Last January, I wrote an article with my predictions and resolutions for 2016. With the year finally drawing to a close, let’s take a look back and see how well this forecast held up. Be sure to check back soon for part two of this series, where I will share my predictions for 2017.
Prediction #1: Continued Growth of Persistent Team Messaging Solutions
This newer market segment continues to grow and develop. It still hasn’t been adopted by enterprise as the de facto business communications methodology, but that was not the prediction. I didn’t expect it to replace UC or email for most people. What I did expect, and what we have seen, is that solution providers are enjoying continued grassroots growth. We are also seeing providers focusing more and more on creating enterprise optimized experiences. My personal resolution was to start using PTM beyond my internal LDV team. While I am in a few new groups, I am still using email for most of my external project work.
Prediction #2: Internet of Things Continuing to Creep Into Our Lives
I was careful with this prediction. I didn’t think 2016 would be “the year of IoT” but it was safe to say that we would continue making progress towards the inevitable full fledged IoT presence in our lives. One great example in our space is the availability of multiple new solutions that use proximity technology to identify you by your phone, and bring up your calendar/info on a meeting room monitor. For now, the IoT hype may still be a bit ahead of its reality, but momentum continues to build.
Prediction #3: Continued Success and Potential Rollups for Cloud Video
Result: Partially Accurate
In this prediction, I mentioned the massive number of meeting rooms ready to be video enabled, and predicted that cloud video services should see this as a big opportunity. Some cloud video services are hitting this opportunity directly, bringing their cloud experience to the meeting rooms by offering software meeting room solutions. In addition, hardware vendors are creating more affordable “huddle room” solutions, in some cases supported by their own cloud service. I also predicted that Polycom could be involved in an acquisition, although I was thinking they would be on the purchasing end of the deal. My resolution here was to provide some clarifying coverage, as I think there is plenty of market confusion about the various providers and offerings in today’s market. A few recent pieces on our video platform lingo, and immersive experiences, were a part of this effort.
Prediction #4: Increased Usage of Traditional Business Video
Based on survey feedback during my webinar presentations, anecdotal evidence from user contacts, and general research, it appears the trend of “more business video” has continued in 2016. It is easier and easier to convince people to shift from scheduled phone calls, to video. People seem more used to video, and more comfortable on video. More rooms are being equipped and more user license are being turned up. My resolution was to continue sharing my belief that visual collaboration is necessary to support true working sessions. Video works now. It is reliable, affordable, and high quality. There is no reason to continue phoning it in.
Prediction #5: Increased New Uses of Business Video
It was my belief that due to the increasing flexibility and ease of use we would start seeing different uses of business video, beyond the typical meeting. One great example of this is how business is warming up to the social media streaming craze. While YouTube Live, Facebook Live, and Twitter (Periscope) streaming are primarily consumer/social tools for now, they are being used more and more by business. In fact, several of our traditional cloud video vendors are announcing integrations with these services. The power of a company being able to use their standard video tools to now stream live to an unlimited number of social media followers is just starting to be tapped. My resolution was to be ok the lookout for new uses. I attempted to follow through with my coverage of social media streaming, in addition to recording, fully interactive webinars, and other new uses.