Unprecedented times. Our abilities and capabilities to live safely, work safely and play safely are being tested to extremes. With physical proximity and social distancing limited by governments around the world during this COVID-19 pandemic, there is a spotlight on basic human communications. A “new normal” abuzz with hybrid work practices taking centerstage prompting companies around the world, big and small, to rethink IT deployments and business continuity plans (if there ever was one to begin with) amidst a very different work environment.
Nonetheless, an opportunity for some too. The need to communicate without physical proximity has benefitted video conferencing providers likeMicrosoft Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, Starleaf and Cisco Webex (to name a few) who have been capitalizing on this global need – an easy, secure and reliable way to collaborate from anywhere in the world with as many people as desired – it is no surprise why ZoomInfo (not related to Zoom) charteda staggering 84.82%jump in web conferencing adoption from January to April this year with Zoom alone registering a 418% rise in adoption in just two months.
According to Grand View Research, the global video conferencing market valued at USD3.85B in 2019 is expected to register a CAGR of 9.9% from 2020 to 2027. So, what’s all this got to do with the Cloud you might ask? All the above-mentioned providers and new startups invideo conferencing services continue to build, enhance and scale their service offerings mostly in the Public Cloud domain. Larger companies (Enterprises) around the world who have implemented Private Clouds for servicessuch as video conferencing are now looking to optimize their operations with a Hybrid Cloud approach. This allows an on-premise video conferencing solution hosted in an Enterprise’s Private Cloud (such as Poly’s Infra-Virtual Meeting Room solution) to interwork with a third-party video conferencing service hosted in the Public Cloud domain (such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom).
Take Poly as an example. Itself amarket leader in video and voice solutions, Poly works with the collaboration ecosystem (many of afore-mentionedvideo conferencing providers) to connect business users around the world with emphasis on connecting humans, not things or places. Poly describes the “next normal” in work practices, spaces and culture where employees enjoy flexibility and choice. Poly employees connect with internal and external participants on Microsoft Teams or Zoom meetings through its own video infrastructure and/or endpoints. One of the enablers used isPoly’s video interop Cloud service for Microsoft Teams called RealConnect which allows standard SIP-based video endpoints to connect natively to Microsoft Teams (SIP is a technical standard for voice and video communications over IP networks). Being able to connect over video with partners and customers across these different Cloud platforms has allowed most of Poly’s 6500 employees in 75 offices across 35 different countries to work safely and productively during this era of hybrid working.
Video conferencing options are many and businesses in one way or another figure out which service platform best suits their needs. However, this introduces another problem. How does one business communicate with another if they are all on different platforms? Enter multi-Cloud – collaborating in the Cloud. The need to integrate or inter-operate between service provider applications, whether hosted in Private or Public Cloud domain, is fast becoming a necessity.
Think of a video meeting with participants from three companies all on different platforms – one on Microsoft Teams, one on Zoom and another on GoToMeeting. How do they collaborate effectively? Today, all three participants would have to get on one of other’s platform to have a meeting. Multi-Cloud on the other hand, allows for integration and collaboration across Cloud domains, be it Private, Public or Hybrid. Having Cloud services such as Poly’s RealConnect (in the case of Microsoft Teams video interop)will be basic but evolving platform bridging scenarios will require “stitching” similar workflows across multiple cloud applications and domains securely. Video conferencing is just one key application cited here. There are numerous other IT applications that will require workflows traversing Cloud domains. This is also an opportunity for Cloud and service operators/integrators. Excited to see how we will evolve with multi-Cloud, bridging platforms as-a-service in an evermore virtually-connected world!