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The typical conversation on video would usually play out like this in a large organization: A person walks into a room with an enormous screen, flashy audio hardware, and a dedicated system running the entire back end. A “call” is made, and the meeting starts. In movies, this is still the way that we depict large fat cat business conferences. There’s always some head honcho who’s getting connected to his staff remotely from the airplane because he’s traveling to Fiji, or Rome, or somewhere like that.
Room systems have been a major part of video conferencing for the past decade or so, but it seems as if though they’re starting to be phased out. Many of our clients were previously using proprietary hardware-based video conferencing systems and instead chose to switch to our flexible cloud-based solution. Does this mean that the room system is dead? Is there any reason to still use one when a desktop PC is readily available on the cheap?
Since we don’t know how aware you are of Zoom up to this point, let’s catch you up: Zoom offers a solution that’s highly versatile, allowing you to deploy meeting software on the cloud or on-premise, and even use H.323/SIP hardware from brands like Cisco, Lifesize, and Polycom. Now that we’ve given you a short primer, it’s time we talk about room systems and the cloud.
Many businesses are quickly switching over to cloud-based solutions because of the incredible amount of flexibility they offer. As opposed to having a room solution that works only under the right circumstances (i.e. in that conference room), a cloud video solution allows you to meet with anyone, anywhere, on any platform or system. This is of course theoretical, since many cloud solutions do not have explicit mobile capabilities. Zoom, fortunately, has the ability to communicate on both desktop and mobile operating systems without any issue or sacrifice to transmission quality.
Room systems can be a bit cumbersome to interoperate with other video meeting platforms. Because of this caveat, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify staying with the old hardware standard.
The main reason why some organizations choose to stick with the proprietary approach mainly has to do with partnerships and sunk costs. These organizations are invested in their relationships with their providers and can find it difficult to part ways. Also, room systems offer the advantage of a completely uniform experience across the board (excepting certain bandwidth situations which could make video data transmission a bit tricky).
Keep in mind, though: Not all room systems are clunky dinosaurs! ZoomPresence, our room system, can connect through Zoom and operate with any other connected platform. Phones, tablets, desktops, and SIP/H.323 systems can connect to the same meeting without any hassle. You get this along with streaming for up to three different displays and remote control via a touch screen. It’s a recipe for a beautifully professional meeting.
A few years back, the media began running reports about a “post-PC” era. Regardless of what media outlets meant by choosing these words, the impression that readers and viewers got was that the desktop PC was dying. Manufacturers began losing investors and the PC market started to tank. All of the signs were there. Fast forward to today, and people are still purchasing desktop computers, only in smaller amounts. They’ve been largely replaced by mobile devices, but only to a certain extent. You still need a PC or laptop to perform tasks quickly, and this will continue to be the truth for the foreseeable future.
The same seems to be happening to room systems. They’re slowly but surely falling out of favor and are starting to be replaced by cloud deployments. But Zoom is doing something radically different to room systems by both peacefully co-existing with legacy room systems through our Cloud Room Connector, and providing an easy, affordable alternative in ZoomPresence.
Although our primary product is our cloud video meeting solution, we’re not seeking to replace room systems entirely. Instead, we’d like to throw them into the mix and welcome them to a family of products that can each serve a purpose in several different applications. We’re living in an era where interconnectivity, interoperability, collaboration, productivity, and simplicity aren’t just buzzwords. These words represent the expectations of our customers. Instead of looking at the problem as a “room vs. cloud” issue, we pushed video into an entirely new dimension where the possibilities extend only as far as the human mind is capable of perceiving.
Zoom is all about unity. With us, nothing dies. It simply transforms into something greater, more powerful, and more immersive than ever before. Our goal is to have machines as connected as possible to one another so people can communicate without any of the stress associated with getting a video solution up and running. We’ve been largely successful at this, and we don’t see this moving in any other direction but forward.
If you need to communicate quickly and conveniently, our cloud solution can run on anything in front of you. It will immediately connect you to any Zoom meeting around the world. And if you have the resources to set up a fancy conference room, Zoom is there for you to provide the ultimate enterprise-class HD video conferencing experience with ZoomPresence. This is a win both for the folks who prefer quick cloud meetings and those who like to talk through enormous multi-screen display setups. We leave no stone unturned and no taste unfulfilled.
We’re hosting a webinar featuring David Maldow of Let’s Do Video. David will discuss the evolution of conference rooms from a fixed physical to a dynamic virtual collaboration space. The webinar will showcase creative use cases, physical collaborative layouts, audio/video integration, and the new “Apple-esque” ZoomPresence experience.
When: Wednesday, November 12. 11 am to noon PT / 2 pm to 3 pm ET.
If you’d like to partake in the Zoom experience, just sign up for a free account today!