Why You Should Have Online Video Conferencing Regularly

Re-post article by Business World from businessworld.ie

Online video conferencing has taken organizations by storm. Many companies are exploiting this technology to their advantage. There are still many businesses unaware of the potential of video conferencing. Here’s why your IT department should conduct online conferencing for IT regularly using services like Blue Jeans.

Flexible Workplace

Online video conferencing improves workplace flexibility. A study done by global workplace analytics as reported on PC mag shows that there is 3.7 million U.S. workforce working from home half the time. Video conference has changed the traditional office and provides the flexible work timings where employees can spend time with their families and children and yet grow professionally. This trend allows employers to employ professional people outside the geographical boundaries. Working remotely allows businesses to connect quickly with their IT employees to seek professional advice from anywhere in the world.

Increased Engagement

Research shows that people usually multi-task during a phone call rather than a video call. Video conference is more engaging and offers visuals allowing companies to understand their customers and employees better. Businesses can also ensure that employees are paying attention during the conference. As majority of the people are visual learners, it is a compelling case for video conferencing.

Increased Productivity

One of the ways to increase productivity is to share a screen. It helps you save time rather than sending huge files over emails. Screen sharing keeps the team engaged as it allows everyone to be in sync. There is no chance for miscommunication and loss of details. As the entire team is participating, listening, and contributing, it helps increased productivity.

Improved Communication

Online video conferencing fosters better communication and team experience as the meetings can be conducted any time and anywhere with various tools to improve communication. People can share their progress real-time and keep the current status of the project updated. They can also discuss projects, get training to upgrade their skills, and go through performance reviews and have group study circles.

The collaborative notes, video streaming, and other advanced technologies provide a wealth of experience and take collaboration to a new height which no other communication mode can match.

Quality Leads

Having regular meetings with customers help them to understand your products better, and your presentation will stay on top of their mind. It will help generate more leads and also assist in increasing the lead quality. As people attend your meetings since they express interest in your product, you will be readily getting more information about their contacts, demographic data, psychographic information since the customers have committed their time to learn. You can convert these prospective customers into fans by taking this chance and providing value.

Content Marketing

Video conferencing can be used to deliver content as visual, and an interactive material is the trend of the content marketing. Utilizing webinars and recordings to distribute valuable content can be the best way to attract customers. According to the Institute of content marketing, 66 percent of B2B marketers was of the opinion that webinars are successful form of content marketing while 62 percent said that videos are the most efficient method of content creation.

Establish As a Thought Leader

It provides an opportunity for you to establish as a leader in that category. With informative and unique webinars, you can create a buzz in the marketplace with your unique IT concepts and establish yourself as a brand where people want to listen to you. Once people find value in the content you deliver, more people will start listening to you on a regular basis and start converting giving you more business.

New Opportunities

You can use it for bringing in new guests as your partners to promote your services and products. It can have high effect in building a good relationship with the audience. You can also have a strategic partnership with them, which can help you increase number of customers. It will help you to bring new content to the public and increase your brand exposure, which will ultimately lead to more business.

Fine Tune Your Message

Due to real-time feedback visually from the audience on the level of the engagement, your message can be customized and improved to resonate with the public. It helps you deliver the better message and adapt to the circumstances. You can quickly figure out working system. You can assess yourself and your presentation skills, which will give you scope to improve, making yourself better with each passing conference.

In conclusion, it is now a necessity to hold regular video conferences with employees and customers to stay on top of people’s minds and drive organization’s goals and services in this competitive market. It is the best technology that can help you grow by keeping in touch with all the stakeholders of your business all the time.

4 Ways IT Companies Improve Productivity Through Video Conferencing

Re-post article by Asian Correspondent from asiancorrespondent.com

Running a team, whether it’s a group of IT experts or marketing gurus, essentially comes down to the same things. You’re always on the lookout for effective ways to boost productivity. You want your team to improve, to do their best, to deliver winning results. Here are four things you can do to help your team achieve all that:

Invest in the right tools

Tools should make your life easier. If you can improve the way you do your business, do it faster, make the process more seamless, take fewer steps, then there’s every reason to do it. One such tool is video conferencing technology. Given the ton of benefits it offers users, video conferencing is fast becoming one of the technologies companies can no longer live without. This is especially true for IT companies that need to be on the forefront of cutting-edge solutions when it comes to providing their clients and teams with better ways to reach out to each other and communicate.

