Digital Signage – The Browser Takes Over!

InternetThe browser is slowly taking over as the user interface and connectivity platform for Unified Communications (UC). Voice, video and content sharing are all available from your browser, whenever you want. There is no longer a need for special applications to be installed on your devices allowing you to communicate with others. Less plugins and add-ons allow the browser to enable these types of programs and more native browser code enables the applications to work across browsers. UC technology is moving to the browser, this trend is gaining momentum and it makes sense.

Using a browser makes it easier for businesses to connect with consumers right from their web pages without having to worry about having an app like Skype or Facetime installed on the user’s device. For users, having the browser as the common tool for accessing applications, web content and UC makes life simpler because there is no need for specialized applications for each task.

Digital Signage is Moving from a Player Based to an Open Web Based Architecture

In a previous blog on the Next Phase of the Digital Signage Market, I discussed how the 2nd phase of the corporate digital signage market is characterized by the ability of the digital display platform (DDP – an evolution from just digital signage) to be open.

Phase 1 of the digital signage market on the other hand, was characterized by what I call a Player Based Architecture (PBA). The development of this market was described in this blog. The key feature of this architecture is the focus on the player that is attached locally to each screen. The player software and often the player hardware are proprietary. This approach solved a lot of IT scarcity issues as the market for digital signage developed, but today this approach has limitations within the enterprise that are not easily managed across the organization.

The Player Based Architecture has led to:

  1. A fragmented marketplace with 100’s of solutions confusing buyers looking for a corporate solution
  2. Departmental decisions being made for digital signage solutions and corporations who now find themselves with numerous digital signage providers that cannot be reconciled into a single platform
  3. Almost no interoperability between players and content systems from one vendor to another. They are totally isolated silos.
  4. The user departments mentioned above in #2 wanting to move the support of the digital signage solution they purchased from their department to IT, because it is an IT solution
  5. Corporate customers who want to leverage the network of digital displays across their organization as a single platform that is capable of digital signage and much more

The Browser is a Key Piece of Unifying IP Technologies

An open digital display platform (DDP) that is IP based allows customers to use the DDP for digital signage and much more:

  1. You can switch from digital signage being displayed on the digital screens to any other content – easily, centrally, without additional hardware, cables or manual intervention at the screen location
  2. Other IT platforms can easily integrate to the DDP
    1. Live streams – Telepresence, broadcast, webcasts, webcams, etc.
    2. Internet of Things systems – Security cameras, fire alarm systems, etc. ( here is a blog by Geoff Mulligan, “Interoperability Is Key to Unlocking the Internet of Everything” which underscores this point)
    3. Live database updates – SQL, Oracle, etc.
    4. Potentially thousands of web widgets and content sources developed by hundreds of companies
    5. Any other Internet compatible content

Looking at what is happening in IT from an architectural point-of-view, the browser is becoming the focal point and the common platform for:

  1. User interface
  2. Applications
  3. Common development languages and tools

A web based architecture (WBA) makes a real open system.  The browser and IP are the unifying technologies.

More and more technologies are moving to the browser. Unified Communications (UC) is a perfect example. In a recent blog on Skype and Skype for Business coming together, I wrote about how Microsoft also seems to be heading in the direction of the browser despite their massive base of Skype application users. UC is moving to the browser, via WebRTC. The browser is where the market is heading, and by taking advantage of this trend, you will simplify your systems, save money and speed deployment.

An Open, Web Based Architecture

The transition to a digital signage open, web architecture means using the browser as the player software, instead of proprietary software. Moving to a web based architecture has lots of advantages:

  1. Players – Your choice of player widens substantially and costs go down
  2. Capabilities – As the browser manufacturers enable more and more features within them, programmers in turn, can build richer capabilities within their browser code
  3. Browser choice – software that runs in a browser can easily run on any standard browser – Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.
  4. Compatibility with other technologies that use a web based architecture, e.g. UC, Internet of Things. This allows what were formerly islands of technology to easily connect with each other.
  5. Improvements to the browser are occurring constantly and cost the consumer nothing at all.  When the browser software clients are improved, updates are easily deployed.

YouTube

Let’s use a very simple example to illustrate the freedom and capability that a WBA can provide over a PBA.  Almost everyone is familiar with YouTube.

What if you wanted to play a YouTube video as part of your digital signage Show? If you were using a PBA, you would first, have to figure out if the player software would support playing a YouTube video. Many would not. But the progressive PBAs have built some capability into their player software to handle some web content.

Not any web content, but some web content. Player software is not a browser.  It is a custom made application. The app may have enabled some browser like capability within the player application, but it certainly would not have the full capability of a browser. An analogy would be, Microsoft enabling some Internet Explorer capability within Word. They could certainly enable some browser functionality in Word, but Word would never be like Internet Explorer or Edge, Microsoft’s new browser.

What happens when you click on a YouTube video on your PC or mobile?

The video begins to play – right away, and the video stream starts to buffer while you are watching the video. This same simple process does not happen on your digital sign with a PBA, assuming that it is capable of supporting a YouTube video. The PBA must first stream the entire YouTube video to the player software client. Then the player software has to incorporate the YouTube video into it and initiate the play of the new Show that contains the YouTube video. This whole process can take a while.

In a Web Based Architecture, the browser is the player software. So when you tell a Show to start playing a YouTube video it does so immediately just like playing a YouTube video from a browser on your PC. With a WBA, you can also:

  1. Update just a part of the Show with new content without having to first stream and then restart the Show
  2. You can immediately start playing a new Show without having to first stream and then restart the new Show
  3. Play any kind of Internet content without requiring modifications to the player software
  4. Track playback of any content on the player using simple cookies and audit trails
  5. Cache content on the player using the latest Application Cache features of HTML5, to continue playing even when the network fails

Your Greatest Strength, Is Your Greatest Weakness

The greatest strength of a WBA for digital displays is that Google, Apple, Microsoft, Mozilla and others will continue to develop and enable the browser with more functionality and capability. This will make a WBA architecture even more powerful over time and since browser software is free, you won’t have to pay for any of these improvements.

This can also be a disadvantage, because you are at the mercy of the companies who own the browsers to continue to enable them with greater functionality. In the first phase of the digital signage market the WBA was at a disadvantage, because browser functionality was limited and so was network capacity and availability. Those limitations are no longer there, but each of the different browsers has its own quirks. You can mitigate the quirks as you become more familiar with options and tools.

I believe that the digital signage market will become dominated by solutions that are based on web standards and Internet Protocol. That is where other technology is heading and digital signage needs to interact with these technologies in order to continue evolving as a platform.

The Next Phase of the Digital Signage Market

In my last blog I wrote about the “Technology Market Lifecycle of Digital Signage”. The blog described the evolution of the first phase of the Digital Signage market which is just starting to commoditize. And just as Phase 1 starts to commoditize, Phase 2 of the market is just getting started.

Phase 2 is logical extension of the first phase and there is overlap, especially with the different adoption postures that customers have. But how do we know we are at a secondary phase of the market? A new phase is never defined by new technologies but by the customer’s needs and how technology can meet them. We stepped through the customer need and subsequent customer questions in a technology lifecycle, as those questions relate to the digital signage market, in the last blog and you can see the graphical depiction in the image below.

Technology market phases

In this blog I am going to write about the first two customer questions that define Phase 2:

  • Does this work? (Can the customer need be met?)
  • Does this solve my business problem?

Does this work?

What is the customer need in this phase of the market?

Customers with digital signage networks are asking the question: Can I use my existing network of displays to do other things? They don’t want to stop using them for digital signage but they do want to do more than play content files on their network of digital displays. That network of digital displays can be leveraged to do a lot more, and some of the things they want to do are pretty critical.

What exactly do they want to do with their existing and growing network of digital displays? They want to use the displays:

  • For instant Emergency Broadcast notification
  • For Town Hall communications, allowing an executive to take over the digital display network and to speak live on the displays
  • To connect other technologies in their buildings to their display platform and communicate status, feeds and other information
  • To play internal advertisements or to make money by playing other advertiser’s messages
  • To easily display content from other corporate technology platforms and from any Internet source (I will address this in my next blog)

Each one of these items is a topic onto itself, and I hope to dedicate a blog to each of them, but for now, here is a high level overview.

