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By Charlie Whelpton, Director
|The technology is here and proving itself! Video conferencing is at or near the top of the list of IT investments in 2011 for many organisations looking to innovate and grow. Video conferencing is boasting savings of 30% on travel costs, reduced downtime by 27% and reduced sales-related costs by 24% according to Polycom.
There are countless ways that video conferencing is now readily adopted within the world around us. Here are some of the ways that this technology is being applied today:
1) Personal Use
It started life as a dodgy webcam balanced on the top of your monitor in the corner of the lounge, with the TV in the background. Now, even the latest smartphone technology includes video conferencing, such as iPhone’s FaceTime. Your future employees and managers will be adept at using this technology to collaborate.
2) Access to the experts
Whether in a meeting, seminar or needing one to one advice, video conferencing is used to bring an expert into the interaction without the expert having to leave the their own office or home. The obvious upside is that the expert is more productive enjoying significantly less downtime and offering greater availability to their colleagues as a result of less travel.
3) Business meetings
The application of video conferencing for business meetings is immense, from hosting meetings at short notice with individuals in different locations, to hosting meetings that don’t justify the cost of transporting individuals to them. Whatever the meeting, the savings in travel costs alone can provide an ROI fast. In June Plantronics reported that 54% of people with access to video conferencing used it “all of the time” or “frequently”. Now that High Definition video & audio is standard, the human aspects of tone and expression are all part of the meeting experience.
4) Top down management communication
Your company doesn’t have to be a multi-million pound business with offices around the globe to enable senior management to use video conferencing to share their business vision, success against targets or areas of improvement. But for an MD or CEO to communicate with employees using video conferencing can rejuvenate and motivate a workforce.
5) Building relationships
In sectors and departments where relationships with customers is essential for long term growth and prosperity, video conferencing can help to build profitable relationships much more quickly. It also enables the organisations to contact, or visit, more clients in a shorter space of time.Training and development.
Whether you’re training management teams, contact centre agents, employees located around the world, or clients, being able to bring expert trainers & lecturers into the classroom without the need to travel can make learning more rapid and effective.
6) Product development
A product may be designed in the UK, components sourced in Thailand and the product manufactured in China, with a multitude of different partners in your supply chain speaking different languages. Video conferencing has reduced the product development lifecycle by all parties being able to see the physical product from their own locations and use translation services to break down the language barriers.
7) Product demonstrations
Being able to demonstrate a product in a live environment can significantly increase sales. In particular, it can help build a rapport between the consultant and the client through greater frequency of face to face activity which will impact positively on revenues and retention.
Although it is much more effective to do interviews face-to-face, this isn’t always possible. However, it may be necessary for a senior manager to interview a new candidate but they are unable to meet them in person in the time available. Video conferencing can shorten the time to job offer and give you the pick of the best candidates.
9) Problem diagnosis
Used within the medical practice, video conferencing can support treatment by being able to examine & converse with patients in real time. This is particularly critical in emergency or life threatening situations, or in rural areas where getting to a hospital may take too long. For example, a rural medical center in Ohio, USA, used video conferencing to successfully cut the number of transfers of sick infants to a hospital 70 miles away. This had previously cost nearly $10,000 per transfer.
10) Press conferences
11) Providing evidence
It’s now commonplace for a witness or expert in a trial to give evidence through a video link because they are unable to attend court for whatever reason.
12) Sign language
The first application of video conferencing was to enable deaf people or those hard of hearing, to communicate with others in another location.
As you can see there are countless ways that video conferencing can be applied – and here we have only touched the surface. To discuss the application of video conferencing in your organisation, contact the Redwood team on 0207 738 1000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.