Virtual Office Featured Article

Cloud-Based Videoconferencing Offers Security and Value

October 15, 2015
By Steve Anderson - Contributing Writer

Videoconferencing's origins are somewhat humble, starting out as the exciting stuff of science fiction before becoming part of many corporations' repertoire. As the technology advanced, we went from dedicated videoconferencing rooms to platforms that could be run from a desktop, and though it still has plenty of value today, a new report from CloudTweaks shows how videoconferencing has advanced, and what may be set to come down the line.

In the cloud's early days, security was a frequently-cited issue among its potential users; just putting information out in such a fashion seemed to some like an act of almost desperate stupidity. But the cloud has come far since those humble beginnings, and is now being used by military forces as a videoconferencing mechanism. Additionally, in all the news about data breaches, how often does anyone hear about video conferences getting hacked? That's partly because of the impressive level of security surrounding such communications.

Companies like Blue Jeans are routinely offering potent security tools for those who use videoconferencing systems, including global data centers with such protections as load balancers and outright proxy servers. This helps take a lot of heat off conference users, by putting it instead on the provider, who can in turn use it as a competitive edge on other companies. “We're the safest video conference in town” isn't exactly a catch phrase to scorn.

While security is an ongoing threat that needs to be readdressed every day, videoconferencing also offers a lot of value to its users. The ease of recording these conferences and archiving same for later retrieval and consultation can be vital to a business' ongoing health and operations, and the advantages for an increasingly mobile workforce can't be readily ignored either. Users have many more platforms to work with today than ever, and these platforms often fit together readily.

There are some key points to remember when it comes to videoconferencing, though; it's worthwhile to practice with the technology before getting started, because being able to use it quickly and effectively improves perception of the user. Work towards an uncluttered background with the right lighting, and try to get the camera focused just right at eye-level, even if it's at the top of the laptop's screen.

Videoconferencing, cloud-based or otherwise, is a powerful new tool driving a lot of change. We're advancing to a mobile workforce, and work itself—as some have said before—is becoming less a place to go and more a thing to do. That's good news on several fronts, allowing employees to better take care of the things that need to be handled in a day while still getting the job done—ever try to schedule a haircut or a dentist's appointment on a weekend?—and giving businesses a great new option to cut expenses by reducing spending on a central building while still getting the job done.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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