Emergency Broadcast

In the event of an emergency – a fire, bad weather, bomb threat, a shooter, and other emergency situations, there is an increasing requirement to immediately take over a single existing digital display network or multiple independent digital display networks and unify them into a single emergency broadcast. In the case of some Higher Ed institutions, this requirement is becoming more important than the digital signage itself. Studies show that students on campus pay attention to the digital displays. In fact, 96% notice digital signage immediately and can recall its content. And when something happens, Emergency Ops need the ability to instantly take over what is playing on the digital screens because seconds count.

The digital signage network is one of the most effective ways to communicate in the event of an emergency to in-building occupants or the on-campus community.

Town Hall Communications

Most digital signs are placed in common areas where people congregate or pass by, e.g. lobbies, foyers, cafeterias, lunch rooms, atriums, hallways, branch locations, etc. Corporations, government and educational institutions have a constant need for their top executives to communicate to their constituents live. It isn’t economical or practical to assemble everyone in one location but you can assemble them in the common areas of their work locations. If you can turn your digital signage network into a live broadcast network without having to buy a lot of extra equipment or having to switch the equipment sending the signal to the digital display, then you have a really viable solution for Town Hall updates.

Connecting to Other Building Technologies

The amount of technology that is making its way into everything we own or come in contact with is increasing every year. Buildings are no exception. They are filled with many different systems that have an increasingly higher proportion of digital technologies in them – fire alarms, security cameras, door locks, lights, HVAC, etc. Historically these are islands of technology and they do not communicate to each other, but as they become more digital, they are transforming to IP technology and if they have an IP address they can talk to each other. This is a big part of the Internet of Things (IoT) story.

Digital signage is one of the best ways to communicate information from other building systems. Both:

  • Status updates, e.g. real time energy savings or building maintenance updates
  • Real time information, e.g. security camera feeds on the digital sign

Advertising

Some organizations play their own ads on their digital signage displays but others are willing to play other people’s ads. For those who don’t mind playing other people’s ads, what easier way to use your digital display platform than to make some money from it.

Surveillance

Surveillance

What do All These New Requirements Have in Common?

Some of these items aren’t new, but they are either being done in a less than optimal way or it is just too difficult and costly to implement them based on the digital signage platform that is in place. Very few existing digital signage networks deliver these kinds of capabilities except in very rudimentary ways. The player based architectures that were so successful in Phase 1 of the digital signage market just do not provide the integration flexibility required to interface with all the other technologies.

A new architecture is required to give the digital signage network the capability to easily adapt itself to all these new requirements in an elegant way. An architecture based on web technologies, or as I call it – a Web Based Architecture.

The Ability to Easily Integrate – Solves My Business Problem

Phase 2 of the Digital Signage Market Technology Adoption Curve, is just beginning. Phase 2 technologies will help users solve their need to integrate their digital display network with other technologies to be able to use them in the ways that they want. To make them a platform for different types of communication which can be triggered to switch content manually or by automated triggers.

With a player based architecture (PBA) it is very difficult to do all these things, but with a web based architecture (WBA) all this is possible. Phase 2 of a market takes us to a new curve with new technology delivering new capabilities. Here is what that market evolution looks like for a technology that has re-invented itself.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.06.49 AM

It is the same curve starting all over again. And for the digital signage market it is based on a new architecture that can easily INTEGRATE to other technologies.

Easy Integration:

  • To web content, e.g. YouTube, Social Media, other live sites
  • To allow triggering of content – manual or automated, for Emergency management and more
  • For IoT connectivity
  • To enable Town Hall forums
  • And more

In my next digital signage blog, I will contrast in more detail, the Player Based Architecture of Phase 1 of the market with the Web Based Architecture of Phase 2 of the market.  I hope to demonstrate the flexibility the WBA provides and difference it makes.

The Technology Market Lifecycle of Digital Signage

A History of Digital Signage

In one of my recent blogs, I pointed out that Enterprise Video Communications will be the fastest growing segment of Internet traffic over the next 5 years. Video communications is made up of a number of communications tools, both real-time and on demand. Digital Signage is one of these communications tools and according to the IDC is expected to grow at a 35.7% compound average growth rate.

Digital Signage has been more of a “nice to have” technology than a “mission critical” technology, but that is quickly changing. Digital Signage is evolving from its current Phase 1 technology evolution curve, to its Phase 2 technology evolution curve, by becoming a Digital Display Platform that is capable of much more than content communication.

It will take a few blogs to give you the entire picture of the current state of the digital signage market, so with this first blog, I will describe the first phase of the evolution in Digital Signage – a historical perspective that brings us to the current state of Phase 1.   This perspective is critical to not only understanding how we got here, but in subsequent blogs, what the new Phase 2 technologies look like and how to distinguish them from Phase 1 technologies.

First, a high level definition of what Digital Signage is and the list of the components that make up a Digital Signage solution. Wikipedia says that digital signs are a sub segment of signage, and that they “use technologies such as LCD, LED and Projection to display content such as digital images, video, streaming media, and information and can be found in public spaces, transportation systems, museums, stadiums, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and corporate buildings etc.”

What is a Digital Signage solution made up of?

A Digital Signage solution is made up of many different components coming together. If one or more of the components falls short, it can jeopardize the success of the entire initiative. The different components include:

  • Hardware – server(s), displays, players and other sundry connection or signal distribution components
  • Software – server and client (player) side
  • Network and/or signal distribution
  • Project management
  • Physical installation
  • Content creation
  • Ongoing support

With this brief definition of Digital Signage and what a Digital Signage solution is made of, let’s dig into how this technology has evolved.

Historical view of the Digital Signage Market Development

Every technology goes through different stages of development as it comes out into the marketplace. Frank Lynn & Associates have created the following graph to show the stages of a technology’s lifecycle and the key customer question that each stage seeks to answer.

Technology Market Lifecycle: Frank Lynn & Associates

technology market lifecycle

Stage 1: Does this work? – Content Show Creation

Digital Signage technology first came to market in the mid-1990s and the Scala solution was one of the first, if not the first, Digital Signage solution in the market. The problem that the solution providers were trying to solve was to make a software solution, that would allow a user to build a customized “Show” that could then be played smoothly on a digital display. The Show would be built using image and video files that would then be played on a screen just like a TV show or commercial.

Stage 1 of the Technology Lifecycle, is where a technology either solves the first problem or the technology dies. With Digital Signage the software suppliers were able to create the software to allow users to create and play a show locally on a screen.

The show could be created, but now it had to be able to operate in a commercial environment.

Stage 2: Can you solve my business problem? – Content Playability

The challenge was to make the show play at many different locations, on an affordable player (PC) that had enough power (this is the time when Windows XP ruled) to play the content files without having the playback of the show be “jerky”. It had to play smoothly and without a glitch.  Just like watching a TV Show.  Oh – and the content had to be delivered to the players on networks of 15-20 years ago.

The Digital Signage suppliers solved the business problem by doing a number of things:

  • They created custom hardware players that had powerful and fast processors with enough muscle to play “fat” or “heavy” content files and Show effects like tickers running across a screen which are very compute intensive, as they require the image to be re-drawn on the screen every time the image moves over 1 pixel
  • They built customized player software which enabled local caching and playing of content
  • They built compression algorithms for the content enabling it to be sent over the networks more efficiently and de-compressed at the players

The solution providers built an architecture, which was based on working around the scarcity of IT resources – player power and limited network capacity. It was brilliant!  And that architecture continues to dominate the first Phase of the Digital Signage market.

Stage 3: Can you make this easy to buy, deploy and support? – Digital Signage Deployment Manageability

The DS suppliers had solved the first two problems and they now had to address the next market problem, i.e. making their solution easy to buy, deploy and support.

They worked with resellers and integrators, especially in the AV market, who understood the inherent AV nature of the hardware requirements. These resellers worked with their local customers to sell, deploy and support the solutions.  But the DS suppliers also had to build IT manageability into their solution so that a network of 10, 100, or 1,000+ digital screens could be managed remotely.

These remote management capabilities included:

  • The ability to see what was playing on any screen
  • To determine if the show was playing
  • To monitor the network status and;
  • The ability to re-boot players remotely

Finally, after the major problems had been resolved and the technology continued to mature, customers demanded better price performance and new competitors sought to differentiate their solutions by doing things better and cheaper.

