The enterprise AV market is growing exponentially year on year, with more enterprises expanding their collaboration initiatives. This is being fueled by the need to empower the workforce with intelligently engineered and reliable meeting room systems, superior video conferencing, and secure messaging.

Enterprise grade video conferencing that was once only reserved for the most highly paid employees in the largest boardrooms is now accessible to anyone at any size of company. Huddle rooms are undoubtedly increasing in popularity, providing small, relatively low-cost environments for employees to come together and collaborate with colleagues who are working remotely, without tying up larger more expensive meeting rooms and board rooms.

As innovation in cloud-based video conferencing gathers pace, more enterprises are enjoying the freedom and flexibility to interact more efficiently. Time and resources are precious. An intelligent cloud environment offers reliability, security, and interoperability that help decision-makers to standardise on smarter collaboration tools, so that the workforce can meet in an instant, wherever they are located.

While video conferencing is thriving and ubiquitous, it is vital that IT leaders think about their long-term collaboration requirements and standardize on solutions that will be reliable, reduce costs, and enable them to scale their communications in the future.

Touching tomorrow

Cloud services and the desire for improved user experiences are having a profound impact on AV and video conferencing, notably when it comes to deployment across the enterprise. Cloud technology has removed much of the complexity and cost when it comes to maintaining video conferencing and meeting room endpoints.

The workforce dynamic is changing dramatically with globalization and expanding markets providing opportunities for enterprises to grow their business. According to Gartner’s “Forecast: Unified Communications, Worldwide, 2Q18 Update,” those segments, with revenue of $6.8 billion in 2017 will grow to $7.1 billion by 2022. The core growth driver in this mix is cloud conferencing, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% through 2022.

There is also an increasing trend to work with dispersed teams and to communicate seamlessly with partners and suppliers all over the world. More people are working remotely and integrated, easy to use cloud-based solutions are crucial to improving communications. Video conferencing, instant messaging, and meeting room systems help to create an environment that can quickly bring stakeholders together to interact efficiently. Therefore, a well-planned collaboration strategy is essential for efficient communications.

Looking to the future, businesses that wish to invest in meeting room solutions will need tightly integrated cloud solutions that give their employees feature-rich functionality and ease of use, as well as providing a secure environment. While it is always difficult to predict exactly what will happen in the future, we believe that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will play an increasingly important role in collaboration solutions. In five or more years, the conceptual possibilities are endless. For example, you might participate in a video conference meeting with international partners and customers who do not speak the same language as you. An AI-based translation service built-in to the meeting service could initially identify you instantly through facial and voice recognition capability and then instantly translate any spoken or written communications through the platform so that anyone can converse seamlessly without any language barriers.

Future user technologies will develop towards the way humans naturally interact with the real-world meeting rooms and yet also become more immersed in virtual meeting experiences that embrace augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR). Perhaps, employees could join a virtual meeting room with a table and chairs, which could contextualize remote stakeholders who dial-in to the video conference, building a more immersive virtual environment as part of the real-time meeting.

Meeting room technologies need to have a long life to maximise investment and usage. As IT leaders look to maximize their enterprise investments, innovation and interoperability need to go hand in hand to sustain the long-term needs of the business.

Future-proof the meeting

The AV technology industry is changing rapidly. Traditional methods of silo solutions and tools that cannot guarantee reliability and security are no longer valid in today’s information driven world. Video conferencing services now must meet the highest security standards in data protection, operations, processes, and research and development. Enterprises are embracing change and strategically planning the migration to cloud-based solutions that scale their collaborative objectives, future-proof their investments, and build for the long-term.