On-site meetings physically attended by staff are less efficient and costly. When you consider the travel and parking costs, combined with the lost productive time spent in the car or on the train, plus the time it takes to settle into a meeting, the in-person option starts to add up.
Video conferencing allows businesses to meet with customers, staff and suppliers, and converse with people, you may not otherwise have been able to, from across the world. In fact, 94% of businesses that use video conferencing say it increases their productivity.*
In the past, businesses have used a room-based system with dedicated call functionality, high definition cameras and microphones to provide the clarity needed for an effective video-based conversation.
Cloud applications though have developed at a rapid rate. The hardware provided with room-based systems can now be found on PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile phones with in-built cameras and microphones.
The business-class software is usually part of a unified communications package whereby video calls between users can be initiated with a single click and group video conferences are easily organised too.
Rather than heading to a designated room, users can join conferences from their desk, from home, from a hotel room…anywhere they have a decent connection to the internet, including 4G.
These unified communications apps enable users to share their screen as presenter, while also offering presence functionality and instant messaging.
The availability of staff is informed by integration with their calendars and telephone systems, e.g. you can see if a user is on the phone or in a meeting, so choose to email them rather than trying to call them or instant message them.
We are still asked to install room-based video conferencing solutions for more formal board room or client meeting settings, so businesses need to decide what is most appropriate for them.
Both types though will undoubtedly reduce ongoing costs, improve collaboration and ensure decisions can be made more rapidly.
If you need advice on which video conferencing solution would suit your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.