Stage 4: Can you reduce my purchase cost? – Agnostic, Low cost players

intel comput stickI think most readers have heard of Moore’s law, which says that the power of processor technology will double roughly every 2 years. Networks are also much faster and more robust today than they were 5-10 years ago. The ironic thing is that the “scarcity” problems that had to be worked around in Stage 2 are becoming obsolete in Stage 4 of the market. Today you can buy agnostic hardware players for the Windows, Linux or other operating environments that are just as powerful as the proprietary players that were created in Stage 2 of the market.

The image to the left is an Intel Compute Stick. It is very much like a USB stick, and it connects directly into a USB port, but it is a bit longer and wider than a standard USB stick. It sells for between $100-$200 depending on features and whether you want a Windows 8 OS loaded on it or Ubuntu. This player and many others like it, are eliminating the requirement for the proprietary players in Stage 2 of the market and bringing the player price point down by a factor of up to 10 times.

When you combine these players with a Digital Signage software solution that does not charge player software licenses you save even more money.

Here is the same Technology Lifecycle Market graph with the different Digital Signage stages overlaid on top.

technology lifecycle digital signage stages

What happens to the Technology at the end of Stage 4?

The market will either commoditize, or the market will evolve to a second phase, where the same curve starts all over again, based on new market requirements and the technology that meets those market requirements.

This is what I see happening in the Digital Signage market. Stay tuned and learn more about Phase 2 of the market.

How are Skype and Skype for Business Coming Together?

The promise of bringing Skype together with Skype for Business (S4B), has a lot of voice and video communications enterprise staff pretty excited. They have been holding onto the promise for more than a year that Microsoft will make life seamless for them by bringing together the enterprise and consumer worlds of voice and video (V&V).

About a year ago, Gurdeep Pall, the Microsoft Corporate VP for Skype, said:

“We’re also making it easier to connect to people everywhere. Lync already offers instant messaging and audio calling with Skype users. Skype for Business adds video calling and the Skype user directory making it possible to call any Skype user on any device.”

But what has, or does, that promise hold for the enterprise?

Skype_for_Business_Secondary_Blue_RGBSure it will be nice for the directories to come together so anyone can find anyone else, and maybe there is now full connectivity at all levels (Presence to Video), but I don’t find much evidence of a seamless and full connection. (If you can point to real progress in this area, please leave comments below.)

I think it is still going to take some time.  And … in today’s world, time is more of the essence than ever before.

As I was searching online for more evidence of Skype and S4B coming together I found some interesting articles on what Microsoft was focusing on in the V&V market, and it didn’t really have much to do with Skype and S4B coming together.

Skype (Microsoft) seems to be focused in a new direction. Enabling V&V from your browser – if you are using Internet Explorer. From about a year ago:

“Together with the industry-leading expertise of Skype and Internet Explorer, we’re excited to announce development has begun on the ORTC API for WebRTC, a key technology to make Real-Time Communications (RTC) on the web a reality.

We aim to make browser-based calls more convenient by removing the need to download a plugin. It’s all about convenience – imagine you’ll be able to simply open IE and make a Skype call to friends, family, or get real-time support for that new device right from your browser.”[Emphasis added].

And stated in an article from three weeks ago on the Skype website called, “Skype for Web and Skype for Outlook.com – Update”:

“We’re thrilled about the exciting scenarios that ORTC APIs enable and we are proud to be one of the first to use these ORTC APIs in the Edge Browser.  The ORTC APIs will enable us to develop advanced real-time communications scenarios – like group video calls with participants all on different browsers and operating systems – using features like Simulcast and Scalable Video Coding (SVC), all while preserving the ability to easily interop with existing telephony networks.”

And finally very recently on the Skype for Business website, Microsoft said,

“The ORTC API preview for Microsoft Edge is the latest result of a close, ongoing collaboration between the Windows and Skype teams. Together we’re able to apply decades of experience building great web platforms to deliver some of the largest and most reliable real-time communications services for businesses and consumers. What does this mean for you? For developers, we’re providing new ways to build innovative real-time communications into your web-based experiences. For people using Skype and Skype for Business at work or at home, calls and meetings on the web will soon get even easier and more seamless.”

It looks like Microsoft is shifting its focus to a Browser based approach for their real-time communications connections.  Maybe this is in addition to the direction to bring Skype and S4B together?

emailThinkstockPhotos-142090570

What does all this mean?

  1. A new way to interoperate between Skype and S4B?
  2. Microsoft is changing paths or going down duel paths?
  3. Browser based apps win?
  4. All of the above?

The Market Waits for No-one

Browser based communications tools are not a new idea; WebRTC has been the poster child for this technology for some time and is gaining significant momentum. The path to using this technology is being forged by many tech companies and their customers.

There are over 210 companies now offering WebRTC based software products (http://www.webrtcworld.com/webrtc-list.aspx)  and the list is rapidly growing. WebRTC is a quiet revolution that is being incorporated in multiple channels of communications without fanfare:

  • Google uses WebRTC in Hangouts
  • Citrix uses it in their GoToMeeting product
  • Uberconference uses it in their global voice conferencing service
  • Norwegian Telco giant Telenor launched a popular video chat service (appear.in) on a WebRTC platform which has thousands of users worldwide
  • One of the world’s largest telecom operators, AT&T, has embraced WebRTC
  • In April, 2015, Facebook announced that it was ditching the agreement with Microsoft to use Skype for voice and video calling and going to WebRTC

The Business to Consumer (B2C) Market for Voice and Video Communications

Enterprise user departments are not waiting for IT solutions to enable V&V for their B2C customers. The leading enterprises have already brought their solutions to market. Here is an example from Barclays Bank:

In a previous blog, “Transforming the Healthcare Collaborative Ecosystem”, I pointed out how integrating V&V into healthcare processes is revolutionizing how things are done. You don’t need to wait for Skype and S4B to come together – the evidence is growing. In fact, by doing so you will be falling further behind the competition.

In the B2C market, using the native browser will be the way of the future for real-time voice and video and how Skype and S4B come together will only matter for enterprise internal communications. Microsoft knows that. That is why they are excited about their new direction.  It is worth noting that some independent Microsoft S4B developers already have an API in place to connect with S4B on the enterprise side and have enabled browser  based V&V chat for B2C applications.  Anywhere365 is a contact centre app for S4B that enables S4B contact centre agents to chat, have voice and video calls, as well as application share with the clients that are using their browser.  No need for the customer to have any particular client installed on their device.

Speed to market is what matters now – especially in B2C. Integrating voice and video into your consumer facing web applications has been done in as little as 2 months.

If you are still not convinced and want to wait for the integration of Skype and S4B for B2C V&V, ask yourself a couple of simple questions:

  1. Do you really want to have to ensure every consumer device has Skype on it to be able to connect to it? (It is simple to connect on a browser when your customer is on your website)
  2. What is your best case timeline for integrating a B2C voice and video communications based on the current Skype client?

If you check out some of the Microsoft articles I referenced above, you will note the push that Microsoft has for Microsoft Edge – their next generation browser – which I am sure, will be powerful. I think that long term, the proprietary Skype client will be moth balled in place of a more open browser experience.  However it actually turns out, I commend Microsoft for proactively positioning themselves with the browser voice and video capability.

The Skype brand will stick around, but today’s Skype client technology might not last.

What do you think?

Video Communications Growth Accelerating Quickly

Is Your Organization Prepared?

Video Conferencing, Live Event Streaming, Video On Demand, Digital Signage, Security Camera systems and Video Chat are all different forms of video communications. By video communications, I mean a communication that is watched and heard. According to Cisco’s data, video is the biggest and fastest growing segment of all Internet traffic.

cisco IP Traffic chart

Figure 1: Global IP Traffic: 2014 – 2019 (Cisco)

Video traffic used by Consumers in 2015 is already more than 60% of all Internet traffic and by 2019 Cisco predicts it will grow by 2.5 times, accounting for almost 70% of all Internet traffic.  See Figure 1.

Business video is the fastest growing segment in the enterprise use of the Internet. In 2015 it accounts for just under 8% of the global IP traffic, the 4th largest category, but by 2019, it will become the 2nd largest global IP traffic category accounting for 11% of global IP traffic.

Growing by more than 3 times between 2015 and 2019, Business video will be the fastest growing segment of global IP traffic. Business global IP video traffic will grow from 5,711 Petabytes in 2015 to 18,618 Petabytes in 2019.

Why is business video usage growing so much?

Video is, by-far, the most compelling communications method to engage customers and employees. It is also the most effective method for disseminating company-wide information.