Improve collaboration

When it comes to video conferencing technology, well-known provider of web-based video solutions Blue Jeans offers its best video conferencing equipment for IT. With features designed to encourage team collaborations, your staff can now easily upload slides or images, share audio as well as visual content, wherever and whenever they happen to be. So if you’ve got several IT teams on remote and working around the clock to install better IT systems to protect the company’s data and processes, then video conferencing is one way for you to encourage your teams to work together, sans geographical barriers, Mobile Village says. This way, when something comes up and urgent results are necessary, you can count on your team to push through and work together until they come up with a viable plan or course of action.

Provide work flexibility

Everybody knows people work better when they feel appreciated, when they know their work and contribution to the company matters. Happy and content employees also stay longer at their jobs. When people tender in their resignations, companies lose out on the training and investment they put into that employee. But the longer they stay, the more companies are able to rely on the improved skills and training of their employees. With video conferencing solutions, it’s now easier than ever for IT companies to offer their hardworking employees work-from-home perks. This is ideal for parents who want to spend more time at home. By providing these employees with flexible work schedules, even small companies or those just starting out on their own in the business, are able to get access to talents they wouldn’t have had otherwise. The Harvard Business Review mentions how Jet Blue allows high-ability mothers who have the qualifications and skills they need to report to work from places 3 hours away from HQ. Offering employees with flexibility in when and where they work helps improve employee contentment. IT companies can certainly highlight this feature. As a gesture, it sends the right message to employees. Companies changing their HR policies to allow for work from home setups are telling their employees one thing: your comfort matters to us. You matter. And it’s that kind of appreciation that lets employees know they’re more than just cogs in the wheel. That their contribution to the company, their sacrifices, the effort and heart they put into the work, aren’t all lost in the abyss. With video conferencing making work from home arrangements possible, companies now have a way to show employees how important they are to the organization.

Provide better ways of communication

Since video conferencing allows employees to stay in touch any time, every where, staff members are well able to keep up daily communications with team mates who happen to deployed to offsite locations, or working from home, even if that home happens to be several continents and a time zone away. IT companies, especially a lot of startup IT companies, now have a chance to expand to other markets on a global scale without having to spend a lot of their capital on staying and keeping in touch. Video conferencing provides IT companies with a cost-effective solution to their communication problems. No need to spend a lot on hardware and expensive upgrades. Nor is there any need to spend on travel tickets and fares to allow management teams to look after remote staff or to let on and offsite employees meet. With video conferencing, IT companies can easily communicate with each other and their clients as well as save up on travel costs.

With video conferencing, it’s easy to take care of your employees, to monitor them, no matter where they happen to be. And that care, along with the flexibility you offer them via video conferencing are all effective in driving productivity levels even higher.

Video conferencing: Don’t go live today with yesterday’s hardware

Re-post article by James Campanini from itproportal.com

Communication in business is key. The language you use, the gestures you make, even the way you dress can make or break a relationship. How many times have you been on a call and the other person has come across as being short and disinterested in what you are saying? Is this because they simply are, or just because they are distracted by something else, whether that’s incoming emails, the people around them, or another phone ringing?

A recent survey highlighted that 72 per cent of employees believe that live video has the power to transform the way they communicate in the workplace, from meetings to internal calls and would help them develop stronger relationships. However, only 28 per cent of employers are encouraging them to use video.

Considering the benefits that live video brings and how much it is now being used in our personal lives through apps such as FaceTime, it is surprising that more businesses aren’t encouraging employees to be ‘live’ in the workplace.

Is your video conferencing hardware up to scratch?

However, when you start to look at the puzzle in a bit more detail, a 2015 survey highlighted that over half (56 per cent) of businesses are using video conferencing hardware, which is deemed as outdated and not fit for purpose.

So, when put in that light, it isn’t that businesses don’t want to be ‘live’. It is actually a case of the cost outweighing the rewards, as they believe procuring and implementing new hardware throughout the organisation will be both a timely and costly affair.

Making the leap

Whilst it is true, a rip and replace of any IT system is going to cost a fortune and unless it is absolutely necessary, there will always be more important projects to focus the time and money on. But, what if you didn’t need to rip and replace, what if the existing hardware could be upcycled and given a new lease of life with a software update?

Through cloud-based software, things such as video conferencing can not only be refreshed, but they can be widely rolled out across an organisation at a fraction of the cost of a traditional hardware upgrade.

This means that hundreds of businesses are currently sat on the technology they need to make their business ‘live’ and with just a small upgrade to the software and the cobwebs blown off the dusty unused systems, they could be broadcasting to the world in no time at all.

