Meeting technology has changed a lot in the past 10 years. A decade ago, most videoconferencing solutions were far from user friendly. Setting up or starting a video meeting usually required help from the IT department. The equipment tended to be expensive, especially if you wanted to deploy a solution with high picture quality or minimal video lag. Even users were different back then; many were uncomfortable on camera.
All of these factors represented a huge barrier to adoption, and for most organizations, the problems outweighed the benefits.
Today, meeting solutions have changed for the better. Prices for high-quality video and audio components have dropped steeply, while users have grown accustomed to video chats through apps such as FaceTime and Google Hangouts. Now, many meetings can get started with just the push of a button.
Videoconferencing Solutions Move into the Mainstream
These advances in technology resulted in much greater adoption of video meeting technology. A study by Forbes Insights found that 62 percent of companies run three or more video collaboration solutions. These solutions can help remote workers feel an increased sense of connectedness, boost the effectiveness of teams and even help users develop stronger relationships with clients and customers.
These are not the only benefits. For example, audio-only conferences are frequently delayed as users deal with distractions, such as asking who just joined a call. One survey estimated that such delays waste an average of 15 minutes per conference, which could cost companies $34 billion a year. Further, on audio-only conference calls with more than a few participants, users often find it difficult to determine who is talking or to break into the conversation. If they’re not essential participants in a call, these users tend to disengage.
Video collaboration tools deliver a vastly different experience. Participants can see who is on the call, identify who is speaking, read body language and other nonverbal cues and signal when they would like to speak. These capabilities give video solutions the potential to simplify meetings, improve their quality, increase engagement, reduce costs and improve employee collaboration.
How Video Enables Remote Work and Greater Productivity
The latest solutions deliver these capabilities simply and powerfully. Their features include ultra-high-definition displays, smart scheduling software and screen-sharing capabilities. Some even have automated camera systems that shift angles to give remote participants the best possible experience. Representing a leap forward over previous generations of video collaboration technology, these solutions deliver a substantial upgrade from voice-only calls. The evolution has convinced many organizations to move beyond traditional conference calls.
Video solutions also provide a real alternative to in-person collaboration for organizations across many industries. For example, schools and hospitals use video for distance learning and telemedicine. And many organizations reduce spending in their human resources budgets by interviewing candidates via video rather than flying them across the country. Indeed, some younger companies use video to support a totally remote work environment, substituting video collaboration tools for physical headquarters.
The advances that led to increased adoption of video collaboration also serve to make it less noticeable. The technology has become so seamless that participants can shift their attention away from the cameras and screens and keep their focus on the content of their conversations.
Want to learn more about how videoconferencing can connect your workforce? Visit CDW.ca/collaboration