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.

Comms MEA - - Interview Polycom -

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.

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