A bad experience is often enough to put you off the whole idea of certain types of technology – and video conferencing is a case in point. Unreliable connections, grainy images, a frustrating user experience: if these are your abiding memories of the last time you encountered video in the workplace, you’d be forgiven for giving it a wide berth.
But more often than not, tech solutions take a while to come of age – and when they do, they’re worth a second look. This is currently where we’re at with video: the best-in-class providers have finally got it right and businesses are reaping the benefits. So here’s how the old myths about video are being swept aside…
MYTH 1: “I REQUIRE A HUGE INVESTMENT IN EQUIPMENT TO BE ABLE TO USE VIDEO…”
THE REALITY: Software-as-a-service means businesses can get up and running with no costly up-front investment
In 2015, it shouldn’t be the case that companies are expected to face a big outlay to start putting video to work. Neither is it the case that organisations should have to settle for a one-size-fits-all solution in the shape of a ‘fixed package’ that either fails to meet – or far exceeds their requirements. Look for a solution that offers fixed fees per month, per user and that allows you to add (or remove) licences as your needs change.
Whether your requirements are for seamless and easy communications between team members, best solutions for keeping in touch with clients or premium quality display for presentations and seminars, you should be able to put together your ideal mix.
MYTH 2: “FOR BUSINESS PEOPLE, VIDEO IS A GIMMICK.”
THE REALITY: 75% of execs now think that videoconferencing will ultimately take over conference calls (PGI)
This is no passing fad. The evidence shows that once execs put video conferencing technology into place, they don’t look back. In fact, in one recent survey, 65% of UK CIOs indicated that they believed that desk phones will cease to exist within the next five years (Vanson Bourne). If your business fails to offer clients the option of connecting via video, there’s a danger that you’ll appear way behind the times.
MYTH 3: “VIDEO ISN’T SOMETHING CLIENTS WILL BE COMFORTABLE WITH…”
THE REALITY: 8 billion hours’ worth of social video calls are made each year (Microsoft)
Connecting via video has long since stopped being regarded as a niche activity. It’s something your clients are likely to be using already, socially and/or as part of work – so raising the possibility of using it instead of in-person meetings is highly unlikely to be viewed negatively.
MYTH 4: “CUSTOMERS NEED TO BE ON A PC TO USE VIDEO”
THE REALITY: it’s as easy to connect via smartphone or tablet as it is through a desktop PC.
Front facing cameras are the norm and the average display size of mobile phones is now in excess of 5-inches, – enough screen real estate to interact with ease via video.
MYTH 5: “MY ACCOUNT MANAGERS WILL BE RELUCTANT TO GIVE UP FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT…”
THE REALITY: 70% of employees prefer a video conference to having to travel to a physical meeting. (PGI)
The point about video conferencing is that it enables your staff to interact face-to-face with clients (and each other), but it removes the hassle and cost associated with travel. Less time on the road, less personal time wasted, more time spent on actual work: no wonder video is such a big hit with staff.
MYTH 6: “VIDEO ISN”T SOMETHING STAFF CARE ABOUT…”
THE REALITY: 87% of execs under the age of 35 prefer to work for a company that has video conference capabilities as opposed to one that that doesn’t (Cisco)
Employers who care about making it easy for collaboration in the workplace are turning to video as a natural solution: something that makes a difference not just to organisations but to a successful staff development plan as well.
MYTH 7: “VIDEO CONFERENCES ARE A POOR REPLACEMENT FOR IN-THE-FLESH TRAINING SOLUTIONS…”
THE REAITY: where individuals learn through digital platforms, they retain up to 60% more information (Research Institute of America)
The evidence suggests that when it comes to staff training and development, videoconferencing is the natural choice. Learners can engage without having to leave their desks and the ability to record makes it easier for individuals to digest information at their own pace.
MYTH 8: “A VIDEO MEETING WILL PUT OFF THE BEST RECRUITS…”
THE REALITY: almost two thirds of recruits prefer video (PGI)
Zero travel costs, less time wasting, the ability to ‘attend’ an interview from your own comfort zone: small wonder that it’s not just hiring managers who appreciate the convenience of video: it’s a big hit with candidates too.
MYTH 9: “ALL VIDEO CONFERENCING SOLUTIONS ARE BASICALLY THE SAME…”
The reality: companies using top performing video solutions average 120% ROI. Companies using ‘laggard’ performing video platforms were unable to determine any quantitative ROI for video (Aberdeen).
The message is clear: if you’re serious about getting the most from video conferencing, avoid ‘making do’ with solutions that simply aren’t geared up to the needs of business. What do you want to achieve and will the platform you’re looking at help you get there? In 2015, the right solution is out there – so make sure you don’t settle for second best.