Employees could see who they are speaking to, eliminating those awkward ‘disengaged’ meetings and improve relationships. Departments across the business could also be more effective, such as the HR team who could conduct first round interviews via conference and dramatically reduce the amount of travel time by employees to low level meetings, as they would be just a click away instead of a train journey.

By adopting an upcycling approach, not only will businesses benefit from the power of live communication through old technology, but they will also increase their chances of appealing to generation Z, otherwise known as the ‘selfie generation’. This will ensure that they not only attract the best talent out there, but keep the young stars they already have around the workplace to be competitive both now and in the future.

Lifesize Brings Recording to Video Conferencing Cloud

Lifesize Brings Recording to Video Conferencing Cloud

Re-post from www.eweek.com | By Jeffrey Burt | Posted 2015-07-21

Lifesize’s Amplify cloud service lets users record, save and share video conferences through YouTube-like personal libraries.
Lifesize Communications is adding to its cloud video conferencing capabilities by offering a service that enables users to record, save and share their video calls and to house those recordings in a cloud-based personal video library.

Recording and sharing video calls can be done on equipment that’s on the market, but it’s not an easy process, according to Michael Helmbrecht, vice president of marketing at Lifesize. There are multiple steps that need to be taken and videos must be downloaded and stored on a user’s own system. IT support is often needed, content delivery can need extensive networking support, and security can be dicey, Helmbrecht told eWEEK.

Lifesize Cloud Amplify, which is available immediately, is designed to make the process easier, he said.

“We want anyone to record on any device,” Helmbrecht said, noting that users increasingly want to be able to quickly access and share their recordings.

Being able to do so will help a wide range of departments within a business, from human resources professionals who want to record everything from all-hands meetings and training videos to sales groups to capture presentations and share them with prospective customers to teachers who want to keep video of their classes on hand.

Through Amplify, meeting participants only need a single click to record from their notebook, tablet, smartphone or Lifesize Icon video system that is paired with the Lifesize Cloud. The software records not only the video and audio, but also the content shared during the session.

The technology also creates a personal library in the Lifesize Cloud—officials describe it as being similar to YouTube—and automatically stores the recording in the library. Through Cloud Amplify, users can view the recording or share it with other participants. Videos can be added to a watch list, and users can “like” the most popular of them. By tagging colleagues, the recorded video can be added to their personal libraries.

Amplify’s cloud capabilities mean greater control and security for businesses, according to Lifesize officials. Account managers can control who sees the recordings, and automatic reporting features let them meter video usage across their company. It’s also easily scalable.

Lifesize—a division of Logitech—is offering the service as an addition to its annual subscription, with plans starting at $4,000 a year for unlimited recordings and a 15-hour video library. Current and prospective Lifesize Cloud customers can get a free trial.

Helmbrecht said Lifesize officials are looking at ways to expand the capabilities of Amplify, including enabling users to create channels or federate between libraries.

The Amplify service is part of Lifesize’s aggressive push into the cloud, which kicked off early last year under founder and CEO Craig Malloy. The company’s move away from its roots as an on-premises video conferencing hardware maker is in line with the demand from businesses trying to manage such trends as increasing workforce mobility, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and social software. Lifesize has moved quickly to expand its cloud capabilities, including adding a dashboard monitoring system, supporting Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Lync communications platform, and enabling scheduling through Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar.

Lifesize Cloud interoperates with video conferencing products from the likes of Cisco Systems, Polycom and Avaya.

IDC analysts have been tracking the transition in the video conferencing space away from traditional on-premises equipment to software- and cloud-based offerings.

“IDC survey adoption data indicates that video is still a key component of collaboration and continues to place high on the list of priorities for many organizations,” Petr Jirovsky, research manager for IDC’s Worldwide Networking Trackers unit, said in a statement in June. “And customers continue to work through determining how best to provision their video deployments, as more software-centric and cloud-based service offerings become part of the enterprise video market landscape.”

Other established players like Cisco and Polycom also are growing out their cloud capabilities, while a growing number of smaller vendors—like Vidyo, Zoom Communications and Blue Jeans Network—are pushing their own cloud- and software-only solutions.

How cloud videoconferencing turned LifeSize around

How cloud videoconferencing turned LifeSize around

The demand for videoconferencing is increasing at a rapid rate, mostly because of consumer tools like Skype and Apple FaceTime, but that doesn’t mean every aspect of videoconferencing is growing. In the case of LifeSize, its leaders found they had to reinvent the company over the last couple of years, shifting from a hardware focus to a software one.
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