The world of Video Collaboration is changing at an unprecedented pace, and we have seen lots of exciting advancements in how organisations are adapting the way they collaborate across the globe.
As we enter the New Year, below is what our experts predict to be a top focus in the world of video collaboration.
Flexibility will be key
We see organisations stepping away from large office spaces and scaling-down their real estate, even though the return to office movement continues to take hold, meaning more employees going back into the office, even if not full time.
This leaves organisations needing to look at the video-enabled spaces they offer and rethink how these spaces operate and perform.
This hybrid model is impacting the way organisations operate, and therefore they need to make their spaces work harder and smarter to fulfil the hybrid worker expectation. Businesses will continue to rationalise real estate and offices will become busier and busier.
So how do organisations do more with less?
One way is to ensure that the spaces you offer for people to work and collaborate in, can be configured in multiple ways to offer different working styles and set ups. For example, a common space that can easily be converted into private huddle spaces or used as a large boardroom quickly and efficiently is key.
But how do you ensure that user experience isn’t impacted and that the technology and solutions you have in play can complement any space change and provide the same level of experience, i.e., lighting, audio, etc?
The design has to have users’ expectations at the core. A recent article from Bloomberg details some of the expectations of the post-pandemic office. The design of these rooms and spaces is paramount; how organisations manage this will ultimately decide whether your spaces align with your user expectation. If user experience isn’t fulfilled, it will negatively impact user adoption and therefore diminish your ROI.
AI – the ultimate buzz word
Artificial Intelligence is the technology buzz word on everyone’s lips. It has made huge advancements in the last 12 months and there are big plans from all the major vendors and service providers in the VC space.
AI is evolving how we go about our daily lives and how we perform at work. When you look at the standard workday for the hybrid worker compared to the same journey pre-pandemic, you could be fooled into thinking we have time traveled 30 years.
A worker can now enter a building and automatically be assigned a desk without interacting with anyone. Not only that, but by scanning their calendar, they can have meeting rooms scheduled and configured in the right way for any of their upcoming collaborative events. Through voice and facial recognition, they can enter a room and be automatically added to the meeting, as well as have their contribution transcribed.
It can also automate many of the traditional meeting tasks and processes such as meeting notes. For example, Microsoft Teams allows you to automatically transcript the meeting, providing a written copy of everything spoken during the meeting as well as detailing who said it. This simple feature means no one person is having to take notes.
Adding to this experience is Microsoft Copilot, which will not only take notes, but ‘intelligent recap’ will automatically assign tasks and follow-ups to people based on the content of the conversation. It can also help suggest talking points during the meeting if prompted.
One of the newest announcements made at Microsoft’s Ignite was that Copilot will now feature voice isolation meaning that it can behave much like the human brain can when fixating and identifying someone’s voice and ‘cutting out’ background noise and interference.
AI is also driving the physical behaviour of today’s hybrid office. Smart Buildings are having a huge impact on the way organisations communicate and collaborate. For example, Cisco’s Mawaki can count how many people are in a meeting room and make data driven changes to how the room performs, such as lighting and heating. Not only does this help drive the user experience but it also ensures optimum meeting conditions and quality.
The creation of ‘immersive spaces’ was also a hot topic at Microsoft Ignite 2023 and they continue to invest in the development of MESH (mixed reality, extended reality) to enable users to collaborate and interact in mixed reality environments, which give the opportunity to combine both the physical and virtual world. Discover more in this UC Today article.
Velocity of change and scalability
The rate at which organisations need to design and deploy spaces will continue to accelerate and it will almost out-accelerate the bandwidth organisations have to keep up. We see even the largest global enterprise organisations struggling to resource and roll out the number of rooms needed to fulfil demand, and this looks to continue into 2024.
The management of these rooms will become more important as the number of rooms grow, especially managing updates, reporting on utilisation and ensuring availability.
We foresee that organisations will look to increase their dependence on service providers, especially those who offer proactive rather than reactive management of rooms and devices. In addition to this the use of professional services will increase to help counterbalance the support required to keep their rooms and spaces running efficiently.
Increased pressure to ensure maximum ROI on Video Collaboration investment
Not only is there an expectation to ‘do more with less’ when it comes to Video spaces but there will be a continued pressure to ensure any investment in rooms and spaces results in maximum ROI.
Support and management of rooms will likely move away from in-house as organisations look to external technology partners to help deploy global implementations and proactively manage and maintain their rooms.
The importance of Managed Services will in turn escalate with the implementation of proactive monitoring and remote management capabilities, which should propel the efficiencies of rooms ensuring maximum uptime, reduced burden on internal teams and improved user experience.
We predict a big push in sustainability as organisations use their video collaboration strategy to help achieve their ESG goals. Video Collaboration allows people, teams and whole organisations to meet virtually without the need to travel to in-person meetings. It also allows organisations to conduct virtual meetings with suppliers and more efficient supply chain management.
Meeting spaces will continue to evolve. We will see more flexible office spaces, that can be adapted easily and as requirements change. This will mean that offices will become more energy efficient as they behave more intelligently.
In 2024, the focus on video collaboration will be characterised by several key trends. Firstly, flexibility will be a crucial aspect as organisations scale down real estate and continue to embrace hybrid work models. The challenge lies in optimising video-enabled spaces for various working styles efficiently.
The incorporation of AI will be accelerated, showcasing advancements in automating tasks, from desk assignments to meeting transcriptions. Smart Buildings and immersive spaces, discussed at Microsoft Ignite 2023, will be shaping the physical behaviour of hybrid offices.
The velocity of change in deploying video-enabled spaces is accelerating, prompting organisations to rely on service providers for proactive management. Additionally, there is a growing emphasis on ensuring maximum return on VC investment, with a shift towards managed services for global implementations.
Find out more
Contact one of our Video Collaboration experts to find out how New Era can help you achieve better business outcomes with our range of solutions and services.