Business video communications, in all its forms, should be something that is important to every CEO and CIO.   Unlike the consumer video traffic segment, business video is not dominated by the streaming of entertainment such as movies and TV shows. The business video segment of global IP traffic is made up of the following primary categories of video usage (in no particular order):

  • Video Conferencing
  • Live Event Streaming
  • Video on Demand (VoD)
  • Digital Signage
  • Security Camera (streaming and VoD)
  • Video chat

Each of these segments can be considered as a market on its own, but more and more there will be relationships between these segments, and businesses that are able to easily connect them together will realize advantages over their peers.

Business colleagues in video conference


Enterprise Class Capabilities

When an enterprise deploys a new technical capability, they need to make sure that the solutions are up to snuff in order to fit into the enterprise IT world. Security is always the primary concern but it is certainly not the only criterion that a new IT solution will have to pass the test on. Here are some items to consider:

  1. Security
  2. Deployment requirements
  3. Enterprise directory integration
  4. Recording capabilities
  5. Archiving and retrieval
  6. Tools to manage the deployment of new infrastructure
  7. Serviceability of the new technology
  8. And more ….

Each one of the categories above has a consumer solution(s) which could be used in an enterprise.  These consumer solutions are not enterprise hardened technology solutions because they don’t address the list of items above. Here are some examples:

Technology Consumer Solution Enterprise Hardened Solution
Video Conferencing Skype; Facetime Cisco (H.323); Skype for Business; Vidyo
Video on Demand (VoD) YouTube Kaltura; VBrick; Qumu
File Sharing Dropbox Box

Enterprise Readiness

The data tells us that business video will be bigger than the business use of the Internet for ‘Web & Other Data’ in 2019.  That means that enterprises who have not already done so, need to be ready to provide and manage IT solutions in each of the business video categories.  They will need to ask some questions on behalf of their organization:

  1. Do we have a solution or platform for each of the business video categories?
  2. Are each of these islands of technology or will they integrate with each other?
  3. Do we need an in house solution or a fully managed cloud solution?
  4. Does the solution meet our enterprise technology requirements?
  5. Who will use the solutions and how will we deploy the technology and train the users?

These are just some of the questions, but some important ones.

Enterprises are already seeing the value of video.  According to Wainhouse, 4 out of 5 enterprises say that video use improves productivity and efficiencies in their organizations.  Further, 73% want their organizations to expand the usage of video.  But as video technology becomes more pervasive, its uses will expand into applications that most people have never heard of.  For example, video magnification will provide new capabilities to organizations.

By magnifying recorded or live video:

  1. A Doctor can take the pulse of a patient they are talking to over video while their normal conversation is going on by automatically magnifying the skin of the patient until the pulse can be seen and measured.
  2. Security personnel can reproduce entire conversations, even if the people being viewed have their backs turned away from the camera. The conversation the people are having is causing objects all around them to vibrate and that vibration when focused on and magnified can re-create the conversation.

These are just a couple of examples of how one small niche video capability will provide new uses few people ever imagined.

With the explosion of video communications, there will also be a corresponding increase in the requirement to record, archive and retrieve video communications.  Some of these capabilities are already in place and sometimes the services of product specialists are needed.

Over the next few blogs I am going to delve deeper into some of the video communications categories other than video conferencing.

We have written many blogs on video conferencing and I personally use the technology so much that when I have a call that doesn’t have video, its uncomfortable because something is missing.  I feel like I am driving a car without my seatbelt on. Here is a partial list of some of our prior blogs related to video conferencing.

  1. The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made in Determining Screen Real Estate in a Video Conferencing Room
  2. Screen Real Estate – a Critical Factor in Making Video Calls As Good As “Being There”
  3. Pros and Cons of Using Skype for Business Video Conferencing Calls
  4. Will Desktop and Mobile Video Kill the Market for Room Based Video Conferencing and Telepresence Deployments?
  5. 5 Myths of Telepresence and what they mean to your business
  6. What Conferencing Technologies Should be Available in Our Meeting Rooms?
  7. What is a Corporate Communications Framework?
  8. Why I Choose Videoconferencing to Collaborate
  9. Is your Communications Technology Framework a Patchwork or Tapestry? Why it Matters
  10. Is being in the same physical space critical to improving collaboration?
  11. The Difference Between a Virtual Audio Call and a Virtual Video Call?
  12. Does Rich Communication accelerate the velocity of collaboration?
  13. Honey – They Seriously Shrunk the Cost of Telepresence!
  14. What is your Organization’s Attitude to Video?
  15. Has video conferencing crossed “The Chasm” to the mainstream market?
  16. The Rise of the Virtual Meeting Room
  17. Video in the Cloud
  18. Transforming the Healthcare Collaborative Ecosystem

Stay tuned.

I welcome any comments – please leave them.  Also questions or requests which I will respond to as best I can.

Cloud Video Conferencing (VCaaS) – Is It Worth It?

Cloud Computing Infographic-4

Les Millisecondes font la Différence

Les avantages des traders

Un des thèmes sur lequel j’ai quelque peu écrit sont les énormes avantages qui sont dégagés grâce aux cycles économiques, ou la réduction des délais. En réalité les plus importantes possibilités de retour sur investissement pour les entreprises se trouvent probablement dans la capacité à réduire le temps nécessaire pour faire avancer les choses. Mais, réduire le temps des transactions de millisecondes peut-il faire une différence?

Les Millisecondes font toute la différence pour les Trader de Stock

41rC-xFW03L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_J’ai récemment lu le livre “Flash Boys” de Michael Lewis, le même auteur à succès qui a écrit, “Moneyball”. “Flash Boys” fournit une vue du monde du trading en ligne, de l’intérieur.

Beaucoup de gens ont acheté et vendu des actions en utilisant un compte de placement en ligne – certaines personnes sont des investisseurs et certains sont des traders. La différence se résume à la durée de détention des actions. Si vous en achetez et en vendez dans la même journée alors vous êtes un Trader de Jour. Si vous les gardez la durée nécessaire pour l’appréciation du stock, alors vous êtes un Investisseur à Long Terme. Ces deux termes (Trader de Jour et Investisseur à Long Terme) définissent les deux extrêmes de la chronologie sur lesquels les investissements sont maintenus.

Peu importe où un acheteur de stock se trouve sur l’échelle, il finira par cliquer sur “Acheter” sur son compte. “Après quoi ? Il peut penser qu’il sait ce qui va se passer après avoir cliqué sur la touche de son clavier, mais croyez-moi, il ne le sait pas. Si c’était le cas, il aurait réfléchi à deux fois avant d’appuyer dessus”, explique Lewis.

Lewis transporte alors le lecteur dans un roman de “cape et d’épée”, mais à travers de la vie réelle des personnages de Wall Street et leurs histoires. Je ne pouvais pas m’arrêter de lire ce livre, et ce, même en ayant un grand intérêt pour la technologie et l’investissement, l’histoire a été très captivante.

ThinkstockPhotos-177288712

Front running – La Technologie a pris le dessus

La définition du Front-running selon Wikipédia, est “le fait de pratiquer illégalement l’activité de courtier en valeurs mobilières, et d’exécuter des ordres sur un titre, pour son propre compte, tout en profitant de l’attente des commandes de ses clients.”

Le Front-running a débuté lorsque la négociation des stocks a commencé il y a de cela des centaines d’années. Mais comme la technologie de gestion des stocks a changé, le front running a aussi dû changer. Lorsque la négociation d’actions a été automatisée, les gens ont cru que la possibilité d’exécuter du stock avait disparu. C’est ce que le grand public et Wall Street pensaient, mais quelque chose ne semble pas juste selon Brad Katsuyama, un trader RBC qui avait déménagé de son bureau de Toronto à celui de New York.

“Flash Boys” se résume à l’histoire de Brad. Dans sa recherche, il explique ce qui ne pouvait pas être expliqué. Au fur et à mesure que Brad découvre la vérité avec une équipe de collègues improbables, il ne s’instruit pas seulement mais fini par exposer le travail du trading de firme à haute fréquence, qui a proliféré à Wall Street.

Cet improbable Canadien venant d’une petite firme de Wall Street (RBC) finit par devenir l’Expert. Les sociétés de négoce à haute fréquence avaient exploité une technologie qui est, d’éliminer quelques millisecondes hors du temps d’une transaction, faisant d’eux les avant-coureurs du le monde du commerce électronique. Personne ne savait ce qu’ils faisaient ou comment ils le faisaient, et ce, jusqu’à ce que Brad découvre la vérité.

