Innovative underdog technologies have risen to the occasion numerous times. When information needed to be shared between team members in real-time, along came Slack and Dropbox. When emergency services needed better ways to locate people in trouble, along came emergency beacons that synced with GPS. Now, as face-to-face collaboration becomes increasingly relevant regardless of your business' scale, it is no surprise that innovative solutions have emerged within the web-conferencing sphere. Innovation alleviates integration pain points, reduces onboarding time, increases productivity and drives personal customer relationships at scale.
Every innovation tackles these challenges from a different angle. Here are some ways underdog technologies are taking on big web-conferencing issues and creating richer customer collaborations.
Alleviating Integration Pain PointsWhen all members of an organisation have access to the same tools, communication is smooth and relatively seamless. However, most customers have their own communication tools. These tools do not always integrate well with other team members or service providers' telecom solutions. Web-conferencing innovations that alleviate such integration pain points have become essential, especially for newer employees and clients who have little patience for tech complications.
Centennial tech behaviours are shifting with studies showing that Centennials living in the ASEAN block are increasingly choosing to shop online for ethical, sustainable and local products and services. They also expect their online experiences to be simple, and they are not interested in name-brand sites. These tech consumers prioritise speed of service, mobile-ready sites and are not loyal to any specific brand. When applying these trends to web-conferencing and customer experiences, the popularity of seamless web-conferencing technology like Zoom, FaceTime and other user-experience enhanced web conferencing tools is not surprising. These tools enrich client communication and are readily accessible. However, there are some concerns about how these platforms perform in a professional context.
Security and Usability Issues with Consumer-Facing Web Conferencing TechnologiesWithin the Asia-Pacific region, Zoom has made headway alongside other telecom brands like FaceTime and Google Hangout. These solutions are pushing more traditional web-conferencing tech to the side at the expense of cybersecurity. Consumer-facing tech like FaceTime might be easy to use, and Zoom may integrate well with client and provider tech support, but these platforms lack necessary security for proprietary information. Most recently, Apple has shut down Group FaceTime on some mobile devices and is now tasked with developing patches and updates that will resolve a security flaw.
The flaw allows users to tap into the conversations of group members even after the group meeting has ended. Taking on a proactive position in cybersecurity, Zoom has issued a whitepaper describing the security precautions taken by the company, such as secure data centres. Zoom also establishes the best security practices users should consider when setting up a conference, such as enabling end-to-end encryption and using secure passwords to schedule meeting schedules. Such caveats undermine the painless integration that users seek from these third-party web conferencing technologies.
The Future of Secure Web CollaborationWhile these precautions might be useful and effective to those beyond the ASEAN region, security is an ongoing concern with many turns and iterations within Southeast Asia. Cybersecurity and the need for international collaboration have been focal issues, with experts from Singapore to Korea working on establishing secure, collaborative environments. Researchers themselves have found that sharing information and best practices regarding cybersecurity often occur through the use of non-secure platforms.
Enter Group-IB. The Russian cybersecurity firm sponsored the first CyberCrimeCon in Singapore late last year. The organisation is opening up headquarters in Singapore, where it aims to enjoy the politically neutral environment and establish research opportunities for local academic institutions. Creating localised cybersecurity expertise will open up opportunities for greater innovation and cybersecurity within the context of Southeast Asia.
It is already known that regionally developed technologies have a higher capacity to counter regional cybersecurity threats than outside technologies. Tech companies like Lenovo have established robust security measures such as integrated cameras and mics in its ThinkPad products and its ThinkVantage Communication Utility.
The combination of integrated web conferencing tools with secure tech might not seem innovative, but when looking at Zoom, Facetime and other visual communication mediums, integrating a secure service with a secure device is innovative in its simplicity. The newly released ThinkSmart Hub 500 is one regional response to the need for safe, all-encompassing web conferencing support for large organisations in ASEAN. Fostering cybersecurity education in Southeast Asia allows companies like Lenovo to leverage local cybersecurity talent while it grows its existing range of products.
Web Conferencing Tools and ScalabilityBalancing the need for security with quick access and exceptional usability is a familiar conundrum. Smaller companies might be able to use consumer-facing web conferencing tools to engage with remote workers and other in-house employees, but as businesses grow and processes become proprietary, these loose levels of internal communication fail to meet security standards. Secure apps can fill a gap, but even robust apps have limitations, as well as costly development fees and continuous upgrades.
The next logical step for secure collaboration between staff members and clients is to secure web conferencing via integrated cameras and laptops. However, as the research mentioned above reveals, Centennial clients and staff members opt for the path of least resistance and fewer pain points. The fewer clicks, the better. Even integrated tools can become outdated.
When mobile networks, laptops and other devices don't align with growing businesses or with increasing user sophistication, then it's time to step away from the limitations of small devices and introduce a solution that meets the needs of a large organisation. Smart offices and smart conference rooms are moving away from unnecessary and outdated equipment. Meeting attendees are no longer toting laptops and connector. A shared communication platform or web conferencing portal that is user-friendly integrates Internet-of-Things technology, is secure and offers 360-degree microphone arrays is both straightforward and scalable for the organisations of the future.
Richer Client CollaborationAll-in-one web conferencing tools allow for rich client collaboration. Audio is clear. Visuals are crisp. Technology and software is part of the package, making it simple to access necessary documents, slide decks and other information. Knowing that a web-based meeting is secure and that set-up takes less than a few minutes, finds clients expressing themselves freely, sharing necessary proprietary information without anxiety and allows everyone to stick to their schedule.
If you would like to see seamless web conferencing in action, then please contact us. And make sure you download our latest InfoBrief and read all about how enterprises in Asia Pacific are powering their intelligent transformation.