It’s no secret that the ability to have a video conference with a colleague who may be halfway across the world is a “cool” feature. But in many cases, that’s all it is. It’s a feature. It’s something that gives them a temporary “wow” factor. It’s something that’s fun to do, but not something you feel like adds value to an organization or can give you a real ROI. Below I will outline a few reasons why it can be more than that.
Over the last decade, we have seen a dramatic shift in communication technologies. From Internet telephony, to cloud-based applications, to unified communications, to high definition voice and video, we’ve seen a transition in how organizations communicate with each other, and especially their clients. Thanks to these technologies, we are no longer limited to only working in an office, or only selling products locally, and the virtual office is becoming an increasingly popular concept. But you’re probably asking, how can it help my business?
The first benefit of a video communication solution is increased productivity. A 2008 study by Purdue University showed that 65% of the world’s population are visual learners. These are people who understand best when there's something for them to look at, whether it’s text, charts, slides or graphs. This same study showed that only 30% of the world’s population are auditory learners. Having a system where video communication is possible allows that 65% to receive their information visually. Introducing a video communication solution into your organization will allow your employees to share information easily, it will allow your employees to communicate with their clients more effectively, and it will allow for real-time collaboration on projects where employees can communicate face-to-face to accomplish a goal.
Increasing productivity is a great way to help your business, but you may not be able to justify how you will be able to get your return on investment from such a system. Having employees drive to meetings, sales driving to clients, or simply trying to communicate over the phone can easily be shown to be more costly in time and resources. Introducing a video communication solution can dramatically decrease those costs. It takes out the travel time, the mileage, and other travel-related expenses that are directly impacting your bottom line. Furthermore, reducing travel and giving your employees more efficiency can allow them to focus on their core job, which may be increasing sales for your organization, developing new products or simply working on client retention.
There are many systems out there than can give your organization the capability to video conference. Before investing into one of these systems, it’s important to keep these three things in mind:
Reliability - It’s very important that this system has “Five 9s” reliability. That is a system that is operational to its users 99.999% of the time. A system that is reliable will help your staff transition easily because they will trust it will work for them every time.
Ease of Use - People adopt and use products that are easy for them to use without much of a learning curve. The more complicated a system is, the likelihood of people willing to change to this technology decreases.
Cost Effective - Invest in a system that will give you both reliability and ease of use, but also smartly invest. There are many systems that are capable of doing video communication, it’s most important to invest the one that fits the needs of your organization.
To wrap it up, having a video conference with a colleague or client who is halfway across the world is more than a “cool” feature -- it can add tremendous value to your organization and can help you increase your bottom line.