Video Conferencing Technology

By: Danielle Chazen
nordwood-themes-kRNZiGKtz48-unsplash (1)

Video conferencing and video-driven tools have grown tremendously in popularity in recent years. The use of video in business has also increased significantly in recent months due to social distancing requirements mandated by the novel coronavirus.

Prior to the virus however, many enterprises have been enlisting video conferencing solutions for improved international communication, to facilitate remote work and to save time. For example, jumping on a video call instead of driving or flying to a meeting can help to facilitate meetings quickly, while also saving individuals on travel time and costs.

Video conferencing is also being used as an innovative, yet easy method to provide thought leadership and education to employees. These video-driven opportunities include facilitating online learning and training sessions, as well as organizing webcasts with speakers based in alternate locations who may not have been able to join an in-person conference or give a professional talk due to scheduling conflicts otherwise.

The recent growth of video conferencing

Social distancing requirements have driven many individuals who weren’t tech savvy or who were unaware of video tools to begin using them. In fact, Zoom’s daily active user number jumped from 10 million to more than 200 million in three months.

Now that they’re aware of these tools, including video conferencing capabilities and its unique functionalities, it’s likely that video conferencing technology will be here to stay.

Video meetings will likely become a core part of many businesses’ communication methods if they weren’t already. Businesses are likely to invest in more video conferencing technology and video conferencing equipment as a result. This reality has led to companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft looking to release and advance their own online and video meeting features to gain competitive edge.
person with a laptop on her lap, holding a cup of coffee

Former challenges to video conferencing

Issues relating to privacy concerns have come to light when considering video conferencing. In  the past and even during the COVID-19 crisis, many businesses feared sharing their sensitive information on a video conferencing platform could be risky.

For example, while having a record of a meeting and everything said could be perceived as helpful to participants, oftentimes business leaders may not want their videos recorded. Most platforms have a functionality to turn this record feature on and off and make it clear when participants are being recorded. This ability can be crucial when sharing sensitive information.

Additionally, with the ability to share quick, easy-to-access links to join Zoom meetings, the term “Zoombombing” was born. This term refers to unidentified individuals invading meetings they were not meant to be invited to by uncovering links. This occurrence led even the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston office among others to issue warnings about using Zoom. The suggestion is now to set all calls to private and password-protect them so that only those meant to join can do so.

Zoom has also encountered security and privacy challenges in the past, including needing to make changes to its iPhone and iPad apps to prevent Facebook from collecting user data. It’s also needed to prevent websites from turning on Mac users’ cameras without their permission.

As the platform and others continue to evolve and are subject to greater use, additional issues have come to light. However, Zoom and additional video conferencing providers are working quickly to meet privacy concerns quickly to give users more peace of mind.

Best enterprise video conferencing solutions

In addition to Zoom, many individuals are utilizing Google Meet, BlueJeans, Skype, Signal and Jitsi.

Signal and Jitsi are often viewed as more secure options since they use end-to-end encryption. When these apps are built with open-source code, it can be publicly reviewed and checked to ensure there aren’t any hidden problems. However, Signal only provides video calling from smartphones, not desktop video calls or video conferencing with multiple parties. Jitsi works with web browsers, but happens to still be working on its multi-party video conferencing abilities.

What’s needed for effective video conferencing

Many businesses understand they need a video conferencing solution and provider, such as Zoom, but what is needed in terms of the best video conferencing equipment is a different story.

Poor audio or bad Wi-Fi can make or break these calls for example. It’s often helpful to train employees on how to use their phones as Hotspots when they’re situated in areas with poor connections. When enterprise leaders keep getting ‘kicked off’ calls because of poor Wi-Fi it can prove to be frustrating to coworkers and seem unprofessional to clients. A Wi-Fi speed test can be one helpful way to understand what you’re dealing with.

The type of computer you’re using and the quality of the video it provides can help to ensure effective, clear communication as well. Even if an employee has a strong connection and high-quality camera, where they position themselves in their office or home can be important as well. For example, sunlight can hurt the view and interfere with the call’s video quality as well.

A good microphone to produce audio is critical as well. This is helpful not only for intuitive reasons such as clear communication, but to help produce closed captions and transcripts of meetings for note taking purposes and reference later. Oftentimes, poor audio can result in the production of a transcript or CC that’s riddled with errors. Verbit and other providers can often work to help correct these errors, but setting yourself up with good audio from the get-go should be a priority for any professional.

Additional benefits of video conferencing

Video conferencing calls also provide effective ways to retain important meeting information or better engage viewers and participants. Businesses can benefit from seeing the reactions of employees, clients, customers and stakeholders rather than just their words for example.

These platforms also help to ensure recordings are captured effectively when needed to hold parties to their word.

Finally, with most individuals consuming videos with captions these days whether it’s when watching Netflix leisurely or social video when it’s inappropriate to play out loud, captions have come to be expected for business calls as well.

Verbit is helping many enterprises embed live captions onto their video calls with an integration with Zoom. It’s also upping the ante by providing businesses with live, interactive transcriptions of meetings that users can interact with in real time and facilitating Zoom breakout sessions. Verbit transcripts offer the ability to take notes or highlight within them, share information easily with interested parties and easily search them post-call to go back to important parts of a conversation.

More video conferencing growth and capabilities are expected

Verbit continues to invest and evolve its video conferencing tools to meet the growth and needs of businesses utilizing the various video conferencing technology platforms. Only more changes and growth opportunities will arise to personalize the enterprise video conferencing experience as the video platforms themselves evolve and expand as well.

With live tools like captions and transcriptions, businesses can ensure all employees and clients continue to remain engaged even while working and operating remotely.