Should service providers/platforms and separate hardware providers offer agnostic and interoperable endpoints and services?

11 Nov 2019 | Audio Visual Collaboration, Blog, Networks

No. Is interoperability dead? Well, it’s dying. I have heard analysts tell us that we (video service providers) should aspire to be like the mobile phone model. Only, that’s not a great experience, is it? There is a balancing act between learning from the history of our great industry & the wants/needs of the incoming generation.

Historically we have tried interoperability and standards, and it didn’t go so well, did it? During the H.320 / H.323 era’s service providers, all had test and concierge functionality in their portfolio, because customers needed it. I still remember hot desking from our own Network Operation Centre and casually observing activities. The most memorable of these were numerous test calls on a daily basis.

What next then? I like to observe how my young (13 years old) daughter consumes technology. Voice calls are still OK (apparently), but, she doesn’t ever dial me from the actual phone application, she always (without fail) calls me from WhatsApp and uses this one app for voice, video and messaging. Why? Because regardless of iOS or Android she can communicate with everyone, the interface is clever and easy to use too: she likes it.  However, I bet if I compare notes to another parent with a different group of friends the application platform might be different!?

Platforms, platforms, platforms!

With my fuzzy and aging crystal ball out, I see a future built on platforms, just like our kids use one preferred platform, colleagues will collaborate and meet via one platform. Be that Teams (both Cisco and Microsoft varieties), Zoom or any other reliable platform. Personally, I am most productive in Microsoft Teams right now.

Downsides?

The downside to all of this is the room experience. If Microsoft Teams is my personal preference and I receive an invite from a partner to meet via Zoom, with no interoperability we’re kind of stuffed, right? So, does this mean we are heading to a BYOD world? That is probably my biggest concern here. While user interface is good, the far end experience can often be inferior!?

But, stop (collaborate and listen), in recent weeks I have enjoyed the meeting experience with an Avocor F-Series, Huddly camera and whichever software is needed. Boom! It works a treat. I see the need for Huddly to improve the AI, but from the first release to where we are now… it will be brilliant!

@JPWard

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