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What are use cases for asynchronous video communication?

When it's time to share information with colleagues, a full-blown video conference isn't always necessary. Maybe an app like TikTok could help.

Ready to log in to TikTok for your next business meeting? One topic at this year's Enterprise Connect Virtual was examining the potential for asynchronous video communication -- in the style of popular consumer apps, like TikTok and Snapchat -- as an alternative to an all-out video meeting. While we tend to think of using business video to support meetings, it can also be used to avoid having meetings in the first place.

The evolution of business communications

Internal business communications has become a two-step process. Step one is chat. We live in chat all day. It enables us to respond at our own pace and stay in communication with our teams while actively working. We can monitor chat while working on projects without affecting our productivity. Step two is video. When we need to collaborate and get teamwork done, we escalate from chat to video.

But there exists a gray area between a full-blown video meeting and a chat message or email. Sometimes, it is just much easier to explain something by talking than by typing, but you don't want to drag the entire team into a video meeting. Maybe you just want to quickly outline a new filing procedure or discuss new requirements from a client. It's too much information to type out in chat, but you don't want to force the team to stop what they're doing to get the details in a video meeting. You need something in the middle. This is where asynchronous video communication can help.

Taking the next step

Instead of typing everything out, just turn on your webcam, hit record and explain what you want to get across to the camera. Make a short video -- even 30 seconds can have a lot of information -- and share it with the team. Everyone gets your message clearly, precisely and in your voice. Again, text chat is great, but sometimes, it is far more effective to explain things vocally and visually. The key is how to share these clips, and that is where services, modeled as TikTok for business, will try to make a play.

Asynchronous video isn't just limited to upgrading voicemail to video. A TikTok-like service, designed for business, could be so much more. Consider the creation of a library of useful information. If, say, someone finds a new shortcut or trick that saves time, that information can be shared with the group visually and archived for later viewing by new hires. Countless meetings can be avoided by saying, "Instead of explaining everything in a meeting, I'll just share a few clips."

While asynchronous video communication may not be the next big thing or enjoy mass adoption in enterprise, I do think we will see it grow and find actual uses. In the meantime, we'll continue to live in chat and hop on video meetings when it's time to discuss things, but asynchronous video will ultimately find its place somewhere in between.

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