Atlassian, best know for Jira (project management for software development teams) and Confluence (enterprise team collaboration), has released an update to HipChat, their group chat and video conferencing product. Prior to this release, HipChat could be used for group text conversations and 1:1 video chat, but now you can have group videos chats with up to 10 people. HipChat can be used as a standalone communication tool, but excels when combined with Jira and Confluence, enabling people that have conversations right within the context of the work they are doing. Atlassian acquired HipChat in 2012, and has continued to expand its functionality via additional acquisitions such as BlueJimp and Hall.
MyPOV on Enterprise Video - Culture Needs to Catchup to Technology
Tools like Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger and Google's new 1:1 video application Duo make it easy for people to have real time video conversations with their friends and family. It's amazing to be able to say hello when on a business trip, share an experience while on vacation, or even ask for advice before making a purchase... but are employees ready to be on camera during meetings? Video lends itself to great product demos, but does that translate to real business scenarios?
The ability to video conference has been around for decades in products like Lotus (now IBM) Sametime and Microsoft Lync (now Skype for Business) or via tele-presence solutions from Cisco, Avaya, Unify and others but ask yourself how often do you take advantage of them? With so many remote or home employees it's great to be able to see your colleagues, smile and share a story for a few minutes, but is the main reaction to video: "Oh no, now I need to shower, shave and get dressed before that meeting!"
Don't get me wrong, consumer technologies such as email, chat and social networking have all become commonly used tools at work, and video certainly will as well. With laptops, mobile phones and tablets becoming entry points the meetings it's now simple for anyone from developers to doctors, architects to zookeepers to participate in a video chat. But In contrast to our personal lives where we ourselves are the content for the video, at work most often it's documents or applications that need to be shared. Finding the right mixture of "humans on screen" to "content on screen" is important, and tools like HipChat are helping make this a reality.