When 8x8 announced 8x8 Video Meetings back in November, it couldn’t have predicted the massive, surge in users conferencing services would experience that’s happening during the COVID-19 outbreak. With millions of employees working from home there’s been an immediate need for simple tools to allow them to collaborate with customers, colleagues, and partners.
As with most technologies, adoption is predicated on not only features, but usability. When he announced Video Meetings, 8x8’s Chief Product Office Dejan Deklich noted that, while simplicity is critical, he thinks it’s also difficult to deliver.
Referring to the changes in modern workforces and cultures that mandate flexible, convenient communications and collaboration solutions, he also said, “If companies can adjust to work in this universe, they will really win.”
As it turns out, under current circumstances, for many businesses, it’s not even about winning – it’s about survival. Without the tools to allow workers to work effectively from home, business productivity will drop and revenue streams will slow to a trickle.
8x8 saw the trend – though not as pronounced as COVID-19 has made it. Search volumes for video conferencing and meetings has increased by 1000% over the past year, and more recently, conferencing solutions have been prevalent in social mentions globally as employees adjust to this new working environment. 8x8 Video Meetings alone has been mentioned in more than 25,000 social conversations in the past month (including Jitsi.org, the technology powering Video Meetings platform). Not surprisingly when you look at the coronavirus distribution, the top countries for these social mentions are among the top seven in confirmed cases.
Perhaps the most impressive statistic is that 8x8 has seen an increase of a million users in the past two days.
Some of the trends 8x8 points out that are driving the rapid adoption increase include:
- Quality and features: Developers and users note that platform stability, voice and video quality, screen sharing and privacy are factors in choosing and switching video platforms.
- People are Inherently Social – While in-person events have been pushed aside, social gatherings, including support groups, parenting playdates, game nights, rehearsals, yoga classes, karaoke nights, and even happy hours have taken to video conferencing. While the impact isn’t quite the same, it allows people to engage and laugh to lessen the strain of a global crisis.
- Distance learning: Teachers, tutors, and students globally have turned to video in lieu of the traditional classroom experiences. It extends beyond the daily school classes, though. In one case, 8x8 says a high school musical director used its platform to conduct a two-hour run through with his lead actors, while piano instructor moved all of her piano students onto the platform to maintain her regular lesson schedule.
- Healthcare in crisis: For health and mental care professionals, who are not only having to practice social distancing, but also are seeing an increase in demand, video offers a chance to treat patients through telemedicine. Whether that’s doctors giving consultations or therapists conducting sessions over video or voice, healthcare professionals are able to continue supporting their patients.
The uses cases are nearly limitless, especially under current conditions, when normal activities are on hold. But, as people learn to use these services out of necessity, it bodes well for the future. As people return to their normal routines, they will have adjusted to a new way of working and collaborating, which will hopefully extend beyond the current situation and it will become the new normal.
Video collaboration, UCaaS, AI and ML, and all the latest technologies that are improving business communications and processes – including remote working – are at the core of the content and networking at TechSuperShow 2021. Coming to the brand new Miami Beach Convention Center June 22-25, 2021, TechSuperShow features ITEXPO, MSP Expo, SD-WAN Expo, Future of Work Expo, and several other collocated events, and will once again combine an unprecedented opportunity for education and networking. Enterprises and MSPs, service providers and carriers, MSPs, channel partners, will all have access to the latest content and products and services that are driving business success under any conditions.
Edited by Erik Linask