Video conferencing has become mainstream in businesses. As the technology expands especially into the mobile area, this tech will become even more common. Now is the time to start using the advantages of these platforms, if your company isn’t already. Software suites are no longer buggy, and companies no longer need expensive high-end conference rooms to communicate around the globe.
With only a webcam and a mic, most computer workstations can become an access point to a web chat. The convenience factor and cost savings can go a long way toward convincing the IT department to quickly set up the office for conferencing. Most workstations already have the software needed to connect to an online meeting. Just about everyone has Microsoft Office, so Skype for Business is usually the default instant messaging platform at work. Some IT professionals prefer to use Slack as a back channel.
The good news for IT is that it’s easy to connect users to digital conferences whether they are coming from Skype or Slack. With the Blue Jeans Network, the advantages of video conferencing for IT departments are that they can easily help all employees connect to the same group because platforms like these have extensive interoperability and cloud-based security. Discussion moderators can invite participants by sending email invitations and have complete control of who the presenters are at any time. Moderators also can analyze relevant metrics to see how the meeting performed and find things to improve for next time.
Conferencing for sales
Going external with web chatting is the last step in its evolution at most enterprises. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of branding, says Antoinette Siu of CMS Wire. During a webinar, companies can add their logo to the corner of the screen or have a backdrop with a logo or even be subtler and just put a company coffee cup on the presenter’s desk.
Engagement in digital marketing is all the rage nowadays. A webinar is a chance to get live interaction with targeted prospects or customers wherein viewers can ask questions and receive immediate feedback. Consumers expect instant gratification, and a webinar can give them that.
Beyond webinars, companies can conduct sales calls with other businesses through this technology. It’s convenient, saves time and money and undeniably has a wow factor. Companies can include product and service demonstrations in video conferences and re-purpose them as separate demos to be played on YouTube, included in e-newsletters or posted to the company website. Companies can go even further and link to the videos from social media accounts. All of this is certainly less expensive and time-consuming than creating TV commercials.
Many things are going to be adapted for use on mobile devices. It’s because almost everyone has a smartphone that they carry around all the time. Even online meeting tech is mobile now and may eventually become the main access point, says David J. Danto of Network World. Many platforms including Blue Jeans have mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. The best have the same features available as their desktop counterparts.
Aside from the cellphone front, laptops and remote employees are gaining momentum in the business world. In a recent employee survey of more the 4,000 people, research shows that participants championed video conferencing, says Steve Lovejoy of Michigan State University.
Many employees embrace the benefits of these systems such as less travel, more flexibility, faster decision-making and greater team diversity.
Whether it’s IT professionals helping workers set up email accounts remotely or proposal teams coming together assess their progress, online discussions can make things easier and faster. Groups in the same location no longer need big budgets to buy expensive equipment to conduct meetings over the internet. Technologies for high-quality cameras and mics have evolved and made them less expensive.
Conferencing has moved far beyond the limitations of the trusty old telephone. After all, communication with live, moving visuals allows participants to study a person’s body language and facial expressions, resulting in a much more relatable feel to the experience. There is less confusion between two people when they are facing each other rather than just listening to each other from a speaker. The additional channels of communication that these platforms provide make it easier for participants of different cultures to understand what everybody is trying to say. All of this leads to more agile business operations.
There are so many forms of sharing available with unified communication systems. Presenters can use video inserts and PowerPoint slides, share computer screens and even send instant messages without leaving the platform. None of that could happen during a traditional audio call. No matter the size of the company, there is an affordable online meeting solution available for you. There is no excuse not to jump in, but a plethora of reasons for why you should take the leap.