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Building your own video app: Key considerations, and why going custom is worth it


  • Jessica Palay
    Jessica Palay
  • Apr 27, 2020
TLDR

While some out-of-the-box providers might meet certain needs, there’s flexibility and control of the user experience in using a build-first solution—and it’s not as complicated to create as you might think.

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In the midst of coronavirus, video conferencing has quickly become a centerpiece of business continuity plans. Whether it’s distance learning, telemedicine, or recreational e-visits, COVID-19 has meant an abrupt transition to fully embrace video conferencing.

A lot of organizations have transitioned to well-known solutions like Zoom or GoToMeeting, or other industry-specific providers like Doxy.me. While some out-of-the-box providers might meet certain needs, there’s flexibility and user experience control in building your own solution—and it’s not as complicated as you might think.

With more people than ever before turning to video to communicate with businesses and keep in touch with friends and family, there are key considerations to keep in mind for creating a reliable video conferencing solution, and why custom often makes more sense, especially in times like these.

What to consider when building your own solution

Plan for scale

Are your customers local? Distributed globally? The location of the video servers will influence connection times and if there are delays such as latency.

Engineer for handling video applications reliably at global scale with servers located in data centers worldwide. Connect each participant through the closet media servers with global low latency.

Protect customers

What type of information will be shared in your video application? Depending on what is exchanged, and where, your application may be subject to regulations such as HIPAA and/or the GDPR. To be a trusted video conferencing solution, requires maintaining security and compliance standards. Protect recordings using public key encryption.

Deliver universal quality

Can everyone participate? Create face-to-face experiences for each participant regardless of network conditions, device, and browser. Increase accessibility and include all participants with PSTN calling when the internet is not available. Automatically optimize for network bandwidth by dynamically adjusting the video bitrate and resolution to match current network conditions. Ensure your solution is device agnostic, so everyone can participate. Create applications supported across devices with Javascript, iOS, and Android SDKs and all major browsers.

Optimize the experience

How are you facilitating a successful video conferencing experience? Integrate with existing systems for a centralized point of operations. You can also monitor network quality and alert users when there are issues. Layout and media controls can support a customizable experience that users can personalize. Integrating other channels like SMS for appointment reminders or voice calling, if the wifi stops working, can help increase accessibility and usage. Ideally, you can A/B test your solution and update it as needed.

Just like the rest of your user journey is integrated and streamlined across multiple channels, your video experience should be too.

Jessica Palay

The value of going custom

Reliability

When you build your own custom video conferencing application with a reliable provider, your organization gains all that reliability too. Being able to send your video media through the closest servers reduces latency, which means you can give your customers, patients, and users a more enjoyable, trusted experience.

Agility and customization

Everything about your customer, patient, or user engagement journey is custom; why not your video app? By building your own, you can provide a consistent, reliable experience end-to-end, with your own custom look and feel.

Quality

Network conditions and their volatility can wreak havoc on a video conference. By building your own video application, you can make sure that each participant gets the best possible experience by automatically optimizing for network bandwidth to match current network conditions to maximize quality with support across Javascript, iOS, Android and all major browsers.

Omnichannel and accessible

Just like the rest of your user journey is integrated and streamlined across multiple channels, your video experience should be too. Building a custom video solution lets your customers engage on video without having to download a separate app, which can be a jarring experience, or your video solution can integrate in-app if you already have one. You can integrate with text messaging to send reminders, or even direct links to join a video call. And, you can ensure call-in options even when the internet is not available, reaching users no matter where they are.

Building custom might seem daunting, but the truth is, it’s easier than ever. In fact, we now offer an open source video app that lets developers deploy a video app in less than five minutes.

Virtual interaction is quickly becoming an essential capability for organizations from all industries. Providing a reliable, scalable, and enjoyable video communication experience not only means having a thoughtful and pretty user interface but also the right infrastructure to support virtual engagement worldwide, across all devices, regardless of variability in network connections.

Watch the webinar

See how other organizations created their remote engagement solutions, and how you can build your own in minutes: Watch our on-demand webinar, “Bringing people together through video applications.”

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Jessica Palay

Jessica Palay

Jessica Palay is a Product Marketing Manager at Twilio for Programmable Voice.

Jessica holds a MSc. in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford where she examined how communities react, respond, and incorporate new technologies into their lives. This academic expertise, combined with her tech sales and marketing experience, makes her acutely attuned to how new communication technologies impact the way that people and businesses interact, transact, and form relationships.

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