Les avant-coureurs des jours modernes avaient été, et sont encore, pressés par des délais de quelques millisecondes, donnant ainsi un avantage commercial énorme et illégal. Au lieu de raccourcir un processus d’affaires, les traders de haute fréquence utilisaient les économies de temps pour court-circuiter le processus de négociation et ainsi se créer un avantage. Les traders à haute fréquence utilisent le même principe, celui de raccourcir le temps de traitement par millisecondes pour obtenir un avantage déloyal dans un marché ouvert.

Brad Katsuyama, le trader canadien de RBC s’est attaqué à une industrie et l’a exposé, alors que la plupart des gens de l’industrie ne savaient même pas ce qui se passait. Même s’il a mis en lumières ces pratiques, il a été ridiculisé parce qu’il était pratiquement impossible de prouver que l’avant-course se produisait. Lewis écrit: «Brad Katsuyama a expliqué au monde ce que lui et son équipe avaient appris des rouages du marché boursier. Les investisseurs de la nation ont été consternés – un sondage réalisé auprès d’investisseurs institutionnels à la fin Avril 2014, menée par le cabinet de courtage ConvergEx a découvert que 70 pour cent (70%) d’entre eux pensaient que le marché boursier américain était injuste et 51 pour cent (51%) considéraient le trading haute fréquence comme étant «dangereux ou très nocif ». Les investisseurs qui se plaignent étaient des gros joueurs, vous pouvez être amené à penser que les fonds communs de placement, les fonds de pension et les fonds de couverture pouvaient se défendre sur le marché “.

“L’étroite part du secteur financier [traders haute fréquence et les échanges qui soutiennent cette pratique] qui fait de l’argent avec la situation décrite dans ce livre [Flash Boys] explique le besoin de façonner la perception du public à cet égard. … Puis vint le malheureux épisode sur CNBC au cours duquel Brad Katsuyama a été agressé verbalement par le Président de la Bourse de BATS. … Il [le Président de BATS] cria, tempêta et s’agita de manière ridicule à tel point que la moitié de Wall Street s’est arrêté. … Un producteur CNBC m’a dit que ça a été le segment le plus regardé de l’histoire de CNBC … Son moment décisif est venu lorsque Katsuyama lui a posé une simple question: Est-ce que BATS vend une image plus rapide du marché boursier pour les traders haute fréquence, tout en utilisant une image plus lente pour faire augmenter les prix des échanges des investisseurs? … Le Président de BATS a dit non … Ce n’était pas vrai … Quatre mois plus tard, BATS se séparait de son Président “.

Si vous êtes intéressés, voici une compilation de 4 minutes des moments clés du segment CNBC.

Si vous voulez regarder le segment de 20 minutes dans toute son intégralité, voici le lien.

Je ne pense pas vous avoir gâché la lecture du livre en écrivant ce blog. Le déroulement de l’histoire de “Flash Boys” est fascinant et Lewis est à son meilleur. Je dois dire que je me suis senti un peu patriotique à la lecture du livre de ce Canadien, Brad Katsuyama, jouant un rôle central dans l’un des plus importants moments d’affaires de l’Amérique.

Échéancier comprimé – Processus de Travail Accéléré

L’application des outils de communication pour comprimer les délais peuvent vous donner d’importants avantages dans votre entreprise. Mais rien ne peut être utilisé efficacement une fois dans les mains de la mauvaise personne ou en faisant quelque chose d’illégal. Brad a fini par choisir une approche très créative pour niveler le terrain de jeu, elle implique une tournure peu probable impliquant Goldman Sacks.

J’espère vous aurez la chance de profiter du livre!

Milliseconds make a Difference

The Traders Edge

One of the themes I have written about quite a bit is the huge benefits that are garnered from business cycles or reduced timeframes. In fact, probably the greatest ROI opportunities for existing companies lie in the ability to reduce the time it takes to get things done. But, can shaving milliseconds off a transaction time make a difference?

Michael Lewis Flah Boys

Milliseconds Make All the Difference for Stock Traders

I recently read the book “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis, the same bestselling author who wrote, “Moneyball”. “Flash Boys” provides an insiders view into the world of online trading.

Many people have bought and sold stocks using an online investment account – some people are investors and some are traders. The difference comes down to how long you hold onto the stocks. If you buy and sell in the same day you are a Day Trader; and if you hold for the long term appreciation of a stock, you are a Long-term Investor. These two terms (Day Trader and Long-term Investor), define the two extremes of the timeline on which investments are held.

No matter where a buyer of stock falls on that scale, eventually he clicks “Buy” in his account. “Then what? He may think he knows what happens after he presses the key on his keyboard, but, trust me, he does not. If he did, he’d think twice before he pressed it,” Lewis explains.

Lewis then takes the reader on the equivalent of a ‘cloak and dagger’ mystery, but with real life Wall Street characters and their story. I couldn’t put the book down, and although I have a strong interest in both technology and investing, the story is still very compelling regardless.

ThinkstockPhotos-177288712

Front-running – the Technology Has Taken Over

The Wikipedia definition of Front-running, “is an illegal practice of a stockbroker executing orders on a security for its own account while taking advantage of pending orders from its customers.” Front-running has been happening since stocks first started trading hundreds of years ago. But as the technology of how stocks were traded changed, front-running also had to change. When stock trading was automated, people figured that the opportunity to front-run a stock trade had disappeared. That is what the general public thought and it is what most of Wall Street thought, but something did not seem right to Brad Katsuyama, an RBC trader who had moved from the RBC Toronto office to New York.

Flash Boys revolves around the story of Brad and his search to explain what could not be explained. As Brad uncovers the truth, with a team of unlikely colleagues, he not only educates himself, but ends up exposing the workings of the high-frequency trading firms that had proliferated on Wall Street. This unlikely Canadian from a small Wall Street firm (RBC) ends up becoming the expert. The high-frequency trading firms had exploited technology to shave just a few milliseconds off of the time of a transaction, making them the front-runners in the world of electronic trading.  No-one knew that they were doing this or how they were achieving this until Brad uncovered the truth.

Modern day front-runners had been, and still are compressing timeframes by a few milliseconds and this gives then a huge and illegal business advantage. Instead of shortening a business process, the high frequency traders used the time savings to short-circuit the trading process and create an advantage for themselves. These high frequency traders are using the same principal of shortening processing time, by milliseconds, to get an unfair advantage in an open market.

Brad Katsuyama, the Canadian RBC trader, took on an industry and exposed it when most people in the industry didn’t even know what was going on. Even as he shined a light on these practices he was ridiculed because it is almost impossible to prove that front-running was occuring. Lewis writes, “Brad Katsuyama explained to the world what he and his team learned about the inner workings of the stock market. The nation of investors was appalled – a poll of institutional investors in late April 2014, conducted by the brokerage firm ConvergEx, discovered that 70 percent of them thought that the U.S. stock market was unfair and 51 percent considered high-frequency trading “harmful or very harmful”. And the complaining investors were the big guys, the mutual funds and pension funds and hedge funds you might think could defend themselves in the market.”

“The narrow slice of the financial sector [high-frequency traders and the exchanges that support this practice] that makes money off the situation that this book [Flash Boys] describes felt the need to shape the public perception of it. … Then came the unfortunate episode on CNBC, during which Brad Katsuyama was verbally assaulted by the president of the BATS exchange. … He [the BATS President] hollered and ranted and waved and in general made such a spectacle of himself that half of Wall Street came to a halt, transfixed. … I was told by an CNBC producer that it was the most watched segment in CNBC’s history … His defining moment came when Katsuyama asked him a simple question: Did BATS sell a faster picture of the stock market to high-frequency traders, while using a slower picture to price the trades of investors? … The BATS president said no … It wasn’t true … Four months later, BATS parted ways with its president.”

If you are interested, here is a 4-minute compilation of the highlights of the CNBC segment.

If you want to watch the whole 20+ minute segment, here is the link.

I don’t think I have played spoiler by writing this blog.  The unfolding of the Flash Boys story is fascinating and Lewis is at his best.  I have to say that I felt a little patriotic reading about the Canadian, Brad Katsuyama, playing such a pivotal role in one of America’s biggest business stages.

