Once videoconferencing was exclusive to Fortune 500 companies. Now, with innovative and affordable new Internet technologies available, small to mid-size businesses are utilizing videoconferencing in ways that maximize their ability to compete in an increasingly globalized economy. In fact, live videoconferencing may turn out to be most effective when employed by small companies.
- Significant savings on travel costs. Some small to midsize business managers estimate that they were able to slash travel budgets by 50% after implementing videoconferencing. Savings on airfare, accommodations, and per diems are obvious, but your company will also gain more productive work hours, since employees won't have to waste time in transit.
- Savings on long-distance phone bills. Since videoconferencing software integrates VoIP capabilities, inter-company long distance charges can be virtually eliminated.
- Adding human dimension to communication. Videoconferencing is a deeper, more personal way to communicate than email or telephone.
- Team building benefits. More frequent communication between employees serves to strengthen relationships and build stronger teams.
- Flexibility. With sophisticated communication in place, employees may work from home some of the time, an option that may help you to attract highly qualified personnel seeking more flexibility.
- Adding visual elements to communication. Since the majority of people have a visual learning style, this type of communication resonates more profoundly with most people.
- Reach. Videoconferencing can help your company to expand into new markets.
- Reduction of your company's ecological footprint. Reducing travel has ripple effects for the planet.
How It Works
Original versions of live videoconferencing were designed for one person to share voice and screen content with others. This is known as "one-to-many” videoconferencing. Newer technology facilitates "many-to-many” meetings,
where everyone can participate fully in the event. These new technologies allow users to log on using only a laptop or PC with a standard camera and a high-speed connection, along with any web browser. Communication is secure, and there are options for hosting your own server or accessing via the Internet.
There are various types of tools available depending on what sort of meeting you're hosting. For example, training tools allow a leader to ask questions and trainees to answer individually from their own devices. For meetings or brainstorming sessions, you may want to link to other collaborative technologies such as smart boards.
Videoconferencing has a multitude of real world applications, including distance education, remote testimony for certain trials, medical uses such as collaborative research projects or specialist diagnoses for patients too ill to travel, and sports training, among others.
Before implementing Internet videoconferencing, it's a good idea to partner with a firm specializing in collaborative technologies. These experts can analyze your company's unique needs and suggest solutions that are right for who you are and what you do. Integrating all aspects of communication, from telephony to IT to videoconferencing to smart boards can make connecting faster, easier, and more cost-effective. Better companies will work with you to develop a comprehensive strategy designed to maximize connectedness within the company as well as between the company and its client groups.
Increasing connectedness leads to increased collaboration, innovation, and stronger relationships. Talk to an expert in custom AV solutions