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Video-as-a-Service: Innovating the Era of Connectivity

By CIOReview | Friday, July 8, 2016

In a quest to streamline and simplify business operations, organizations are focused on adopting latest technologies or upgrading the existing ones. In the communication arena, enterprises are constantly striving forward to implement Video-as-a-Service (VaaS) as it proves to be the most trending form of innovation; bridging the gap between organizations, employees and clients. The technology is specifically designed to elevate the level of efficiency for enterprises using traditional video conferencing in-house solutions.

Significance of adopting VaaS

Organizations across the globe are implementing video conferencing as a service because of its numerous advantages and the usage is growing at an exponential rate. Factors such as the need to simplify existing video conferencing infrastructure or to deploy a low-cost video conferencing service, changing workplace environment and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) are emerging in the work force. This creates a driving force for large number of companies managing various business functions to adopt the VaaS technology. Gone are the days of buffering screen with terrible sound, today’s technological scenario involves microphones and 4k definition with acoustic fencing to block out background noise. A perfect blend of high definition video combined with high definition networking is the basic requirement for a top notch conferencing experience.

The wide range of VaaS offerings include call production, multi-point high definition (HD) bridging, endpoint management, recording, archiving and white-glove concierge services. Some service providers also offer a hybrid model which supports the customer's on-premises video infrastructure.

What are the benefits?

VaaS vendors are offering a wide range of services bundled with a variety of flexible options. The decision lies in matching up the services to the options you want to incorporate in your organization.

OpEx Funding Model – An ideal VaaS vendor has the ability to offer an OpEx (Operational Expenditure) funding model that enables organizations to understand and make regular payments. This triggers an enhanced prediction in the spending patterns and elevates the level of financial stability.

Lower In-House Specialists/Responsibilities – The VaaS vendor yields a complete set of essential skills required to run video conferencing. It is their job to ensure the delivery of best performance and seamless availability of their services, and proper working of all equipments.

Flexibility and Scalability – With respect to the change in certain business requirements, the VaaS service can also grow. As the number of employees increases or as more employees include video collaboration in their daily work routine, endpoints and licenses can also be added effortlessly.

Risk Management and Software Releases – The service vendor can implement risk management strategies and can also apply new software releases and updates remotely.  

Flexible and Globalised Workforce – With the rising number of mobile endpoints such as tablets and smartphones, employees can stay connected using the feature of video conferencing. In short, it offers employees the flexibility to work outside office, while maintaining a constant contact with their team.

Interoperability – The vendor should be able to connect all mobile endpoints with room based systems and Skype for Business, delivering exceptional quality of maintenance and collaboration at all times.

Visualizing future scenario

VaaS is a fully managed communication solution that reduces the complexity involved in organizing meetings and video conferences. To achieve greater levels of productivity, allowing a service vendor to manage the technical area is indeed a wise initiative. But the question is, how do you know that VaaS will be better than your existing service? What will happen if something goes wrong or emergency support is needed? Can I trust the company to manage this form of technology?

Considering future scenarios, VaaS play a vital role in building a robust video conferencing infrastructure.

Finding a Trusted Service

Trust is a significant feature that must be effectively earned and built up over the time. If you trust in a firm, then you will be more confident and comfortable allowing them to incorporate their services in your company. Choosing a vendor with a history of excellent services, various testimonials on the detailed SLAs (Service Level Agreements) is very crucial. A successful VaaS vendor will have an array of case studies and positive reviews. They may also have the ability to provide proven examples of why implementation of their service will reorganize the various business operations.

Transforming VaaS into a Secure Opportunity There are numerous possibilities for technical breaches involved in different types of electronic communications. Video conferencing is vulnerable to the entry of uninvited participants on high-level calls and disclosure of sensitive information.

To ensure optimal vendor-side security, it is crucial to ask for details about the support, system updates and security practices after you have adopted the firms’ Vaas solution.

To administer a secure environment, you may need to:

• Ask the VaaS vendors about their security policies. Do they offer any guarantees or cancellation clauses in case of a complication? Have they had any incidents in the past? Is it included in their policy to notify the customers if they face an intrusion?
• Maintain a BYOD security program to reduce the possibility of a device being exposed to security threats.
• Monitor the network connections to VaaS providers in a proactive manner to identify unusual traffic and protocols.
• Implement an effective method of securing the devices that are being connected through unsecured Wi-Fi access points.
• Secure important video calls, executive staff meetings and financially sensitive meetings by offering meeting invitations using one-time PIN numbers.
• Educate your employees about the various threats generated by application downloads and insecure connections.
• Be aware of the possibilities that video or audio callers without webcams can join a call anonymously and record the session if each caller is not identified. To prevent the situation, use administrative monitoring tools to view and identify all the call participants.

By considering and mastering few precautionary measures, the cloud-based Vaas technology can prove to be more secure than the traditional video solutions. The key for successful installation of VaaS infrastructure lies in finding the right vendor, training and effective monitoring.