Does your video conferencing platform have superpowers?
Can you talk face-to-face with people on different devices, people using different video conferencing vendors?
Can you access third-party apps like Salesforce, Google Drive, or even StubHub?
Can you exchange everything from documents and messages to a live stream of a music festival during your video call?
If your video platform can’t do all those things and more, then there’s a word you need to learn: interoperability. In a dictionary sense, it means software and systems can share and make use of different types of data. In a real-world sense, it means the solution to all your communications and business needs can be found at a single source. It’s the key ingredient in the workplace collaboration revolution currently being led by do-it-all apps like Slack.
In other words, with interoperable video conferencing, your business becomes more efficient.
Interoperability on Any Device, Any Platform
The big difference interoperability makes in your working day is that your video calls don’t have to be isolated from the rest of your professional life. It achieves that end in two ways.
The first way is by allowing you to hold a video conference on any device, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile, or in-room system, and across a range of providers. Video conferencing vendor Videxio recently upgraded its system to let you make calls using Google Hangouts Meet, and then again to allow interaction with Skype For Business. They even made a cute little cartoon to explain how flexible their service has become:
Videxio isn’t the only platform to offer such variety. Slack, for example, recently installed its own video conferencing service but still permits users to access Zoom and Hangouts.
The reason Slack is happy to have users making calls with other vendors is that it makes their own platform far more effective overall. Users now have a choice when making a call and can avoid having to download a new video app to match that of a client. Videxio has taken that thinking a step further by creating links with WebRTC video platforms that launch directly from your browser and require no sign-up at all.
The second way interoperability makes your business more effective is by incorporating third-party apps that perform functions related to your wider workplace.
Building Business into Your Video Calling Platform
Interoperability depends on software and coding that can establish working connections between otherwise separate apps built by different manufacturers. It’s crucial in establishing the digital connections that make the Internet of Things work, linking empty coffee makers with online ordering forms and sensors in car engines with remote mechanics.
In your video conferencing system, it creates links to external software used for monitoring, powering, or going about daily tasks. Amazon has built an online empire supplying such third-party connections through its Software-as-a-Service portal Amazon Web Services.
A platform like Zoom has the capacity to add dozens of other apps to its central hub, taking it from basic video caller to a part of your overall business. Among others, it can link to:
- Google Chrome and Calendar
- Microsoft Outlook
This kind of app diversity within platforms is becoming more and more common. Skype will link you to StubHub, BlueJeans includes a third-party video calling assistant, and, of course, Slack will let you use dozens of integrated apps for analytics, file management, sales, customer support, and much more.
All these little add-ons and apps turn your video calling platform into a toolbox for doing almost anything related to your business.
Interoperable Video Conferencing in the Office
Microsoft is so convinced of the importance of interoperability and multi-purpose video calling platforms that it’s hitching its future to Teams at the expense of Skype For Business. Users are already being encouraged to make the switch to the more fully-rendered, Slack-like Teams so they can have all their communications and work apps tied to a single platform.
What Teams and all-encompassing services like Videxio want to create is a single hub for all your business needs. As soon as you sit down in front of your workstation and open your video chat app, you should be able to catch up on the status of all the projects you’re involved in, message and video call your colleagues and clients, access and work on documents through a program like Office 365, and advertise products and events through social media sites.
The days of having to start up Skype and make sure everything you want to discuss is sitting next to you in hard copy are over. Modern video calling is about interoperability, about having all you need right there, built into your video platform. The video conferencing world may not be there quite yet, but it’s coming soon.