As the world grows smaller and the need for global communications grows larger, more and more industries are embracing video-conferencing technology to share ideas face-to-face. Businesses, healthcare providers, and even governments are turning to virtual solutions to global issues. While audio conferencing is still the mainstay in unified communications as we mentioned in our last report, the technology is finally catching up to the demand, as vendors are taking up the task to streamline and upgrade this outdated model.
Poor audio conferencing affects every area of business, from customer service to investor relations, and is associated with a lack of professional competence. While not everyone is rushing to install six-figure, high-end videoconference rooms, there are new, more cost-beneficial alternatives that combine versatility with new technology. It always pays to be ahead of the curve, so here is what the future of video conferencing has to offer.
With the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) movement going strong, companies are taking advantage of the new mobile workforce to encourage collaboration –particularly through video –between employees. Numerous software companies have already stepped up to provide enterprise-grade video for smartphones and tablets, so employees can connect whenever and wherever. Portability is not the only advantage of mobile-conferencing. Avoiding the usual laborious multi-step processes just to log in, start a meeting, or share content, mobile provides click-to-join capability that allows meetings to be scheduled from calendar applications and invitations to include links so users can join without a moment’s thought.
Audio and video-conferencing in days of yore was overly complicated and required training for employees. HD video conferencing technologies of today are much more user-friendly. What used to require an IT guy on standby can now be accomplished with very little prior experience, and includes new easy-to-use features including dynamic voice detection and simple setup for online meetings.
As anyone who has sat though an audio conference can attest, these meetings are fraught with technical difficulties, impossible-to-share content, and attendees who are usually too busy trying to get to the next level on Candy Crush or dealing with other, unrelated responsibilities. People talk over one another making it difficult to hear what is being said. In other words, they look something like this:
Videoconferencing and telepresence forces employees to stay present and gets as close to face-to-face communication as possible. Many of the software solutions include complete screen sharing, co-annotation (sharing and collaborating on documents together), tablet white-boarding and group messaging and chat. If you need to visually demo a new product or document with a team of people, they can see what you’re discussing without you having to guide them to “flip to page 1 and highlight column 3” over the phone.
Reinforcing relationships may not be one of the most heavily advertised benefits of videoconferencing, but it’s one of the most important ones. From small organizations to global corporations, employees working remotely still need to participate actively in company culture. Being able to see facial expressions and body language of conference participants is the basis of good communication, and can lead to faster and more effective collaboration.
No one wants miscommunication and confusion when sharing information. Allowing a CEO to hold a company-wide meeting in real time or connecting with an overseas client makes employees feel closer to their coworkers, clients and bosses in a very human way. Connecting virtually also saves you the expense of a costly and time-consuming trip.
Connecting with Logitech
Armed with the knowledge that each business requires its own style of unified communications to be successful, Logitech offers a full range of conference cams that can turn any meeting place into a video-enabled face-to-face collaboration space. Offering HD video and enterprise-quality audio at an affordable price allows companies and individuals to share their expertise all over the world.
Have any bad conference calls? Share in the comments.