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Today, more companies are looking to keep up with the trends of having a flexible workplace. The market for cloud-based platforms is growing exponentially. Tools and applications make it possible for remote workers to communicate and collaborate from anywhere. And other cloud services allow for task management and optimisation of workflows.
More millennials are joining the workforce. Businesses who use remote work services will see better recruitment and employee retention, but that’s not all. Employers can provide a better work/life balance with greater flexibility when team members can work. They can also expect to see greater productivity from employees while saving time and money.
An effective platform for communication is key to enabling effective teamwork for any company. Team messaging or a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service are just a few of the modern tools available for remote communication.
Video conferencing is another key communication tool for company collaboration. Today, many teams work outside of a typical work environment. Remote face-to-face chat can help to maintain relationships and business continuity.
In the era of cloud computing, businesses need to look no further than Video as a Service (VaaS) is an effective solution for reliable and personal communication.
What is Video as a Service (VaaS)?
VaaS falls under the Software as a Service (SaaS) umbrella. It is sometimes also referred to as Video Conferencing as a Service (VCaaS). Are you confused yet? Let’s clear things up.
VaaS is the delivery of multiparty or point-to-point video conferencing capabilities. The video stream is delivered over an IP network by a managed service provider. The online video conferencing service must provide the infrastructure needed for linked communication. The host also maintains the communication channel between all endpoints or parties involved.
Incoming data is received from one endpoint, re-packaged into a new format, and then sent to a new endpoint. In video communication, this process is known as transcoding. For a seamless experience, this must all happen in real-time and almost instantaneously. For the end-user, the experience must be seamless, in real-time, and accessible from various devices.
What customers expect from VaaS has evolved greatly from the early days of video calls using the most basic software. What users expect today is the accessibility to consume the services on demand.
Long gone are the days of lag, stutter, and poor resolution. Customers expect high quality 4K video streaming and HD audio. On a commercial level, companies expect a stable service and an enterprise-level of security. And different businesses have different cloud requirements. Those being, whether the service must function on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud.
Most video conferencing solutions need to be adaptable and scalable. But some services cap out with small meeting numbers. Other VaaS platforms can allow for up to 100 participants in a session, and some even more.
Why VaaS? – the Benefits
VaaS adoption is continuing to grow within the collaboration market. And it’s easy to focus on one major benefit when talking about VaaS. And that is, of course, greater access to online video conferencing. But what about the other related benefits that VaaS can provide for a business?
We are in an era where disruption and uncertainty have become the norm. As such, it should come as no surprise that remote work platforms need be more agile to deal with unforeseen difficulties. VaaS is an effective tool to enable your team to work from anywhere.
Video conferencing is an excellent way to bring team members together to share ideas and work together on projects. And for international teams, physical distance can translate to less cooperation and trust. But online video conferencing provides a collaborative experience that otherwise would be impossible.
Email, message boards, SMS, and VOIP can be an effective way for managers and team members to communicate. There’s often no substitute, though, for the personal effectiveness of talking with someone face-to-face.
The technology of today’s video conferencing platforms can make a dramatic difference. Take, for instance, the implementation of video streaming within healthcare. In a case study by the NHS, video conferencing was proven an effective tool for monitoring patients with long-term conditions.
Fast and easy to implement
Unlike an in-house operation, when a business connects to a video service provider, they can expect to be using a VaaS application in minutes. Depending on the host, they will be able to access the service on the smart device of their choice via a supported web browser or developer app.
VaaS platforms make it easy for businesses to use only what they need. When needs change, the platform can scale seamlessly. New licences and interoperability can be provided and downloaded to the relevant devices in minutes. This means the service scales with your business as it grows.
Low to zero upfront cost
By signing up with a service provider, companies can forego the costly investment to provide infrastructure. This can include the hardware, software, and IT labour costs associated with video conferencing. That means more cash to invest in other areas of the business.
Low maintenance and less in-house costs
The host is responsible for all maintenance of the service and its infrastructure. Eliminating service maintenance will save companies money but also time. This takes the headache of security and software updates away from the user.
All of which means your IT staff will have more time to work on other projects. Any service worth signing up for will also provide you and your team with 24/7 365 day customer support.
