Video streaming is an especially demanding—and popular—application. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, video accounted for 73 percent of all Internet Protocol (IP) traffic in 2016 and could climb to 82 percent by 2021. This expanding footprint for video also coincides with the rapid growth of mobile data consumption, spearheaded by video-enabled apps like YouTube, as well as the growing ranks of business conferencing solutions.
Still, the highly performance-sensitive nature of video means that even as it becomes a more common fixture of team communications, its quality can never be taken for granted. Ensuring a crisp, lifelike experience for everyone who streams a webinar or participates in a video conference requires threading a few technical needles first:
- For starters, the underlying network infrastructure must be scalable and secure, to handle rising demand and shield against many potential threats.
- Next, solutions such as software-defined wide area networks (aka SD-WANs) may be necessary to avoid the performance hiccups that trickle down to teams as grainy video and glitchy audio.
- Finally, the video conferencing service itself must offer an intuitive cross-platform experience, one that’s as optimized for the telecommuter on his smartphone as it is for the in-office executive on her PC or Mac.
Let’s explore the third one in more depth. As workforces become more mobile and distributed, a video conferencing platform can be a uniquely powerful way to bring them together, to make them feel as if they are in the same shared space despite being potentially thousands of miles apart. Usability is particularly important in capitalizing on video’s potential here.Read more