The Viability of Large-Scale Personal Video Conferencing Deployments Part Two
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This document is part two of a study of "Avaya on Avaya" describing the rollout of large numbers of personal video conferencing clients to Avaya staff members. The first white paper details Avaya's ...

This document is part two of a study of "Avaya on Avaya" describing the rollout of large numbers of personal video conferencing clients to Avaya staff members. The first white paper details Avaya's goals and objectives, the timeline involved with the rollout of Scopia desktop clients, and the ten keys identified for personal conferencing success. This document describes the results and observations made nine months after the initial deployment.

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The Viability of Large-Scale Personal Video Conferencing Deployments Part Two Document Transcript

  • 1. © 2013 Wainhouse Research, LLC Page 1 WHITEPAPER The Viability of Large-Scale Personal Video Conferencing Deployments Part Two Andrew W. Davis April 2013 Study sponsored by Achieving Critical Mass in Critical Time to Deliver Critical Benefits
  • 2. © 2013 Wainhouse Research, LLC Page 2 Introduction This document is part two of a study of "Avaya on Avaya" describing the rollout of large numbers of personal video conferencing clients to Avaya staff members. The first white paper details Avaya's goals and objectives, the timeline involved with the rollout of Scopia desktop clients, and the ten keys identified for personal conferencing success. This document describes the results and observations made nine months after the initial deployment. The initiative for Avaya's video deployment stemmed from management's extremely positive experience with video conferencing during the due diligence and integration process around Avaya's acquisition of Radvision. Avaya was able to assemble a project team, identify the goals and challenges involved in a world-wide personal video deployment, and to video-enable more than 4,000 global Avaya employees within a matter of weeks. Wainhouse Research believes that deployment scale is a critical factor. If video-enabled users can call only a small number of their colleagues (or only a limited number of devices), then video will never become a mainstream communications mode, and the full range of benefits will never be achieved. Metcalfe's Law, wherein the value of the network is dependent on the number of endpoints, is highly applicable in the case of personal video conferencing. Limiting desktop video to small numbers of users relegates visual communications to a silo, prevents usage from becoming pervasive, and is an important factor in limiting success. Achieving deployment scale, as Avaya has demonstrated, involves a variety of factors, including ease-of-provisioning for the tech support team; ease-of-use and quality of experience for the user community, and a willingness to accept a corporate culture change. Avaya Deployment Update Avaya's Goals & Objectives Avaya management identified four transformational challenges for the company: 1. Improve the quality of recurring senior staff meetings in order to shorten decision cycles. 2. Build higher levels of “esprit de corps” and interdisciplinary trust in product development teams scattered around the globe. 3. Speed the integration of Radvision employees - particularly senior management, sales and marketing, and product development - into the Avaya culture and organization. 4. Enhance the sales process by giving field sales and marketing people more effective tools to connect with customers more often and on a more intimate level. Solution Spotlight: Scopia Before the acquisition of Radvision was completed, Avaya moved full speed ahead to deploy Scopia
  • 3. © 2013 Wainhouse Research, LLC Page 3 Desktop, a software-based video conferencing solution, to its management team as well as to the worldwide field sales and marketing teams. In less than five weeks, more than 4,000 user accounts were launched. Scopia Rollout Timeline Summary March 15, 2012 Agreement by Avaya to acquire Radvision April 30, 2012 Agreement approved by Radvision shareholders May 1, 2012 Scopia deployment team organized June 5, 2012 Merger completed, 4,000 Scopia users enabled The Scopia platform for visual communications is described in detail in another document. Results Since June, the adoption of Scopia as a visual communications tool and meeting enhancement solution has grown dramatically within Avaya. The number of employees with virtual rooms crossed the 9,000 mark in early 2013, just six months after the rollout. And in CYQ1-2013 Scopia is being used for over 30,000 meetings per month, approximately 1,400-1,500 meetings per working day, involving more than 100,000 meeting attendees per month. Benefits After nine months of video experience, the feedback from users suggests that the benefits fall into five distinct areas:  Connecting with customers. The field sales team is using visual communications to connect with customers, prospects, and partners to demonstrate how video can improve communications and understanding. Scopia is used to sell not only Scopia itself, but also other products in the Avaya portfolio. The Radvision Scopia client allows license-free, instantaneous access to outsider parties, a crucial factor in being able to communicate with customers. Scopia has also proven to - 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 10,000 Jun-12 Jul-12 Aug-12 Sep-12 Oct-12 Nov-12 Dec-12 Jan-13 Feb-13 Avaya Scopia Users 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 45,000 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 300,000 350,000 Meetings Attendees Scopia Usage at Avaya Attendees Meetings
