HOW THE BLURRING OF VOICE AND VIDEO IS CHANGING COMMUNICATION
Voice and video are becoming one. And that, says Polycom’s Ahmed Sousa, means a whole host of different exciting possibilities.
Voice and video are two very different things, right? After all, isn’t one auditory, and the other visual? Of course, we know the lines have been blurred for some time. Skype. WhatsApp. FaceTime. Instagram Stories. Snapchat. The list goes on.
Similarly, Polycom is also blurring the lines. As Ahmed Sousa, regional manager, solutions architect for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey says: “Things are changing positively. Flexible working is something everyone wants to achieve. That’s something we really try to help our customers with, to make sure they can work from anyplace.”
While flexible, remote working may be on the rise worldwide, Sousa says Polycom’s services – which include offering a blended voice and video product to allow people to “beam in” to meetings, presentations and more – also have uses in such areas as telemedicine (allowing doctors to “treat” patients from afar), education, smart cities, and more personalised customer service.
“Voice and video now are really getting into the same pot,” he says.
“You will find now that the devices that do voice also do video. It’s really melding together. [And] that gives a really great opportunity for our customers, who can start by doing voice, and then if they decide to do video, it’s a great way to just upgrade their existing devices. And that puts us into a different classification today. Instead of saying voice and video, rather we say personal communication and group communication. Because the same devices now are capable of doing both. Which is of great use to our customers.”
Stressing the idea of “open collaboration,” Sousa says the reality of business today is that organisations need to work together to achieve results. “If you look at cloud providers, other providers, we integrate with all of them to make sure that communication is always possible.”
And Sousa says the lines between voice and video are only likely to become more blurred as time goes on. “Customers in the region are looking for a way to achieve their business [goals] without a need to travel,” he says.
He adds: “This is happening everywhere. What is also happening also is businesses are looking to do this in a secure way. This is a challenge everywhere.”
He reiterates the continued blurring of the lines. “That will continue in the future. And definitely it will adapt into more workspaces that are changing every day.”
As evidence for Sousa’s claims? “If you look back 10 years ago, video was limited to conference rooms,” he says.
“And then it started to be on personal devices, like smartphones and PCs. And that will continue to evolve.”
You will find now that the devices that do voice also do video. It’s really melding together.”
- Ahmed Sousa
Polycom's Ahmed Sousa.