The cell phone revolution gives us freedom. The freedom to be mobile and still be connected to our work, our family and to have the security that we are contactable in case of emergency. We are no longer tethered to our office desk and can be productive from anywhere we happen to be. Video conferencing has become the must-have tool for every boardroom as travel times between cities and countries is regarded as wasted time and an inconvenience on personal life. According to Business Insider Intelligence, a fifth of the world’s population now owns smartphones and around one in every 17 people owns a tablet and for the first time the rate of smartphone ownership surpassed that of personal computer ownership. This means that even the way we use Video Conferencing needs to change as we account for a highly mobile workforce.
While covering stories for this Blog, I am often out of “the office” and on the road and using Video conferencing software on my mobile phone has become on of my Must-Have apps. As 4G LTE mobile networks continuing to roll out around the country, being able to connect in high definition is just as good as being able to connect from the office network. When the cost of Data is a factor such as when traveling overseas, then using the local WiFi is the answer however the connectivity can be slow and sluggish.
There are many video conferencing software applications. The most obvious being Skype which is great for home-usage or a quick work conference call however Skype is not meant to be a “business grade” video conference system and lacks features that big brand video conferencing software applications have.
When you look for the business-grade apps, the Microsoft Lync , Cisco, LifeSize and Polycom are the ones that are used in the market, however as I consult for many companies and each have their own system which means I have to licence several individual products on my devices so I can talk to them all. This problem is also experienced when you attempt to hold an inter-company meeting between several parties each having their own video conferencing software.
Video Conferencing Collaboration
I found Blue Jeans mobile video collaboration tool which is the answer to the video conferencing switching apps fiasco. From this one app you can connect with anyone whether they are using Microsoft Lync , Cisco, LifeSize and Polycom or any other conferencing platforms.
But its all about collaboration too.
Members of the conference are able to send files to other participants in the conference, as well sharing of screens so that everyone can review the same document together – even from a mobile phone. The Moderator screen has several additional features such as muting members and being able to record the session which is stored on an enterprise-grade security system ensuring security of the content. I also set up my mobile device to sync with Google or Microsoft Outlook calendar so even video conferencing meeting invitations are handled automatically.
With Blue Jeans, mobile video collaboration is possible with up to 100 participants using their premium service. This software is available free and can be run on iOS and Android devices and while you don’t need an account to be a participant in a Blue Jeans mobile video collaboration, you do need to sign up for an account in order to host a meeting.