technology can prove to be one of the best ways to provide healthcare services online.
All users, from doctors to patients, can use any devices, including desktops, laptops and smartphones to connect in video conferencing sessions and exchange important data.
“Just because we have great concerns about the COVID virus doesn’t mean that other care is less important than it used to be,” said MU Health Care family medicine doctor Michael LeFevre, MD. “Much of the care that we provide can be done with a video visit, and that keeps patients out of our waiting rooms, keeps them home sheltered in place, but getting health care at the same time. That means the risk of exposure when patients do need to come in is very, very low, because you’re unlikely to come into contact with anybody that’s been exposed to the virus.”
Moreover, video conferencing in healthcare industry can also be used to provide live medical training to doctors. It will help doctors sitting far from the medical trainers save travel costs and provide better patient care quickly by getting medical training online.
Therefore, video conferencing technology is being implemented in the healthcare industry to facilitate seamless doctor and patient interaction while ensuring contactless treatment.
Many employees, at present, are working from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. They make use of video conferencing technology to stay connected with customers and other employees. It can help corporate companies avoid communication gaps and allow them to connect with each other in a seamless way.Using video conferencing technology, employees can share crucial data and discuss on any agenda. With screen sharing and data sharing, employees feel like they are sitting next to their colleagues and working just like they use to work in the office.
- Government and Defence
Video conferencing technology is a cost-effective way to expand the reach of programs while offering an efficient way to stay connected with partners and teams for governments and public sectors.It connects government representatives instantly, strengthening relationships, reducing travel time and creating operational efficiency. For example, in the current scenario, many countries are in the lockdown because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Due to which, government officials have to maintain social distancing and cannot meet each other. Therefore, they are making use of video conferencing technology to take key actions and implement the right strategies.
Government agencies worldwide need video conferencing applications that meet performance security and rigorous government security levels. Though you may find several tools available in the market, government agencies may require extra-secure software for video conferencing.
As we all are aware that the number of COVID-19 cases around the world is rising day by day, we don’t know how long we all will have to wait for the new normal. Though lots of sectors cannot resume their business operations from their homes, there are some industries that can leverage video conferencing technology to run their businesses smoothly.
If you feel that you can run your business seamlessly with video conferencing, we are here to help you. We have the capabilities to integrate video conferencing technology into your current ecosystem that will help you work consistently. Contact us and discuss your requirements.
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