Social media is a staple in most consumers’ lives; from staying in touch with geographically dispersed friends and family to garnering recommendations for life’s most important decisions. There are over a billion people using social media every day; whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or the multitude of other platforms available. This leads to tremendous opportunities for brands to interact with their customers.
A couple of months ago Google announced Chromebox, an HD Telepresense solution that is compatible with Google Hangouts – Google’s consumer video solutions. Facebook and Skype also have consumer-type video platforms; with Skype being owned by Microsoft who, not only offers Lync (a desktop video client), but is working on video compatibility/interoperability between the two.
So what does this all mean?
It’s only a matter of time before social media and video conferencing collide at an enterprise level. The bigger news is this can create unprecedented marketing and customer service opportunities for organizations. For example, instead of simply replying to a poor user experience over social media brands could instantaneously connect with customers and offer live support over video. Similarly, if a customer has a question about a specific product or feature they could connect to the brand over video through a social media account.
That being said there are still several challenges that are currently preventing this from happening. As Dan Newman notes, web embedded video solutions are run over a public cloud and are essentially property of the platform. This makes it nearly impossible to connect to a secure video call on a private enterprise network.
This technical challenge is quickly being resolved with new advances such as Vidyo’s H20 which enables enterprise integration between Hangouts and H.323/SIP video and IP PBX systems. This type of integration allows organizations to continue to use their enterprise grade solutions while bridging the gap to a consumer solution on the other side.
Customer interaction is an area ripe with potential for collaboration and video technologies. With social media providing a direct conduit between consumers and brands it is only a matter of time before complaining on Twitter becomes a full fledged collaboration session.