We’ve entered a new era of communication. It’s not enough to simply hear someone’s voice when you’re collaborating, now you want to see them too.
The power of body language and eye contact has been known for decades. Even 15 years ago, however, it simply wasn’t possible to have this kind of contact with remote workers and meeting attendees. Audio conferencing acted as a stop-gap solution, but it was far from perfect.
Even as video technology improved and became more accessible, barriers to entry were still quite high. On-premise solutions required robust internal IT support and prohibitive up-front costs for the large servers to power it.
As bandwidth and cloud storage improved, video conferencing became a more and more attainable solution. With flexible billing models, businesses were able to defer the costs, spreading them out over the course of months, making it far easier for Small and Medium Sized Businesses to have face-to-face collaboration solutions.
Now, video conferencing is becoming higher quality and more ubiquitous than ever before. Here are the top three reasons people are switching to video conferencing:
Face to Face Communication is More Effective
Let’s get real – meeting drag on long enough already. And people calling in via audio conferencing certainly aren’t making it any better.
Without the ability to actually see the participants of a meeting, interruptions can be frequent and distractions rampant. Everyone’s familiar with the concept of “multitasking” during a meeting – more often than not “multitasking” is a euphemism for completely ignoring what’s going on.
Video conferencing works to make meetings more effective and efficient because it allows for fewer interruptions (you can see when someone is about to talk) and keeps people on task. It’s a lot more difficult for a remote worker to escape into the bliss of social media if they’re held accountable on video.
Face to face communication through video conferencing means meetings are getting better and more importantly – shorter.
Permits the Flexibility Modern Employees Demand
As Millennials are beginning to enter the workforce in large numbers, they bring with them a set of expectations. Among these include a flexible work environment, both within the office and while working from home.
In the office, a decentralized, open-concept space is the preferred habitat of the new generation of employees. This affects the board rooms which have shrunk in size and become more disparate to account for this design.
Huddle rooms (as they’ve become known) don’t seat as many people and require the small and simple video systems cloud video conferencing can afford to ensure people can attend meetings from anywhere.
Outside the office, employees want to be able to work from home, while remaining an engaged part of the team. Video conferencing allows for a sense of presence and effective contact with a manager while still allowing for a profound work/life balance.
Low Operating Cost and No Capital Expenditure
When video conferencing first entered offices, it was the exclusive privilege of enterprise-level companies that could afford the enormous up-front expense it required.
Called a Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), setting up video conferencing meant large on premise servers and the technical support that goes along with that. There wasn’t really an alternative to CAPEX billing, as the costs needed to be incurred at the beginning to set up the hardware needed to power the rather demanding infrastructure of early video conferencing.
Cloud video conferencing has changed all that. With the ability to receive video as a service (Vaas), high-quality conferencing can be offered from external servers (AKA the “cloud”). This also permits what’s called Operational Expenditure (OPEX) billing models, where it’s more of a pay-as-you-go plan.
This means that, while costs may be comparable after a time, the initial set up fees are no longer as punishing. More companies are able to access video conferencing, and the more that are using it, the more require it to stay competitive.
Information communication technology is advancing the way we collaborate in the office. What was once limited to audio now incorporates video for a more effective, efficient experience for all parties.
By engaging users face-to-face, allowing for the flexible work environments that are in vogue, and with a more accessible billing model, cloud video conferencing is leading the way in collaboration innovation.
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