Enterprise Video Conferencing and Collaboration – Competitive Options to Consider

By Gregg Spivack

Director of Client Services, NPI

January 15, 2019

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When it comes to enterprise video conferencing and collaboration, companies have more options than ever. While Cisco WebEx and Microsoft Skype for Business may still get the majority of mindshare based on tight integration with their embedded deployments within the enterprise, a growing number of companies are looking beyond these industry stalwarts to alternative solutions. NPI is directly exposed to this as our clients submit purchases for price benchmark analysis so they can validate whether they’re getting a good deal from these newer-wave collaboration vendors.

Many options provide the same level of value with flexibility to work within the business process that customers have in place. At the same time, they also save cost and time by removing friction points common in the beginning of so many conference calls conducted today (i.e., downloads, complicated user interfaces, software updates, etc).

Alternative Enterprise Video Conferencing Solutions

Other great solutions in the space include Zoom, Highfive, Fuze, Blue Jeans, and CaféX Meetings and Spaces. Each of these have their own take on enhancing and innovating in the collaboration ecosystem (with CaféX also focusing on outcome-based collaboration - more on that below).

Here are a few areas of increased value over legacy collaboration solutions for each of the aforementioned solutions:

Zoom

  • Wide adoption and acceptance
  • Wide array of services including webinars, conference rooms, and messaging
  • Integration with 3rd party platforms

Highfive

  • Great user experience
  • No downloads - simply access URLs
  • Low-friction deployment and IT management

Fuze

  • Unified experience for all channels
  • Contact center integration
  • Focuses on a global platform with localized experiences

Blue Jeans

  • Easy scheduling across multiple devices
  • Seamless integration across many leading business tools (Slack, Microsoft Teams, HipChat, etc)
  • Enterprise services for large scale deployments

CaféX Meetings

  • Leading embedded communications capabilities
  • Web first approach for pervasive access
  • Built in to CaféX Spaces allowing for outcome-based collaboration (I.e. HR Interviews, Sales Meetings, etc)

Some Thoughts on Outcome-based Collaboration

About “outcome-based collaboration” – it’s a term you should expect to hear more about in the enterprise video conferencing and collaboration space. But, what is it? In short, it means crafting the collaboration space (and tools) to directly align to the outcome of the specific engagement: e.g., HR interview, sales management, real estate transaction, etc.

To do this, the experience has to change from a generic user interface that focuses simply on voice, video and screen sharing and instead focus on creating purpose-built spaces that retain all the content and interactions for the length of each engagement. Imagine the Virtual Data Rooms that teams have been working with and now enhancing further with embedded collaboration such as one-click video and in-room chat post meeting to allow for more aligned communication with less email. One company dropped their email usage by as much as 80 percent by simply moving targeted communication to a outcome-based collaboration space versus the “old” way of doing things.

With businesses increasingly looking to do more with less, we see embedded and outcome-based collaboration becoming a key area of differentiation for enterprise video conferencing and collaboration vendors – especially for those solutions that offer simple integration (or can embed with additional platforms) and ease of use.

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