Compressed Timelines – Business Processes Sped Up

Applying communication tools to compress timelines can give you huge advantages in your business.  But anything in the wrong hands can be used in illegal ways as well.  Brad ended up with a very creative approach to level the playing field, which ultimately involves an unlikely twist involving Goldman Sacks.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy the book!

Making Your Meeting Places Audibly Accessible

Is your company AODA Compliant?

Different real time communications technologies, (audio, video, content, and interactive whiteboarding), can be combined in unique ways to suit each collaborative situation. A collaborative session is like a spinning top made of varying amounts of each of these four technologies. The tops may be different shapes and sizes, each top suiting the needs of the participants in the collaborative meeting, but the point of the top is always the audio technology. If there is no audio, there is no real time collaboration session – the top will not spin.

Audio technology is often taken for granted. Even though it is the most fundamental of the conferencing technologies it often gets the least focus. Audio technology has been compromised ever since mobile phone technology has become ubiquitous and more prevalent than landlines. Why? Because a mobile phone call gets packed into an 8kbps call.

A digital music file compressed into 128 kpbs sounds pretty good, however, at 64 kbps the fidelity drops off significantly and a 32 kbps song is hardly worth listening to.  An 8kbps voice call, which people have become accustomed to, does not provide good audio quality.

Why do we put up with this inferior audio quality?  For the convenience that the mobile phone gives us.  We sacrifice a lot of audio quality for mobile convenience, but good audio in a conference call is fundamental. It is often the difference between communicating and not communicating.

You can get the right technology to make the audio portion of your conferencing better, so people can hear what is being said properly – better communication.

Hearing Impairment

listentech-theater_42Our world can be challenging for the hearing impaired. According to the Canadian Hearing Society, hearing loss is becoming more and more prevalent:

  • Nearly 1 out of every 4 adult Canadians reports having some hearing loss
  • Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older adults and the most widespread disability. Its prevalence rises with age – 46% of people aged 45 to 87 have hearing loss
  • Aging is the number one cause of hearing loss and the incidence of hearing loss is poised to climb dramatically as our population ages

You can get the right technology to make the audio portion of your meeting places better, so hearing impaired people can hear what is being said properly – accessible communication.

Legally, you don’t have a choice.

Equip your Organization with the Necessary Formats for Accessible Communication

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) recognizes the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario and aims to implement and enforce standards to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities. This includes providing tools necessary for persons with hearing disabilities to be able to attend and/or participate when in an assembly area.

The 2012 International Building Code states, “Each assembly area where audile communications are integral to the use of the space shall have an assistive listening system.”

An assembly area is defined as any space where people gather, whether it’s a boardroom, a banquet hall, or a classroom.

When the AODA was passed its goal was to make Ontario a more accessible province to all people with disabilities by 2025. As part of this act every obligated organization will be required to provide accessible formats of communication to persons with disabilities upon request.

So what does this mean for your company?

First, you must determine by what date your company must be AODA compliant.

Affected Organization Compliance Dates
Government of Ontario and Legislative Assembly January 1st, 2014
Designated public sector organizations with 50+ employees January 1st, 2015
Designated public sector organizations with 1-49 employees January 1st, 2016
Private and not-for-profit organizations with 50+ employees January 1st, 2016
Private and not-for-profit organizations with 1-49 employees January 1st, 2017

 

At this point the Government of Ontario and the Legislative Assembly must already be AODA compliant as well as designated public sector organizations with 50+ employees. As stated in the table above designated public sector organizations with 1-49 employees will be the next group that must get up to date with their accessibility provisions and lastly private and non-profit organizations.

Assistive Listening Systems or Devices help to reduce background noise and compensate for distance from the sound source and are specifically of great value to persons of varying degrees of hearing loss when present in a space of assembly, be it a government institution (i.e. courtroom) or an organization’s conference room.

ET Group offers the ListenRF, ListenIR, ListenLoop and ListenWiFi systems that provide the flexibility for any person to adapt to a wide range of meetings.

The ListenRF system is great for large and small boardrooms. It is on an FM frequency and allows anyone with a receiver tuned to that frequency within a certain distance to connect to the transmitter.

On the other hand the ListenIR system is most effective for closed spaces where private conversations are held such as courtrooms and private boardrooms. With the ListenIR system only receivers that are in the line of sight of the transmitter will connect so that no one outside the room with a receiver will be able to hear what is being said.

The ListenLoop is a great system for stadiums, schools, auditoriums, places of worship and other place where large groups of people gather. With the ListenLoop you create a virtual boundary where anyone with existing hearing aids that support T-Coil technology will be able to connect.

Lastly the ListenWiFi provides you with all the same benefits of the ListenRF system but it is more secure and can host more channels.

Having an Assistive Listening System may be the law but it is also the right thing to do. Make sure that anyone and everyone that comes to your assembly areas are given the opportunity to have the best experience possible.

Contact the ET Group today to find out which assistive listening system would be best for your organization.

Click the button below to check out the Assisted Listening options that ET Group has available and find out which system will work best for you.

Assisted Listening Systems

La collaboration est un investissement qui offre un rendement composé

Accélérer le flux de travail dans l’écosystème collaboratif de Justice

Dans deux de mes récents blogs, j’ai parlé de la façon dont les écosystèmes du secteur de la Santé et de l’Enseignement Supérieur ont été transformés. L’exemple donné dans la Santé concernait l’application des outils de la technologie qui transforment de façon créative, une partie spécifique du domaine de la santé. Dans l’Enseignement Supérieur les nouvelles technologies sont appliquées petit à petit au travers de l’écosystème, ce qui finira par transformer la façon dont le modèle de l’enseignement va fonctionner.

Ce sont deux exemples d’un écosystème qui a été transformé pour être plus collaboratif, où les délais sont compressés et où la richesse de la communication a nettement augmenté. L’un est une restructuration ciblée d’une partie d’un écosystème, l’autre est une érosion et une réforme d’un écosystème.

La technologie est en train de changer la façon dont toutes les industries et les écosystèmes dont ils font partis travaillent. Une organisation peut choisir le degré auquel ils adopteront l’évolution délibérée de leur écosystème. Les organisations avec le plus fort taux d’adoption mèneront l’innovation de leur industrie. L’innovation moderne est du domaine d’équipes de personnes hautement collaboratives versus la grande connaissance d’un seul innovateur.

Pour accélérer la collaboration dans votre organisation, pour restructurer volontairement le «comment», utilisez les 5 Principes Directeurs pour la collaboration accélérée:

  1. Passer à la communication en “temps réelle”
  2. Construire des expériences de communications “Riches” entre les personnes.
  3. Cibler un important RSI de collaboration
  4. Comprimer les délais de traitement
  5. De petites équipes

Voir ce blog pour plus de détails sur les 5 Principes Directeurs

Les outils technologiques permettent d’appliquer ces cinq principes. Regardons maintenant comment les appliquer à l’écosystème de la Justice peut les aider à le transformer.

L’écosystème collaboratif de Justice

L’écosystème de la Justice est un système complexe qui a évolué pendant des centaines d’années conjointement avec le développement de la société. C’est la partie “Loi & L’Ordre” de notre société. Est-il possible d’appliquer de nouveaux outils de communication pour réaliser des avantages économiques drastiques ?

A partir du blog “les 5 principes”, il y a trois grandes catégories pour améliorer la communication:

  1. Formation
  2. Amélioration des processus
  3. La technologie – une meilleure communication

Les trois catégories peuvent améliorer la communication, mais seule la technologie peut transcender sa propre catégorie et affecter les deux autres catégories en permettant l’amélioration des processus et une formation plus rentable. Cela est particulièrement vrai dans les organisations dites plus traditionnelles où les processus sont rigides et la formation est déjà bien ancrée dans la culture de l’organisation.

Depositphotos_52994355_mLe système de justice est un écosystème traditionnel avec des processus rigides (les lois sont en soit sont basées sur un code des plus rigide) et des initiatives de formation bien établies.

L’écosystème de la Justice, dans une vue simplifiée, comporte quatre volets différents: Judiciaires, Application de la loi, Juridiques et Correctionnels.

Dans cet écosystème d’organisations, la possibilité d’améliorer la communication réside dans l’application de la technologie, précisément parce que les processus sont formels et la formation est bien ancrée dans la culture actuelle.

