By Tiens Lange, Director Unified Communications and Collaboration Solutions at Westcon Southern Africa
Well, 2015 has been a year of transformation in the ways we collaborate and communicate, with many emerging technologies making it easier and more convenient for us to do so. But what should we be expecting in 2016? According to an article on pcmag.com, the future of business collaboration is a cloud-based work environment in which teams connect in real time on interoperable platforms. Here are five trends in collaboration you can expect to see in the next year:
- Room-based video conferencing
According to pcmag.com, 2016 will see video conferencing continue to get smoother, smarter and more affordable while it will operate at higher Internet speeds. The ease and convenience of this meeting option is contributing to the rise of cost-effective and easy-to-install “room-based” video conferencing systems.
While the outward appearance and functionality of these systems seem more like a flat screen TV, they include high-resolution cameras and computing platforms plus communication and collaboration software within one piece of hardware. Room-based solutions combine multi-way video conferencing with presentation and wireless content-sharing capabilities, making remote meeting that much easier.
- Cloud-connected everything
Cloud made efficient, universally accessible collaboration software and video conferencing solutions possible. Cloud-based integrations are what connect a company’s video conferencing solution with not only its core collaboration software but also with the many devices employees use to interact with it. Off-site staff members are increasingly collaborating using smartphones and tablets as much – if not more - than they use desktop or laptop PCs, whether that means joining a group chat, sending and editing shared documents or logging into a video conference from an Android or iOS device on the go. Cloud and collaboration will go hand in hand in 2016.
- Seamless interoperability
The easier it is for employees to send data and documents – and flip back and forth between services while collaborating on and managing projects – the better that businesses can optimise productivity. In 2016, collaboration and video conferencing tools will take in more and more integrations and enterprise device management solutions to cloud-based accounting and voice over IP (VoIP) services.
- Distributed teamwork without hassle
Modern collaboration software will continue on its mission to kill email in 2016, at least within the walls of a business. Next year, cloud-based interoperability will see the merge of a team’s video conference window side by side with its live chat, putting every form of collaboration into one place. As this centralised mode of social feed and direct mention-based collaboration gains more traction, long email chains full of forward and “reply all” messages will become less common in the work place, which will let employees spend more time actually getting things done.
- The Web Real-Time Communication Revolution
The next step in the Internet communication revolution is upon us, in the form of voice and video calling that’s directly embedded in browsers. Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) enables users to use Web applications to engage in direct voice calls, video chat, and data sharing without the need for any desktop or mobile applications, add-ons, or browser plug-ins. This is a trend that will continue to grow in 2016.
In other news:
AudioCodes introduces high-density analog VoIP gateway
WestconGroup adds CloudRuckus in SA
Democratisation of Technology brings enterprise IT to SMBs: Ruckus, Nutanix seize opportunity
SolarWinds boosts packet analysis capabilities in network performance monitoring tool