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I Can See Clearly Now

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With its negligible cost, Internet video has been a boon to families and friends who can enjoy each other across long distances, but despite our increasing comfort with personal video calls, poor image quality has kept it off the business desktop.

That's all about to change.

Corporate networks are increasingly robust and reliable, thanks to the shift to pure IP converged communications systems. In addition, the continued improvement in the H.264 video codec has enabled highly resilient, high-quality video with minimal delay – making it true business quality. Once businesses witness the level of image clarity and stability, they quickly recognize the many compelling reasons to use desktop video, including cost savings, greater collaboration and productivity, improved customer service and reduced impact on the environment.

Fortunately, deploying desktop video, which is particularly attractive given our soft economy and tighter travel budgets, is about to get a lot easier. ShoreTel will soon introduce the industry’s first product based on the H.264 enhancement, Scalable Video Coding, making it easy to provide high-quality video and network resiliency at an attractive cost to every desktop across the enterprise. We’re excited about this capability because it makes video calls as natural and simple as voice calls. One of the best parts of the new ShoreTel video service is better synchronization between video and voice. Even on the most recent and expensive telepresence systems, you can experience a video call with the lips constantly a half beat out of sync with the voice. Our engineering team has figured out how to produce a high-quality video experience with lips that match!

I believe the ease of use and increased quality of ShoreTel video will accelerate adoption and allow companies to immediately enhance business processes across the organization. Most industries can benefit by using video calls for travel reduction, training of distant employees, and enhanced collaboration by co-workers in separate offices across town, across the country, or across the world. An unlimited number of applications in specific verticals exist as well. Banks can use video kiosks to allow a single loan officer to serve customers at any branch. Desktop video also has the potential to dramatically expand the use of telemedicine, allowing, for example, specialists to have face-to-face consultations with patients at multiple facilities, reducing travel time for both patients and the specialists.

If you’d like more information on how desktop video calls can benefit your organization and industry, be sure to give us a call. In this case, seeing really is believing.

John W. Combs