Avec cette toile de fond de concepts, nous allons voir comment les trois catégories de RSI – Economies Opérationnelles, Amélioration de la Productivité et de la Transformation Stratégique – peuvent être appliquées à l’écosystème de Justice pour le transformer par la technologie de collaboration afin de bonifier le RSI d’affaires initial.

Audiences de détention provisoire (Comparution)

Les personnes en détention provisoire sont des individus qui ne sont pas admissibles au paiement d’une caution, et qui sont détenus dans des centres de détention provisoire dans l’attente de leur procès. Quand ils sont tenus de comparaître devant un juge pour une première fois, ceci est appelé ‘’La Comparution’’. Cette première comparution nécessite beaucoup de ressources. Les personnes inculpées ont généralement besoin de passer une journée entière à être transférés d’abord du centre de détention vers la salle d’audience, puis à nouveau dans le sens inverse. Cela requiert des gardiens (au moins 2, parfois 4), véhicules de transport spécialisés, autres couts associés à ces déplacements pour la journée – repas, essence, etc. De plus il faut ajouter des espaces de détention provisoires dans les locaux de courts de justice et en plus il faut ajouter les risques inhérents au transport des prisonniers tout au long de cette initiative.

Économies opérationnelles

Les économies les plus faciles à obtenir dans tout écosystème sont d’ordre opérationnel. Elles ont lieux soit quand vous arrêtez de faire quelque chose que vous faisiez, ou que vous le faites d’une manière différente de façon à obtenir le même résultat, mais avec un cout moindre.

Ce tableau de Statistique Canada démontre que la détention provisoire a augmenté considérablement au Canada depuis l’an 2000:

remand custody

Applying video conferencing technology to facilitate Remand Appearances is a perfect example of how substantial cost can be taken out of the ecosystem, maintaining the same end result.

The Operational Savings = Cost avoided / Cost of video conferencing technology

I couldn’t find actual costs for all the components involved, but here is an estimate of the cost that could be avoided.

Coûts évités

1) Gardes (moyenne de 3) pour une journée = 3 x 8 heures x taux horaire de garde = 3 x 8 x $50 = $1,200 jour

2) Coût du transport – véhicule spécialisé + 750 dépenses = $750/jour

3) Les exigences permettant de transporter les prisonniers au Palais de Justice = 300 $/jour

Une seule comparution coûte probablement aux contribuables environ 2000$. Multiplié par le nombre de comparutions dans une année, qui pourraient être utilisé pour la technologie ~ 14.000 x $ 2,000 = $ 28,000,000 / an. Sur une période de 10 ans, cela représente $ 280 000 000. Même si mon estimation pour le coût d’une comparution est surévaluée de 50%, il est encore possible de réaliser des économies opérationnelles significatives.

Estimer le coût de la technologie est difficile à faire dans ce blog car il y a beaucoup de variables, mais investir dans l’infrastructure requise pour faciliter ces audiences coûterait moins cher sur 10 ans que sans cette technologie. L’un des investissements clés de ce processus est la technologie dans la salle d’audience, qui permet aux comparutions d’être menées à distance.

Dans tout écosystème organisationnel, il y a toujours des salles où les personnes de différentes parties de l’écosystème se réunissent. Dans le système judiciaire, ce sont les salles d’audience des différents Palais de Justice à travers le pays.

Une salle d’audience est l’endroit où les 4 différents constituants (Judiciaires, Application de la loi, Juridiques et Correctionnels) se réunissent pour mener leurs essais et est le point central pour faire avancer le processus judiciaire. Pour permettre aux nouveaux outils de communication de changer les processus, les salles d’audience doivent être équipées de la technologie nécessaire pour pouvoir communiquer électroniquement, ce qui est une expérience riche – comme si on y était. Pour obtenir un maximum d’avantages provenant de l’investissement technologique de la salle d’audience, les 5 principes mentionnés plus haut doivent être utilisés comme un guide.

Amélioration de la productivité

Les salles d’audience qui ont été équipées de cette manière peuvent désormais être beaucoup plus productives dans le traitement du flux de travail de la salle d’audience – les poursuites judiciaires. Un juge de la Cour peut retenir les comparutions séquentiellement, se connectant avec les prisonniers par la vidéo, à partir de divers établissements correctionnels – l’un après l’autre. La planification physique et logistique qui a pour habitude d’être un élément clé de l’ancienne façon de faire, devient tout à coup beaucoup plus simple et moins coûteuse.

Grâce à l’utilisation de la technologie de vidéoconférence La planification simplifiée et la logistique des comparutions augmenteraient également le traitement des comparutions en détention provisoire dans le système. Les résultats bénéfiques de cela sont:

  • Moins d’installations physiques nécessaires pour les prisonniers en détention provisoire (voir graphique plus haut) – moins de temps nécessaire dans les établissements de détention provisoire
  • Une meilleure utilisation du temps par le Juge, ainsi que d’autres membres du personnel judiciaire et leur capacité à gérer les cas (donc moins de juges et moins de personnel judiciaire requis)
  • Moins de retard sur les cas qui doivent être entendus

Il est clair que ces améliorations de la productivité, qui n’étaient pas prévues dans le cadre de la rentabilité opérationnelle, ajouteraient probablement plus d’avantages financiers à l’analyse de rentabilisation. Souvent, les gains de productivité qui sont réalisés dans un écosystème sauront rapidement l’emporter sur les économies opérationnelles prévues.

Technologie de la salle d’audience

Law Flat IconsLa technologie de la salle d’audience doit être conçue et déployée d’une manière qui est à la fois puissante en termes de capacité et est facile à utiliser. Les gens dans la salle d’audience et les participants distants doivent être en mesure de voir et d’entendre, comme si elles étaient présents physiquement dans la salle d’audience.

La technologie de communication dans la salle d’audience, offre une expérience riche et facile à utiliser, elle vous permettra d’accélérer grandement la vitesse de flux de travail (collaboration) dans la salle d’audience.

Lorsque les capacités de la technologie ne sont pas pleinement comprises et appréciées, les gens vont essayer de trouver des moyens d’économiser de l’argent en coupant dans les budgets Mais si ces coupures compromettent l’expérience ou ralentit la vitesse du flux de travail, vous allez simplement transférer le coût sauvé vers l’avant, sur les utilisateurs du système et ce pour la durée de vie utile de la technologie. Et quand les gains sont importants, les économies de coûts initiaux peuvent compromette la vitesse du flux de travail ou la richesse de l’expérience, ce qui peut être une mauvaise idée en soit.

Pourquoi? Parce qu’ils peuvent vous empêcher de réaliser tous les bénéfices potentiels. Économiser de l’argent dans la phase de mise en œuvre, transfère les coûts aux opérations en cours, ce qui dépassera largement tous les dollars initiaux sauvés. Cela ne signifie pas que vous devez dépenser autant d’argent que possible sur votre investissement technologique. Une conception de salle d’audience avisée qui répond aux critères suivants fonctionnera:

  1. Facilement réplicable: Une plate-forme de technologie standard qui peut être déployée à la Ville, Province / État, ou au niveau du pays. Elle doit être capable d’être déployée en masse
  2. ATPA (Apporte Ton Propre Appareil) Support: Il doit être prêt à permettre la connexion à n’importe quel ordinateur portable ou appareil mobile via une connexion analogique ou numérique
  3. Audio Numérique: Il doit supporter l’audio numérique, avoir des microphones immunisés aux RF, un processeur de signal numérique (DSP) avec des signaux audio calibrés pour permettre un enregistrement intelligible des procédures judiciaires.
  4. Adoption de l’utilisateur: Il est essentiel que l’utilisateur individuel, qui pourrait être une personne différente chaque jour ou chaque heure, ait la capacité d’utiliser facilement la technologie de la salle d’audience à son potentiel maximum. La technologie devrait faire partie de la salle et ne pas exiger de mise en place complexe.

Une fois que les différentes composantes de la technologie initiale sont en place, il y a un certain nombre d’endroits où ils peuvent s’étendre pour accélérer encore plus la vitesse de la collaboration dans l’écosystème.

L’opportunité pour augmenter la productivité de l’écosystème de justice peut être trouvée dans de nombreux autres processus. De nombreuses juridictions ont déjà appris que l’exploitation de vidéo peut réduire – ou éliminer- la plupart des retards et des coûts du système de justice associés à la logistique, tels que le temps de voyage pour des participants, notamment des témoins, des interprètes, des avocats et des détenus. Dans un écosystème où tout le monde veut parler au détenu (procureurs, agents de probation, défenseurs publics, juges, etc.), avoir un accès plus facile à la vidéo peut accélérer le flux de travail.

