How Video Over IP Is Changing the Workplace

By Eric Bixler, National Director of AV Solutions - 5 Sep, 2018
Collaboration & UC
4 Minutes Read
When many businesspeople hear the phrase video-over-IP (or “video over internet protocol” or VoIP), they think of streaming video such as Netflix and other internet-based video services that allow consumers to “cut the cord” on cable and satellite television. But video-over-IP is also growing as a workplace communications tool – and smart IT departments are ready for this next phase of digital disruption.

What Is Video-over-IP?

In general terms, video-over-IP refers to any time file-based media (such as compressed MPEG files) or live video is streamed over ethernet. When discussing video conferencing and telepresence solutions, video-over-IP refers to live video being transmitted over the network, typically through a combination of HDMI and Ethernet, although wireless solutions are also growing in prevalence for the convenience they offer.

Video-over-IP can be used for videoconferencing solutions, as well as digital signage applications, presentations, and more.

A Note About AV-over-IP

This post focuses on video-over-IP and, admittedly, it’s a buzzword in the industry right now. But we would be remiss to try to separate video-over-IP and audio-over-IP completely.

Essentially, when we discuss video-over-IP we are also discussing audio, although video has more demanding requirements, is the newer technology, and deserves more focus as a growing trend as image resolutions continue to increase and more workplaces adopt the technology to bring their workforce closer.

Benefits of AV-over-IP

Video-over-IP or AV-over-IP provide workplace solutions that are scalable, affordable, and can even interface with CRM solutions to enable better connections (both literally and figuratively!) with clients.

That’s just the beginning of the advantages. Remote monitoring and troubleshooting add a higher level of reliability to video-over-IP solutions. Because of these benefits and many others, VoIP is changing the way we work.

Scales with Your Company’s Needs

Adding more screens or video sources is as easy as adding additional network switches and ethernet or connecting the video to the wireless network. Without having to run cables from the racks to the screens or upgrading the video controller, it is much easier and more cost-effective to scale AV-over-IP systems.

When it comes to cloud-based videoconferencing systems, video-over-IP allows companies to add users to the system simply by upgrading their subscription – no hardware upgrades required.

As more companies employ a flexible workforce, possibly with shared workspaces and employees working flex-time or working from home, the ability to scale videoconferencing systems up or down makes it easy to give all employees the tools they need to stay connected to their peers in the office.

Aids in Recruiting and Retention

According to a survey by FlexJobs, more than one-third of millennials said they would leave a job if the workplace was not flexible.

More importantly, millennials expect a technology experience at work that is equal to, or better than, they can provide for themselves at home.

VoIP, with its inherent scalability, flexibility, and quality, can be a powerful recruiting tool to attract top talent and also to retain employees.

From digital signage in the lobby that touts the high points of your organization to video collaboration tools that make it possible for employees to brainstorm and create with their peers regardless of location, video-over-IP simplifies the delivery of high-quality imagery for an immersive technology experience.

Can Improve Business Processes and Workflow

Once VoIP and on-demand remote collaboration becomes a part of your organization’s workflow, you may see a boost in productivity and creativity. Employees can seamlessly shift from viewing spreadsheets to face-to-face conversation, make changes to files or create content in real-time from multiple locations, and streamline tasks through integrated platforms all residing on the same network.

Understanding Network Requirements of Video-over-IP

As video quality continues to improve, with 4K now commonplace in home and commercial applications and 5K and 8K capabilities already available, video-over-IP becomes the most effective way to transmit such high-quality signals for digital signage, telepresence, and large-screen video conferencing applications, where meeting participants virtually come to life in front of you even if they might be hundreds of miles away.

Effective video-over-IP solutions do create certain challenges and have specific network requirements. You need a network with plenty of headroom and Quality-of-Service (QoS) control mechanisms to ensure the proper bandwidth for VoIP applications.

It’s best to have a team of professionals with expertise in video-over-IP, networking, and unified communications to oversee your project and manage the systems in the cloud.

The tangible improvements you will see in video quality, reliability, and convenience make it worth your while to invest in an enterprise-level video-over-IP system to connect with customers, prospects, partners, and employees across the world.

Author: Eric Bixler, National Director of AV Solutions

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