Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no secret that our habits have changed. With studies suggesting that half of employed adults in the U.S. are teleworking due to office closures, pajama bottoms are now acceptable work-from-home attire and Zoom seems to have become a verb used to describe all video conferencing apps. No matter how much change is taking place around us, one thing must remain constant – or even improve – so businesses can stay productive: the latency we’ve come to rely on from video conference app providers. Now, all eyes are on edge data centers to maintain and enhance those critical business communications.
The Video Conferencing Trends
Businesses of all sizes are relying on video conferencing apps to conduct day-to-day operations. ZDNet reports the number of Microsoft Teams users grew from 44 million to 75 million between March – June 2020 – 75 million is roughly the same as the population of California, Texas and New York combined. Zoom’s daily participants rose from 10 million to 300 million, which is roughly equivalent to the entire U.S. population minus Florida, between December 2019 – April 2020. The more users there are putting stress on video conferencing systems, the greater the chances for connectivity troubles.
Imagine that you’re on a video conference with a prospect. Just as you’re getting to the best part of your presentation, the system freezes and your call drops, leaving the prospect wondering what happened. Is that going to cost you their business? Maybe not. But it does cost you time while you reconnect to the call or time to reschedule if reconnecting isn’t possible.
How Edge Data Centers Boost Video Conferencing
The traditional colocation model is not set up optimally for most video conferencing applications. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but data in video conferencing often takes a scenic route. Data from one user may stop at two data centers that criss-cross the country before reaching its ultimate destination. The further away the data point, the higher the latency – or delay – the users experience. As more people log on to Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype video calls and others, that has the potential to overload data centers and send data even further away before it reaches the end user. If more video conferencing apps designated a single destination to send their data, it would create a more streamlined process. Ideally, data would be sent to a data center as close as possible to the end user.
The rise of edge data centers enables more efficiency for video conferencing apps by allowing them to get closer to the end user, reducing latency. Traditional data centers are typically located in large metropolitan areas while micro data centers, like ours, bring service to Tier II and Tier III cities. Locating in places other than large cities provide users in rural areas with the same connectivity options as everyone else.
A Higher Standard for Video Conferencing Apps
With the global video conferencing market expected to reach $6.37 billion by 2026, video conferencing companies must be held to a higher standard. Finding a more efficient way to exchange information will be a major conduit to keeping the economy going by enabling telework as the nation moves through the rest of the pandemic. As telework becomes more accepted post-pandemic, enterprises of all sizes will continue to rely on the proficiency of video conferencing, which means the need for edge data centers will become even more important.
To learn more about our edge data centers and how we can help your business grow, contact us.