Videonor CTO Takes a Look at Video Conferencing Evolution Since 2010
Video conferencing is a rapidly evolving technology that has seen many changes since it’s invention. Below I’ve outlined three major upgrades in the market that I’ve witnessed over last 6+ years that has greatly improved the quality and efficiency of video conferencing.
1. The death of video over ISDN
When we started Videonor in 2010, the adoption to video over IP had started to take place in the market, but there were still a lot of older systems that only communicated over Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) – video over a phone line. Luckily there was an ISDN Gateway that made it possible to call between the older ISDN video conferencing systems and the newer IP-based systems. This made it easier for new companies to start using video conferencing even though their partners were using older technology. Videonor has been monitoring the trend closely, and during the last 5 years only 0.06% of all calls made through our platform have taken place on ISDN. Based on the fact that we’ve gone from 0.68% in 2012 to 0.02% in 2016 I consider video over ISDN more or less dead.
2. The wonderful world of interoperability
Another technology that’s seen a major improvement over the last three years is the communication between Skype 4 Business and standard video conferencing systems. Back in 2010 there weren’t any good solutions for communicating between the two different systems. If you were lucky enough to have this kind of functionality available, it was exclusively for companies with on-prem Lync and video infrastructure. As a result of this, a few companies, including Pexip, developed a platform to solve the interoperability issues between the two technologies. Videonor has also built solutions to further simplify and improve the user experience – like the Partner Portal. This means that it is now easier than ever to communicate over video between multiple organizations regardless of their technologies. By looking at the statistics we can see that the use of Skype 4 Business against our platform have increased with 76% from 2015 to 2016. Although this sounds like a lot, it turns out that these calls only represent 10% of all calls made during the last year. I would expect this to increase further in the next coming years.
3. No downloads required
The third, and in my view most important technological change to video conferencing is WebRTC. This technology makes it possible to participate in a video meeting directly from your web browser. With WebRTC, it’s easier than ever to invite external parties into a meeting with just a simple link. WebRTC also opens up interesting possibilities; the ability to integrate video directly into a support-center, or even to be used in communication with an interpreter – the possibilities are endless!
To bore you even more I have of course collected some usage statistics for WebRTC on our platform, and the numbers shows that there’s been an extreme growth in the use of WebRTC during 2016. The amount of calls have actually increased by 300% from 2015 to 2016, and I suppose this will increase significantly also in 2017.
So – whats next? We can’t be sure, but I look forward to seeing what happens.
Written by Petter Sætremyr
Videonor AS, CTO