In today’s video conferencing landscape, there are many different ways of meeting virtually. Whether it’s Pexip, Teams, Zoom, Cisco, or one of the many other players, we have a huge range of video meeting providers to choose from, each with their own definition of what a “great meeting experience” really is.
The growth of the market was long overdue, and the expansion of the field is creating better technology. Over the last several years, those of us in the industry have assumed that these different tools would eventually converge to create a smoother, simpler user experience. But with the overnight video adoption created by the pandemic, video conferencing has become even more complex.
When you call someone on the phone, you don't care what kind of phone they have, or what carrier they use. And when you sit down to watch television, all you care about is getting to the show you want to watch. There aren’t, and shouldn’t be, any technological hurdles to these experiences. So why is there still such a disconnect in the video meeting experience?
When Covid-19 arrived, organizations didn't have time to think through all the elements of setting up a video conferencing solution for long-term use; they just needed a solution quickly to enable people to keep working. The volume, growth, and availability of new solutions provided many companies with a quick-fix. But this “panic buying” also created problems for the end user. We now have many different ways of meeting without a simple way to bridge these gaps. Employees grow accustomed to their internal platform, but when someone invites them to a meeting using a different provider, problems arise. Anxiety, intimidation, even panic sets in. We’ve all experienced it, whether from home, the conference room, or both. We’ve all been to meetings where one or more key stakeholders has not been able to join the meeting, and it has to be canceled or postponed. And, at best, it makes people late for meetings. At worst, it creates a stressed, unhappy workforce.
Even as people return to the office, the number of video meetings is not likely to decrease. Many will remain working remotely, and the seismic shift in workplace culture we’re seeing today means that many meetings that once required travel are likely to be conducted over video instead. Meaning, simply put, video calls aren’t going anywhere. So how can we make them more user-friendly?
Here's the challenge: when John Doe walks into a conference room and wants to join a meeting, he doesn't see the difference between a Cisco system, a Microsoft Teams Room, or a dedicated high-end custom-made solution. What John sees is a screen, a camera, and some kind input device like a remote control or a touch panel. He doesn’t care about the technology, the provider, or what kind of meeting it is. He cares about closing that deal, helping that customer, or hiring that new employee.
But instead, he’s distracted and anxious. Is the camera on? How do I join this meeting again? Is the microphone working? Where’s the PIN code? Once I get into the meeting, will it work? Oh no, they can’t hear me. Oh right, I’m on mute. For many users, it’s a mess. The reasons for this are many - but it happens primarily because there are so many meeting platforms available. John Doe is a casual user, meaning he doesn’t use video meetings every day. For him, and millions others like him, what should be a simple task becomes a huge challenge.
Video meetings should be making your day less stressful, and yet, if the past year has shown us anything, it’s that for many people, “video fatigue” is real, and much of that is due to the stress of simply joining a meeting and trusting that it will work the same way every time.
The question we have to ask ourselves is, what should this experience actually look like? What do we think of when we imagine an optimal, truly user-friendly experience that’s tailored to the new hybrid workforce? What if you could instantly and securely connect to any meeting you’re invited to, regardless of the platform? That's where meeting-agnostic solutions come in.
At Pexip, we’ve already been industry leaders in interoperability for some time; our technology takes away the guesswork by enabling different meeting solutions to work together. Last week, we announced that we’ve partnered with Logitech to make this experience even better, with the introduction of Pexip Room.
With this device, you can simply walk into a room and press “Join”. There’s no confusion or frustration, because Pexip has already done the work for you. And instead of hunching around a 13” laptop, straining to hear the voices on the other end, you’ll see life-size people on one big screen, bringing back the feeling of in-person engagement.
The pandemic has shown how powerful and efficient video meetings are, and how, going forward, we can use this technology to improve work-life balance by offering more flexible workplaces. But first, the experience of joining video meetings has to improve. Choosing a meeting-agnostic video solution means empowering workers with a tool they can trust.
Are you ready to get started? Contact us to learn how we can help provide stress-free meeting solutions for your team.