  • Les juges peuvent tenir des sessions à différents d’endroits l’une après l’autre à partir de la salle d’audience ou de leur chambre
  • Les cas sont traités plus rapidement – pas de délai d’attente pour les cas situés dans les régions éloignées
  • Les interrogatoires sous caution peuvent être faits par vidéo
  • Les réunions de plaidoiries peuvent être mises en place beaucoup plus rapidement (il n’y a pas besoin d’un processus de 2 heures pour entrer dans la prison et voir le prisonnier). Cela signifie moins de temps à la prison pour les visiteurs, donc moins d’exigences pour les installations physiques.
  • Témoignage vidéo – Témoin expert (cela peut réduire considérablement les coûts).
  • Témoin vulnérable – la comparution de ce type de témoin peut s’avérer dangereux, perturbant et dérangeant. Mais leur témoignage peut être critique et changer la donne. La vidéo rend leur témoignage plus facile.
  • Les interprètes – ils peuvent gérer plusieurs sessions à quelques minutes d’intervalle dans des endroits différents. Par conséquent, le besoin global diminue en raison de l’important gain de temps.
  • La médecine à distance dans les prisons (télémédecine)
  • Le droit de visite

Un exemple de ce dont je parle est dans le LA County qui a permis d’effectuer des conversations vidéo avec des détenus. Une moyenne de 2.500 conversations par mois ont eu lieu, ce qui a fait économiser 3,7 millions $ en temps et coût par année.

Faire en sorte que l’écosystème soit le plus productif a d’énormes avantages, mais le bénéfice réel se concrétise lorsque l’écosystème arrive à l’étape suivante, celle de la capture du RSI stratégique qui augmente considérablement la valeur de l’investissement collaboratif.

Transformation Stratégique

Comme les nouvelles infrastructures et terminaux de communication sont en place, l’écosystème de la Justice a involontairement été transformé et offre beaucoup plus de capacité que ce qui était initialement prévu. Les personnes qui utilisent les nouveaux outils de communication vont commencer à utiliser et appliquer les mêmes outils à des situations qui n’ont jamais été envisagées au début de la transformation de l’écosystème.

Regardons trois exemples de transformation stratégique dans l’écosystème de Justice dans la vie réelle:

1) Procès Internationaux

Avec la mondialisation du monde des affaires, il y a maintenant des occasions où la mondialisation des moyens de communications dans le monde judiciaire puisse aider et améliorer le fonctionnement et la productivité des procès qui ont lieu lorsque plusieurs pays sont impliqués. Notre compagnie ET Group, a facilité un procès comme celui-ci où les deux salles d’audience étaient dans deux pays différents et en une seule session combinée. Je vais prochainement écrire un blog avec plus de détails vous présentant les avantages énormes que cela a apporté.

  • Le coût du voyage en avion a été substantiellement réduit
  • Toute l’improductivité liée au déplacement de l’avocat a été éliminé
  • La procédure a été en mesure de progresser plus vite parce que les deux salles d’audience dans les deux pays ont été connectées l’une à l’autre en temps réel.

Une séance en salle d’audience a réuni deux juridictions différentes simultanément.

Très puissant!

ThinkstockPhotos-176810772

2) Utiliser SRV (Salle de Réunion Virtuelle)

J’ai écrit récemment un blog sur ” L’élévation de la Salle de Réunion”. L’utilisation de SRV dans un écosystème collaboratif se produit généralement à un stade ultérieur dans le développement de l’écosystème. Les SRV sont très puissantes, car elles peuvent:

  1. Réduire drastiquement les coûts
  2. Accélérer drastiquement le flux de travail (la vitesse de collaboration) des deux processus existants et des processus de réingénierie

Dans l’écosystème de la Justice, le parfait exemple pour l’utilisation de SRV serait de permettre au grand public de payer leurs amendes de circulation à travers une audience qui aurait lieu dans une SRV. Lorsque vous utilisez une SRV vous n’avez pas besoin d’une salle d’audience (économies de coûts massives), et vous permettez à une personne qui a reçu une amende de circulation d’appeler dans une SRV pour leur procès. Le juge, le policier, l’avocat (si nécessaire) et le défendeur seraient tous les participants de la réunion virtuelle. Les économies de déplacements pour toutes ces personnes impliquées seraient très importantes.

Je sais que si je reçois une contravention, je dois sérieusement réfléchir et voir si ça vaut la peine d’entamer des démarches pour la contester au tribunal ou simplement la payer. Cela représente facilement une demi-journée de travail pour aller au tribunal. Pour l’implication significative que cela a sur mon assurance j’aurai tendance à choisir de simplement payer l’amende parce que ça soit moins cher que de faire une apparition au tribunal.

Si je pouvais seulement composer un numéro dans la SRV de mon navigateur au lieu d’aller au Tribunal de la Circulation, ce serait un énorme avantage pour moi.

Le Système de Santé est probablement le plus évolué en termes d’utilisation de la SRV pour faire évoluer ses processus et faire de nouvelles choses avec de nouveaux moyens. Voici un blog qui fournit un exemple sur la façon dont les secteurs de la Santé font cela.

Utiliser la SRV comme décrit dans le scénario ci-dessous pour les Amendes liées à la Circulation, exigerait un logiciel qui pourrait imiter le flux de travail du Tribunal de la Circulation. Les gens auraient besoin de s’inscrire en ligne, s’insérer dans la file d’attente pour voir un juge dans une SRV avec les autres participants. Mais cette dépense supplémentaire est minime par rapport à ce qui pourrait être épargné grâce à l’utilisation stratégique de SRV au sein de l’écosystème collaboratif de Justice.

3) Les Portails Collaboratifs

Avec l’infrastructure technologique en place, de nouvelles façons de faire, qui n’auraient pas été possible avant, peuvent être mises en œuvre. Avec des logiciels supplémentaires, les enregistrements de procédures d’audiences peuvent désormais être capturés d’une manière qui était impossible auparavant. Les flux vidéo et audio peuvent être enregistrés simultanément par les différentes caméras et micros dans la salle d’audience, et peuvent faire parties du dossier de la Cour. Ces dossiers judiciaires peuvent être:

  • Instantanément archivés dans la salle d’audience, avec deux versions de sauvegarde (Palais de Justice et Datacenter)
  • Récupérés instantanément dès que nécessaire par le personnel autorisé
  • Transcription instantanée
  • Distribués avec différentes pièces rédigées dans l’enregistrement, pour la personne qui doit examiner le dossier
  • Utilisés comme preuve de droit irrévocable devant un tribunal
  • Être utilisés dans un portail en ligne sécurisé par le personnel autorisé pour y apporter sa collaboration en examinant et en commentant l’enregistrement.

Étendre les capacités de la technologie donne un apport additionnel à l’investissement initial de la technologie déjà en place et accélère la vitesse de collaboration dans l’écosystème de Justice – une valorisation réelle de l’investissement collaboratif.

Naturellement, il y a plus que ces trois exemples de transformation stratégique qui auront d’autres impacts sur la rentabilité de l’investissement dans une nouvelle plate-forme de technologie collaborative.

Conclusion

L’évolution naturelle d’un écosystème de collaboration est de réaliser des économies opérationnelles d’abord, puis de réaliser des gains de productivité par effets secondaires avec l’extension de cette technologie via de nouveaux processus; et enfin, frapper le coup de circuit par la transformation stratégique de l’écosystème.

C’est un long voyage et il est difficile d’imaginer la destination finale autrement qu’en sachant que lorsque la transformation est complète, votre écosystème va avoir une performance de 2 à 6 fois meilleure que lorsque le voyage a commencé.

Il faut un courage considérable à ceux qui pilotent l’écosystème pour réaliser un investissement sans vraiment comprendre comment l’écosystème va fonctionner lorsque la technologie collaborative est entièrement activée. Ils doivent résister à la tentation de tourner les coins ronds et risquer de compromettre la construction de la plate-forme qui va devenir la pierre angulaire pour la transformation.

Les premières étapes de la transformation de votre écosystème seront un tremplin pour l’avenir afin de devenir une organisation hautement collaborative et efficace. Planifiez les étapes décisives de façon réfléchie et ne faites aucuns compromis.