The industry is moving at a very fast pace. A pace at which user demands are increasing more quickly than companies are capable of meeting. This has resulted in a raft of solutions that focuses on certain standard requirements, meaning it’s no longer possible to differentiate solutions by their features. Instead, the vast majority of service providers now offer many of the same elements. This works because the user has come of age – they now understand how a web meeting or online conferencing tool can help them.
However, that is not to say that these users don’t want, or indeed expect, more from the industry. They are now used to working with an online conferencing tool on a regular basis. And, like most things, once you become accustomed to something, your expectations increase. This is where we are within the industry. Users are now fully aware of, and familiar with, web meeting solutions. Their demands for increased efficiency and ease of use will drive us through 2017. Let’s take a look at what we believe will be 2017’s biggest trends:
Time is quickly replacing money as the main currency. Everything we do within our daily lives carries a tag of time taken and the benefit of carrying out that task. Back in 2005, it was for a web meeting solution to require a download; it meant you could join the meeting. But that’s no longer the case and 2017 will be the year we see users shift into a download-free environment. What’s more (and we saw this to some extent last year), the requirement for meeting guests to sign up before they can use a service will become a thing of the past. Instant meetings will become truly instant, not three-downloads-later instant.
You see it in all different types of products and services and web meetings are no different. As an online tool, organisations do not want to be sending their visitors to a third-party application inside a third-party brand. The branded experience is something we noticed during 2016, but we are likely to see it at the forefront much more this year. Drum is tackling this head-on and offers the possibility of embedding a guest room within your website, allowing you to keep using your own domain and brand.
Web meetings have been through an era where only a small selection of providers could meet user demands, so users had to pay whatever it cost to be able to access the service. But the advancement of technology has meant solutions such as web meetings or online conferences are cheaper to create and run (not discounting the time and skills required to build a complex solution such as Drum). But thanks to the removal of proprietary hardware, the overheads needed for web meetings and conferencing solutions to operate reliably have substantially reduced.
Open to all
Ultimately, with fewer restrictions and increased routes to web meetings or web conferencing solutions, everyone will be able to access this technology. In the past, web solutions have been very company-focused. For example, hosting and joining online meetings has typically required an extensive amount of technical preparation. However, 2017 will see web meetings become more ad hoc. Users will be able to access them from most locations at the mere click of a button.
There are a wealth of other industry predictions out there, looking at various sectors and approaches. These are the most reputable ones we’ve found: