Most businesses end up struggling to develop appropriate and effective communications systems. This often leads to employees, especially mid-level managers and above, spending lots of time in conference calls. Sadly, most of this time ends up being wasted as your employees view this as a time when they can get ‘real’ work done or even just simply hang out on the line. The thing that is ultimately missing is lack of visual contact, according to a recent Fast Company article. This also leads to the fact that top companies who are beginning to implement video teleconferencing are seeing amazing results; here are some of the reasons why.
Adds Social Pressure to a Meeting:
The additional elements of being able to see others and to have others see you is a strong point in favor of using video conferencing. This has a significant impact on social presence. It even is thought to allow attendees the ability to assess non-verbal cues and conversational mechanics. This method of interaction with others just simply feels more personal and it has been consistently rated as such by a number of different employees at a wide variety of companies.
Top Companies Converting to Video Conferencing:
There have also been a number of reports recently that show many of the top companies to watch in 2014 are beginning to switch over to more extensive use of this method of inter-office communications. One of these companies is Proctor and Gamble, according to the Information Week site. They have already established 40 telepresence rooms (their word for video conference centers) around the world and are even starting to reduce their standard conferencing rooms.
Another company that is also taking advantage of this new technology is Tampa Electric Company. They love the idea of video conferencing because they can keep key employees in-house, rather than having to send them out in potentially dangerous weather. This savings in terms of travel time and expense can be huge for a large operation such as TECO.
Cost of Equipment Continues Dropping:
As technology continues advancing, what used to be just a nice thing to have has now become surprisingly affordable. Sure, people have been talking for years about how you can visit Blue Jeans network and other conferencing companies and how this technology was going to transform business. It looks as if the time for that happening has finally arrived. The cost of the equipment needed to set up video conferencing has continued to drop and is now becoming less expensive than continuing to send employees for in-person meetings.
A number of research firms have also projected that the use of this technology is going to continue growing, according to the Hospitality Net blog. Some of these firms are expecting usage to grow by 20 percent per year over the next five years and that this will become a $2 billion industry. This growth is also leading a number major travel suppliers to jump on board, becoming facilitators of video conferencing as a way to benefit their clients. Some major hotel chains are also considering adding cutting edge video conferencing systems that could be used by their business clients and bring in an additional revenue stream.
Low-Tech Video Conferencing Also Thriving:
Although bigger companies are looking into developing their systems using the latest and most cutting edge technology, this might not be right for every business. In fact, you will find that even on the low-tech side of things, video conferencing is growing by leaps and bounds. You do not really even need a dedicated room. Instead, this can be pulled off literally with just a webcam and some basic software. Most of these tools are already installed on newer computers these days anyway. The software itself, if needed, can be downloaded right from the Internet and it is also cheaper and much simpler to use than past generations of video software.
Additional Bundled Services:
In many cases, video conferencing equipment and software is bundled with other items that make collaboration even easier. This includes solutions to help share documents, go through presentations, and even chat with other people while on the conference call. Companies making these software tools are also very excited since clients can activate them not only on computers, but also tablets and other select mobile devices. Best of all, most of these additional services and features are cheap enough that almost every business can afford to at least give them a try.
Tons of Applications:
In addition to the examples given above, there are literally thousands of other companies and ways to implement video conferencing, according to Clear One. A unique example of this might be Activision Publishing. The game developer actually using video conferencing and collaboration tools to bring programmers together. They literally get together and use this equipment to solve the problems of video game design. This has even sped up their process, so that now they can develop new games in about half the time it takes most of their competitors.
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