Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about video calling and starting calls with video. I got a few questions and comments about that, some saying “The future is all video all the time!” while some agreed with my point of view of “That’s not going to happen all the time”. So, let me write a little more about this.
First, in that blog, I did talk about differentiation of use case. In the case of a calendared meeting, where a link can go into your calendar, many meetings we’ve all been on in the last 12 months start this way. You click on the link; you go to the video meeting. You have a nice shirt on but maybe shorts or PJs, not that I’ve done that. But these are internal meetings, or meetings with partners and even key customers, and many people forget this is NOT the entirety of communications in a business. These are simply meetings where 3 years ago, we’d calendar a “conference call”. They are important parts of your communication plan but not the only way to communicate.
People also said, “Hey I use video when I talk through my collaboration client”. Presumably these are to other employees, or to key partners. I remember “in the old days” I’d use Skype to talk to some of my partners in Europe. But you start with presence / instant message and then you move to a call. Many times the call is still voice, and sometimes it’s also video. I guess it depends on the person. But in any of these use case scenarios, you are not leading with video!
What I’m really talking about though is interaction with your customers or prospects. These are people that are going to call your business to schedule an appointment, get a service person to your house, etc. Sure, because of the internet and having web pages, over the last 25 years, there has been less voice interaction / calls with this group. But with this group, a real call control / call routing engine like exists in UC platforms is really required. There are incoming calls that need routing, there are external calls (or texts) that need scheduling. These cannot be done via scheduling a meeting on a calendar. You need a real IVR, you need contact center features, you need voice mail, you need find me / follow me. You get the picture.
To run a business and interact with external customers, a video first platform just won’t cut it.
A Unified Communication system that knows how to handle phone numbers, and texting, and all kinds of call control as is found in a “PBX” is required.