94% suggest video delivers productivity improvements. Are you benefiting?

Posted on January 14, 2016

Video conferencing is fast becoming one of the premium collaboration tools for Australian businesses. With a simple click of a button, companies can be connected with foreign clients, stakeholders and customers - discussing important project details and outlining contracts.

According to Technavio, the global video conferencing market will experience a 9 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) between now and 2019. Vice President of Technavio Faisal Ghaus explained that this is a trend across the world, not just in Asia-Pacific.

"Companies are upgrading workstations to improve collaboration between local and global teams, which requires services that can facilitate real-time communication at all times. As a result, enterprises are switching from isolated web meetings to video conferencing services via computers and mobile phones," he said.

With this in mind, businesses without video conferencing capabilities might be wondering where this can fit into their existing technology infrastructure. Read on to find out about the merits of video conferencing, its various uses and why it is so popular today.

What is video conferencing?

As the name suggests, a video conference is a conversation between two or more parties at different sites which incorporates both video and audio data. This real-time technology uses computer networks to exchange information providing high-quality video images and audio for accurate collaboration.

Video conferencing technology has come a long way in recent years with fastest internet speeds, high definintion cameras and greatly enhanced microphones improving the quality of the conversation between the parties.

Video conferencing and the benefits?

When picking up the telephone isn't enough to relay important contract information or discuss project details, video conferencing can be used to speed up the conversation. In many situations, it is easier to understand requirements when you can see the person at the other end of the call.

"When picking up the telephone isn't enough to relay important contract information or discuss project details, video conferencing can be used to speed up the conversation."

In a Wainhouse Research survey, 5,000 enterprise video end-users around the world were asked for their insight on video conferencing. These results should prove interesting for businesses thinking about adopting this technology internally.

According to the results, efficiency and productivity is the top benefit of video conferencing - with 94 per cent of respondents stating this reason. Other answers included increased impact of discussions (88 per cent), expedited decision making (87 per cent) and reduced travel costs (87 per cent).

In response to the results, Ira M. Weinstein, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research, explained that many businesses don't understand how beneficial video conferencing can actually be.

"The longstanding misconception is that travel reduction is the only 'real' driver of video conferencing. This survey, however, shows that soft benefits including improved efficiency and productivity and increased impact during discussions play a prominent role in the video conferencing value proposition," she said.

Video conferencing also promotes green technology and helps businesses change their energy usage. Without the need to travel between cities or abroad, companies reduce their carbon footprint and fleet expenses. This is a great way to promote your business as an industry leader in sustainable, green technology.

Where can video conferencing add value to your business?

By taking these benefits into consideration, it isn't surprising that 25 per cent of respondents to the survey use video conferencing technology daily. In fact, 39 per cent take advantage of this weekly and 21 per cent monthly.

So what is video conferencing actually being used for? Well, Wainhouse Research's survey identified two areas of note.

  • New clients and customers

Firstly, 71 per cent noted that meeting customers and partners was its top use. There is no doubt that we live in fast-moving corporate environment, meaning that it isn't always possible to connect with customers and partners in person.

However, as important data and information needs to be transferred, the logical solution is to jump on a video conference and engage with them face-to-face. It is then easier to stay in touch with stakeholders and a great way to build quality relationships.

  • Flexible workers

Secondly, for working with remote workers. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one in 12 Australians now work from home. This figure is even higher when you consider those with the option of flexible working.

While working from home is great for an employee's work/life balance, it can be professionally isolating. Based on a McCrindle Research survey of 250 flexible workers, 58 per cent seek better social interaction and face-to-face contact.

As such, video conferencing could be the solution. Wainhouse Research found 87 per cent of remote workers strongly agree or agree that this technology allows them to work more productively and efficiently without feeling neglected or disconnected from their colleagues.