What Are The Best Features of VaaS?
VaaS is available to users on-demand. What this means is that the service provides for consumption to meet the current level of demand. The host provides an infrastructure wherein resources are pooled and shared to meet user need.
With a VaaS platform, you can expect a consistent and reliable service whether in a one to one meeting or a very large video conference.
Today, a legitimate VaaS solution will provide a rich video experience. That includes streaming video content with the clarity of 4K video conferencing, and a high definition audio experience is usually part of the package, too.
Optional features can include webcams like the Polycom Eagle eye that track a room to focus on whoever is speaking. And some microphones can convey true three-dimensional sound. Users will feel that they are actually in the room with one another.
Multiple data centres
A video conferencing host will provide data centres all over the world. Users will normally connect to the closest data centre to their geographic location. This is for optimal performance, but if maintenance or any outages occur to fill in as needed.
This means that service disrupted if maintenance or any outages occurring will be minimal and close to nil. All of this happens behind the scenes and the end-user will not notice any interruptions.
VaaS is usually a pay as you go service. A business only pays for what it uses. Or in other words, it only pays what it needs to and nothing more. This can save a pretty penny, especially for smaller companies where any amount of money can make a difference.
Many services also provide packages with monthly pricing, making it easy for companies to stay on top of their spending. And when you need to increase your service level, upgrading usually takes a few minutes.
Service providers are responsible for establishing and maintaining all forms of cybersecurity. The service is constantly upgraded and updated. Companies can forego the IT infrastructure to deal with a secure video service. But they can also expect enterprise-grade security. Well at least from best video conferencing platforms.
Globalised and enhanced interoperability
Services will be available to team members anywhere in the world, and VaaS platforms will have varying levels of interoperability. This means companies can choose a platform that works with the systems and tools they already have in place.
Online video conferencing services can provide varying degrees of connectivity. Features like API integrations will avoid any change or disruption in workflows. They can also give individual team members the flexibility to choose how they access and use the service. Despite this diversity of connections, the overall experience will be the same for each user. And the performance will be consistent.
We have pointed out the biggest benefits a business can gain from adopting VaaS. But as with all good things, VaaS can come with its own challenges.
As a cloud-based application, a VaaS platform VaaS platform’s performance to the internet or private network. The user experience will depend heavily, therefore, on having the necessary bandwidth. This especially rings true for 4K streaming and large conferencing.
Mobile networks and internet providers are becoming faster and more reliable. But there are still plenty of dark zones and geographical regions lacking in network technology.
And, of course, any type of wireless connection is subject to network outages, and router malfunctions. Not to mention the weather, disasters, and other types of service disruptions. Most of these issues are out of the control of the VaaS provider. But it doesn’t make them any less frustrating or off-putting to potential customers.
Luckily, when it comes to video conferencing, the participants aren’t usually on the move. So being able to find a good spot for network connectivity before starting a meeting is not difficult. And it is always recommended to plug into the network for optimal stability.
When it comes to building relationships, video conferencing can be several steps above email and messaging. But that doesn’t mean that people can’t still feel it is impersonal when compared to the real thing. We are experiencing constant advances in video streaming hardware and video conferencing software. The gap between reality and the virtual world will only become narrower.
Video conferencing gives companies great flexibility for large and short-notice face-to-face meetings. However, companies can still opt for in-person meetings as necessary. VaaS is just another tool for companies to use. The more tools a company possesses, the better equipped it is to solve problems.
Learn RingCentral Conferencing Services & Solutions
RingCentral can provide a range of services to meet the conferencing needs of your business. For easy to use video conferencing, small and medium businesses need to look no further. Expect reliable HD audio and video with a rich face-to-face experience.
For larger businesses and enterprises, we can provide what you need. Our All-in-One solution can provide you with high-performance video conferencing and so much more. Gain access to a full communication platform to help your team stay in touch. Make use of a range of productivity tools and encourage easy collaboration between team members.
Regardless of the package, you get our reliable service with an industry-leading SLA uptime. And don’t forget all of our platforms come with enterprise-grade security.
Get in touch, and we will find a solution for your business or enterprise today!
Originally published Mar 05, 2021, updated May 15, 2021