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Smart Collaborative Tools for a Pandemic World

It took a global pandemic and a mad scramble to facilitate remote work for collaboration technologies to finally achieve global acceptance of the use of these technologies.

In effect, a combination of video technology advancements and advancements in data communications and device technologies helped people realise the value of such solutions.

The need to work remotely, driven by the Covid-19 crisis, was then the catalyst that allowed companies to tap into the great potential of these technologies.

According to James Maina, Design Engineer at Huawei, the above combination has been ably supported by additional technologies like broadband connectivity – fibre, 4G, 5G and WiFi –  as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI), and more advanced end-user devices.

Cloud technologies also mean that enterprises and SMEs no longer face the cost and complication of having to build their own on-premise platforms with servers, he says.

We refer to Intelligent Video Collaboration. The reason is that in the modern era, it’s no longer just about video, but also about the sharing of content.

True collaboration comes from being able to annotate the content from both sides, or even multiple sides, as well as being able to collaborate across boardroom and personal devices,” notes Maina.

He stated that three pivotal technology advancements have been necessary to drive this forward. The first of these is video and audio technologies, which have been significantly enhanced in recent years. The second advancement is the cloud, which has enabled collaboration technologies to come of age.

Video service providers have leapt to exploit the benefits of cloud to build successful video service cloud businesses. Among these is Huawei, which had, by the end of 2020, been classified by Frost & Sullivan as video collaboration leaders.”

“Far from being merely a corporate business solution, video collaboration technologies are applicable to a wide range of sectors. For one, in the education arena, these solutions – in conjunction with learning management systems – enable students to learn anywhere, any time and, crucially, on their own, at their own pace.

“We can also look to how the judiciary has leveraged this technology over the past 18 months to enable crucial cases to continue. The same can be said of the public sector, where parliamentary sessions have been undertaken without physically meeting. Even the medium-term budget speech was done virtually, using the Huawei IdeaHub, in fact.”

Maina suggests that this is no surprise, as Huawei has combined a lot of cutting-edge technologies into the IdeaHub, which is a highly integrated device that combines functions like wireless projection, whiteboarding, video conferencing, speaker tracking and handwriting recognition, to mention just a few.

“Huawei solutions can also integrate with third party platforms, with the IdeaHub able to integrate with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco WebEx and many other cloud-based video collaboration solutions.”

Asked what he thinks the future holds for this technology, Maina notes that the evolution will certainly continue apace.

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Smart Collaborative Tools for a Pandemic World