Video collaboration is playing an increasingly important role in the way businesses communication, with Internet video conferencing among the business community projected to grow in the coming years. However, many firms are still unfamiliar with the options available on the market, getting more concerned with deployment logistical issues and have no idea how to get the true costs of using video in everyday business communication.
Deployment concerns have to be addressed, but many businesses are still viewing video under the traditional lens. Besides the cost of investing in associated tools like Blue Jeans video conferencing equipment – management of technologies, software and hardware – you should also take into account what you are missing when you decide to forego the investment. Some of the significant risks your business is taking by continually delaying the deployment of video include:
- Talent recruiting challenges
- Below-par customer care
- Missed business opportunities
- No competitive differentiation
- Lost capital reinvestment
The Options Available
In terms of options, video conferencing is applicable for all types of business situations – from browser to the boardroom situation. The question on choice ultimately leads back to your organization’s needs, but IT managers should understand that high-quality video is available across all mediums. The experience of the client is not compromised, nor does it have to impact the company’s bottom line.
Integration with Existing Systems
A major consideration while selecting the best-designed video conferencing system is its integration with your company’s unified communication and collaborative solutions. If you have a communications infrastructure that was developed piece by piece on siloed solution structure, IT managers will definitely have a hard time getting all of the different pieces working together. Video conferencing should offer you a flexible enough platform that meeting participants can join in using different devices, from a desk- or room-based system or a desktop computer to a smartphone or tablet. Video users should also be presentment with the same great benefits of a voice system user such as voicemail, call forwarding and extension mobility.
A simplicity-driven user experience approach is important for early adoption. In a perfect world, vendors should create intuitive, simple tools that do not have to be accompanied by user manuals. Any training required should be addressed from the very beginning – if this is not done, your investment in a video conferencing solution will not bring in value back to your organization through reduced travel costs, better customer loyalty, improved sales and other use cases.
Video conferencing solutions should be reliable. Once users in your organization gain access to video and are accustomed to interacting with other participants in the meeting via video, taking access away or offering a sub-standard experience will seriously dent adoption and stall the better business outcomes you envisage.
Deployment scalability means that the solution has to be designed to adapt to growth. While a modestly designed solution might be adequate for calls for a few people, integrating video will see even more people want to use it. You need to have a game plan to accommodate the extra interest, more bandwidth requirements and more video capable conference-rooms as your business grows.
A video conferencing solution should be secure. The disadvantage of using free, unrestricted video platforms in your business communications is security. Your business video traffic ought to be encrypted as you discuss business-sensitive information with your employees, for example when developing a new product or discussing litigation in which your company is involved in.
IT managers have to grapple with the confusion surrounding the cost considerations with video collaboration. One concern is whether to implement a fixed, dedicated cost network or simply subscribe to a pay-as-you-go service. While some cloud-based video conferencing services solutions choose to charge their clients by what looks like a low per-minute price for every user, the system is likely to get popular among your organizational users with calls taking longer and more people getting involved online. The result will be a huge shock bill at the end of every month.
Cost considerations should be reviewed, but a probable true test of video collaborations costs lies in what it would cost you if you did not implement it. Video creates new business opportunities such as:
- A doctor in a major metropolitan hospital can attend to a patient in some remote corner of the world
- A customer in a small bank branch can connect directly to a mortgage lender in a bigger branch across Australia
- Can move a business from been e-commerce to providing e-services where professionals can directly talk to a customer via video
To conclude, in other words, having a video conferencing strategy is not only about your business cutting costs, but about how you can achieve growth. Choosing the right tools is the first step.