  • 4. © 2013 Wainhouse Research, LLC Page 4 be a valuable tool for internal sales training with regional Scopia experts able to bring the Avaya sales force up to speed without the cost, inconvenience, and scheduling challenges presented by travel. One Avaya manager credits Scopia with his ability to train over 400 employees and 150 channel partners in seven countries in less than six months.  Stronger teams. As reported in Part One of this study, senior managers up to the CEO-level at Avaya have taken to using Scopia for their staff meetings, thereby allowing participation via the desktop, using mobile devices or from room systems. Visual communications have vastly improved the interactions and overall quality of these meetings when compared to the typical audio conference technology used in the past – especially because Avaya is a globally dispersed organization. As is the case with the sales outreach program, ease-of-use and reliability have been crucial for the solution to gain acceptance. For larger meetings, the ability to instantly see who is speaking has actually sped up communications and shortened overall meeting times. Other managers report that it is simply great to see their colleagues’ faces, many of whom work in remote offices and are seldom seen in-person.  Improved collaboration. Product development and marketing teams report that having everyone video-enabled has made the teams more cohesive and improved overall working relationships. Managers at Avaya Labs have set up virtual coffee rooms that facilitate ad-hoc meetings and spontaneous video chats between researchers in scattered locations, telecommuters, and remote managers. For more formal meetings, Scopia has proven to be a far more effective communications vehicle, not only because video makes it obvious who is talking, and not only because video provide important body language feedback, but also because Scopia's integrated data presentation platform includes a "slider" function, which enables anyone in the meeting to go back through the presentation materials individually. This reduces meeting interruptions while also improving information flow for all. While it is too early to report shortened development cycles or time-to-market statistics due to Scopia adoption, internal teams working on a variety of new Avaya UC solutions expect these benefits to appear. Collaboration at Avaya has been further facilitated because Scopia interoperates with many devices that were previously deployed at Avaya such as the ADVD tablet and other Avaya Aura SIP-based session management solutions as well as Android and iOS devices.  Streamlined communications. Many employees at Avaya report to managers in different locations. Meetings via Scopia have enabled faster integration of new employees and generated feelings of being "more connected" when compared to the traditional method that relied on audio conferencing.  Optimized processes. Executives and senior managers in supply chain management at Avaya have deployed Scopia for communications up and down the internal global logistics team as well as with outside suppliers. They report that for B2B communications, the combination of click-to- connect, support for iOS, Android, Mac and PCs, and high quality audio-video are key to
  • 5. © 2013 Wainhouse Research, LLC Page 5 developing an understanding with partners. Visual communications is not expected to completely replace travel in dealing with suppliers, but to reduce travel frequency and to make in-person meetings more productive since relationships will be well established beforehand. The logistics team is also using video communications for internal strategy sessions and quarterly business reviews, both of which make heavy use of whiteboarding as well as multipoint video. Feedback from the IT professionals at Avaya focuses on two very different areas:  Easy-to-Deploy: When rolling out any solution to thousands of co-workers, the deployment process can represent a significant load on the IT department. The deployment burden comes in the form of both support costs, represented by IT man hours, as well as calendar time delays. A long time to deploy leads to a delay in achieving desired benefits. Avaya developed a self-serve model that made the large scale deployment very low cost for the IT group.  Easy-to-Support: Any solution that leads to large numbers of post-deployment support calls can be a nightmare when deployed to thousands of users. Avaya's IT department has found Scopia to be a clean, easy-to-understand solution for its many users. The ease of use is enhanced by the common user interface running across all the Scopia-supported platforms. Lessons Learned Rolling out a personal video conferencing service to managers and information workers has significant benefits beyond travel savings – including improved team building, better integration of resources, and faster decision making via better meetings. A factor that is often overlooked is the need to deploy to a critical mass of users. Scale is essential to making video calling an everyday experience. Configuring the network to support personal video conferencing and the required bandwidth is an important step, and not one that is particularly onerous with today's technology and services. One factor that Avaya identified after the initial rollout to 4,000 workers was the need to automate the provisioning process. If the IT team had to spend 5-10 minutes to configure each user, then large-scale deployments would be impractical. Avaya created a self-service model by using the Scopia Management Suite’s ability to synch with Active Directory (AD). After receiving an email on how to access the server and set up his own account, each user chooses his own moderator PIN and participant code and is given privileges based on his AD group.
