Few businesses have remained untouched by the evolution of the networked society, distributed work teams, and a growing trend for work shifting that allows people to intersperse work and personal lives seamlessly. Leading organizations are developing approaches—from social networks to video conferencing—to break down communication silos among dispersed teams and promote productivity through better collaboration and knowledge-sharing.
Video conferencing offers business leaders significant opportunities to increase their competitive edge by driving higher productivity and growth, while reducing costs. There is no doubt that video conferencing has become a well-established productivity-enhancing tool for thousands of organizations today. However, for several years now, it has remained synonymous with meetings confined to conference rooms and board rooms for group collaboration. This has largely kept the reach of video conferencing restricted to a chosen few in the enterprise. Technology and network limitations have prevented the spread of video to where the people and processes truly are—at desktops and mobile devices.
With the burgeoning demand for video everywhere, all of this is changing. The growth of mobile devices and consumerization has made BYOD (bring your own device) a reality for most organizations. Evolving software-based, non-transcoding architectures that enable virtualization and cloud deployments and work across any endpoint over any network are paving the way to make video conferencing a reality for mass adoption and are doing so at low costs to users. Furthermore, the integration of video directly into the workflows and applications, which employees use in the course of their jobs, is streamlining communications and unlocking greater productivity and faster decision-making.
This paper examines the imperative to move to personal video conferencing; discusses the limitations of traditional video conferencing technologies when it comes to supporting a large population of users; analyzes the potential for integrating video into communications tools, applications, and workflows; and presents one vendor’s solution for more effective, scalable, and affordable video conferencing to create a unique competitive advantage.
THE CHANGING FACE OF BUSINESS AND THE VIDEO IMPERATIVE
Businesses today are operating in an intensely competitive, distributed and volatile economy.
There is a mounting need to accelerate growth at lower costs, putting demands on existing
resources. As a result, business leaders and key decision-makers must find innovative ways
to boost productivity. To complicate things further, the talent pool of information workers is
shrinking. Leading organizations consistently cite the ability to attract and retain talent as their
top challenge. Video conferencing has proved to be a game-changer. It is helping businesses
across the globe in several ways.
• Accelerate decision-making and shrink development cycles by enabling businesses to capitalize on high-quality, real-time visual communications rather than passive and long-drawn-out email and telephone communications.
• Maintain intense engagement through face-to-face interactions with culturally diverse and physically distant teams by removing the productivity drag of having partially engaged participants, often hiding behind the multi-tasking curtain.
• Foster open innovation that taps into the power of internal as well as external think tanks, allowing organizations to reach outside their four walls to draw on the intelligence of larger communities.
• Implement better knowledge-sharing and management by providing the right connections to the right people in real time and non-real time through recorded and archived collaboration sessions
• Attract a more talented pool of knowledge workers that value flexible and virtual work environments.
• Accommodate changing work expectations of the next generation of workers, including the Digital Natives and Millenials, who demand more engaging and flexible work experiences
In a study conducted by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, which tested the impact of video conferencing on employee behavior and productivity, it was found that video conferencing when compared with email and telephone communications delivers more productive meetings, makes communications clearer, and improves team spirit.1 A large number of decision-makers are citing productivity improvements as a key driver. In a recent Frost & Sullivan survey of C-level executives, 85 percent of the respondents indicated that their investments in video conferencing were driven by productivity benefits.2 Fifty-eight percent responded that faster decision-making was the key reason for their investments.3