During a period of unprecedented disruption to how enterprises communicate, live video has become an integral tool for keeping engagement high and employees connected. As businesses begin planning for the eventual return to the office, the role of video will again shift.

In our recent webinar The Future of Enterprise Communications is Hybrid, Greg Allen, Sr. Director of Customer Success at Kollective moderated a conversation with Ben Chodor, enterprise communications expert and President of Intrado Digital Media and Eric Nguyen, Chief Product Officer of Kollective to discuss this shift and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The changing role of video in enterprise communications

People have become accustomed to using video on a daily basis and attending internal events, large or small, via a webcam. Greg Allen started off the discussion by asking how the use of video is changing in the enterprise.

Ben Chodor noted that as people return to the office or continue to work from home, they will expect video to remain an option. He went on to say, “We’ve done a year and three months of video via a webcam and it’s time to add some production value back,” the challenge of mixing studio quality video with video conferencing makes this “the most exciting time in the world to be in the video business.”

Leadership has also become more comfortable in front of the camera, Eric Nguyen explained, “communicating at a higher cadence” with their employees. The “spectrum of live video communications” has evolved and he is seeing customers find a balance between utilizing high production events and the more casual and frequent meetings and live events to connect with their workforce.

What to expect when employees return to office

In PwC’s January US Remote Work Survey, 75% of employers anticipated at least 50% of their workforce will be back in the office by July. The hybrid workplace is fast approaching, and Greg Allen asked what that will look like and how video can be used to “bridge that gap” for the hybrid workforce.

The return to office has a lot of grey areas at the moment and setting expectation or deadlines in an ever-evolving situation has led many companies to plan for a gradual return using the hybrid model, Eric Nguyen shared. The hybrid office will be a “more fluid model” which will require all events to have a virtual component to reach the entire workforce.

Pre-COVID many believed adding a virtual aspect to a live event would diminish the event as Ben Chodor experienced, but “now we’ve learned that having something virtual does not cannibalize your physical event, it enhances it.” Live video can be used to provide similar experiences to the audience whether they are able to attend in-person or viewing it virtually. Reaching people where they are is also made possible with video as content is accessible “live, on-demand, simulated live, a million different ways.”

Tools to help your team effectively engage your workforce

Maintaining employee engagement has been one of the largest challenges during the pandemic. Greg Allen asked what tools and considerations should be taken into account around engagement as we move into a hybrid scenario.

Connecting with people over video will never be the same as in person but one positive outcome Ben Chodor noticed was that engagement with international teams grew, “I think it’s made the whole world just a little bit smaller because we’re doing this.”

Collaboration has also seen massive change and the technology developed to facilitate it virtually is evolving at a rapid pace. As Eric Nguyen put it, “Nothing will ever beat sitting down, face-to-face discussing things, but the thing is, technology can get us close.”

As we move towards a hybrid workforce, Ben Chodor believes engagement and collaboration will require the incorporation of more tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to bridge the gap. He sees incredible opportunity in finding ways to engage with a virtual and a physical audience, simultaneously.

How to optimize your network to ensure reliable live video delivery

Ensuring a good user experience for every employee no matter their location without straining your network is a challenge. Greg Allen asked how businesses can prepare their network to deliver high quality live video.

Utilizing an Enterprise Content Delivery Network (ECDN) powered by browser-based peering, Eric Nguyen outlined, is key to optimizing your network and delivering high-quality live video at scale. Without an ECDN, if thousands of employees are pulling a high-definition stream the network bandwidth would be overwhelmed, leading to a poor user experience.

“As an organization that does virtual events and owns one of the best streaming platforms on the market, delivering high quality video is not just important, it is critical,” Ben Chodor shared. Using an ECDN to deliver live events ensures that every user has a good experience, no matter where they are.

Watch The Future of Enterprise Communications is Hybrid webinar on-demand.