  • 6. © 2013 Wainhouse Research, LLC Page 6 Providing users with virtual meeting rooms (VMR) makes joining a video conference as simple as joining an audio conference. The "meet me" paradigm is well understood in today's enterprise. A Scopia URL in an Outlook meeting invitation provides the "click–to-meet" interface. At Avaya, each Scopia user is given his own VMR. This makes it easy for anyone with a room to host a video meeting. The rollout at Avaya was carefully planned and orchestrated. The team worked first with customer- facing organizations such as sales and sales support and well as with technical people inside Avaya to make sure they got it right, that the network and infrastructure capacity were up to the task. Then, after automating the provisioning process, they made Scopia available to all employees. The number of users, meetings, and attendees, continues to grow. The impact of personal video conferencing on other conferencing solutions is hard to predict. At Avaya, the initial impact was a decline in existing group video system usage. But after several months, usage actually increased as knowledge workers invited room systems into Scopia meetings, combining the best of both worlds. Capacity planning for any conferencing solution that will be rolled out to thousands of users is a significant task if the goal is to provide a high quality meeting environment. At Avaya, as the number of users has more than doubled in the past six months and as the usage per user has also grown, the company has expanded its video infrastructure from one to four data centers with a load balancing solution spread across three continents. The Scopia solution lends itself to a seamless, distributed architecture that provides more efficient utilization of bandwidth which reduces operating costs and lower latency which improves the user experience. Internal training on using Scopia has included modules on video conferencing etiquette so that users understand the importance of headsets and USB speakerphones for echo cancellation and noise reduction as well as the importance of good lighting and avoiding distractions such as paper rustling and keyboard pounding. User decides to use Scopiavideo Make request via Web services User does self provisioning IT adds user to AD distributionlist iViewsyncs with AD Server sends email instructions automatically User is fully video- enabled Scopia Automation Process at Avaya
  • 7. © 2013 Wainhouse Research, LLC Page 7 Recommendations  Enterprises should evaluate the new generation of personal video conferencing solutions as a vehicle to increase sales, strengthen partnerships, and improve internal team building. The current crop of personal video collaboration solutions are enterprise-ready and overcome the scalability, reliability, and quality issues that plagued desktop video conferencing years ago.  Avoid creating islands of communication. Integrate room systems with desktop and mobile video conferencing solutions, bringing added value to video collaboration. Integrated deployments should support high quality audio and video across all devices as well as easy connections inside and outside the firewall.  Look for a solution with a flexible software licensing model and a model that meets specific needs. Information workers often have multiple devices, for example, and may need access to video services from more than one. A video solution should support meeting invitations to individuals outside the enterprise and should support a browser-based client for those situations where the person cannot download a separate application. Finally, an enterprise-capable video solution should be supported by software for remote or centralized monitoring and management.  Get ahead of the BYOD issue by introducing an easy-to-use, secure personal video solution. Create a mindset that video should be associated with a person, not with a conference room.  Start by creating a small, end-user driven team of product champions with participation from at least one high level executive. Have IT represented on the team, but do not have only IT department members. Include the network specialists and line-of-business users.  Communicate internally to all involved with information on what will happen and when so that colleagues can monitor the progress of the deployment project. Include training sessions and provide documentation on how to use the new solution effectively.  Communicate after the deployment about how the solution is being used and what benefits workers are seeing. This will help drive adoption. About Avaya Avaya is a global leader in business communications and collaboration, providing unified communications, contact centers, data solutions and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit www.avaya.com. Radvision, an Avaya company, is a leading provider of video conferencing and telepresence technologies over IP and wireless networks. Radvision solutions help businesses collaborate more efficiently by supporting video, voice and data communications over any fixed and mobile network.
  • 8. © 2013 Wainhouse Research, LLC Page 8 About Wainhouse Research Wainhouse Research, www.wainhouse.com, is an independent market research firm that focuses on critical issues in the Unified Communications and rich media conferencing fields, including applications like distance education and e-Learning. The company conducts multi-client and custom research studies, consults with end users on key implementation issues, publishes white papers and market statistics, and delivers public and private seminars as well as speaker presentations at industry group meetings. Wainhouse Research publishes a variety of reports that cover all aspects of rich media conferencing as well as a free newsletter, The Wainhouse Research Bulletin.