Smiley face: video is the new norm
Posted on August 29, 2018
Gone are the days where dialling into businesses meant going through a large switchboard, hoping the person you wanted to speak to wasn’t already busy talking on the phone to someone else. Nowadays people want video calling and collaboration, particularly in the era of remote working and fragmented organisations.
Since dial tones are no longer the expectation for enterprise business users, we examine why organisations should embrace video and what can they do to support this trend.
The many advantages of video
Video conferencing has many advantages for business over traditional means of communication, such as a telephone call, face-to-face-meeting or even audio conferencing. These advantages are:
- Video is more engaging and strengthens relationships
Video conferencing is more engaging for all users than audio. Similar to a face-to-face conversation, eye contact, even when virtual eye contact, should be maintained. Otherwise, you’ll be seen as rude. Likewise, users should not multitask.
Video takes away a sense of distance between participants. In providing clearer communication, seeing someone’s face promotes a sense of familiarity―even if those people have never met in person.
- It enables better learning and communication
Backed up by a number of studies, it’s understood that most people process visual information far better than they do with information communicated via text or audio. It seems that when it comes to memory, we don’t remember things we hear nearly as well as things that we can touch or see.
Video conferencing not only makes it easier to remember information, but also increases the degree of understanding, accuracy of remembering and length of time in remembering those things.
- It’s more efficient
While face-to-face interaction is generally seen as the most effective way to communicate, this isn’t always practical or even possible.
Video can save on cost and time taken to travel to meetings or different locations. Despite different geographical locations or teams in co-locations or offsite work, users can still collaborate on a regular basis, without incurring the cost of travel.
- Video conferencing has become practical and easy to use
It used to be that one or two technicians had to set up video conferencing equipment and test it prior to the start of meetings. Equipment was complicated and difficult for non-IT staff to use.
With the advent of so many easy to use formats and the wide availability of these systems on laptops, computers and hand-held devices, almost anyone can make a video call or join in a virtual meeting when they need to. All you need to make a video call is a high speed connection which has increasingly become available for all businesses.
- The video conferencing trend is increasing
Credence Research recently released a report, finding with the rising rate of globalisation of business enterprise, the need for communications to be flexible, scalable and cost effective is increasing. Enterprises using these cloud-delivered systems had a competitive edge.
And while the percentage of remote workers varies from company to company, industry from industry, one industry expert speculated that within a decade, around 50 percent of office employees will be working remotely. That figure could increase to 75 percent over the next 20 years. Video is seen as the best way to get things done in many circumstances.
The key players in the market
The video conferencing market is quite consolidated with only a few major players holding the majority of the market, which include Cisco, Polycom and Broadsoft, but there are a number of other emerging companies into this market. All provide application-specific video conferencing solutions for enterprises.
There is little investment needed on the part of the enterprise to embrace video conferencing. All enterprises need to do is to select the best platform solution for their needs and promote its use through their network. Set up is often as easy as signing up users with the click of a button in a browser.
Empower staff to work flexibly, ensuring they have access to a reliable network, access to a camera via mobile device or computer and a space or ‘huddle room’ which can promote collaboration through video conferencing.
With its many advantages, easy accessibility and low cost, it begs the question of why not every business is using these services over the traditional means.