“Can you hear me?”
This infamous line, uttered at least three times during almost every traditional videoconferencing session, inevitably leads to the same scenario: several employees gathered in a conference room scratching their heads and fiddling with equipment. The group finally gives in, and sends a search party for the one person in the office who (usually) knows how to make the system work. Once everything is set, more troubles arise. Now, they can’t connect with a remote worker who’s having similar operational difficulties at home.
Although old videoconferencing technologies have left a trail of frustrated people in their wake, newer videoconferencing teechnologies have a bright future. A 2015 Transparency Research Market report predicts that the videoconferencing market will increase substantially in the years leading up to 2023, reaching $7.85 billion (from $3.69 billion in 2014).
One key factor behind this growth is the globalization of businesses. The rising cost of managing international operations (and international travel) makes cost-effective communication options a necessity. Videoconferencing has proven to be the ideal solution.
There are also other reasons for the rosy forecast. Across industries, videoconferencing is increasingly being used in unexpected, yet meaningful, ways. In marketing, it’s being used to collaborate and connect with clients. In health care, “telehealth” solutions allow doctors to reach faraway patients. In education, schools use video for training services, distance learning, and web seminars. Human resource workers can interview candidates from all over the world. Lawyers and courtroom officials connect with witnesses who are unable to appear in person. Sales personnel can educate potential customers about new products.
Aside from industry-specific uses, videoconferencing has been shown to impact universal business operations as well. A recent survey by Wainhouse Research showed that 94 percent of the surveyed companies that use videoconferencing regularly claimed increased productivity and efficiency. Other benefits include:
- Employees can work remotely and with more flexibility
- Travel costs associated with off-site meetings decrease
- The amount of “face time” with distant employees increases
- Employees are more engaged during meetings
- The pool of potential employees widens without geographic limitations
- New employees can receive training in any geographic location
Before you can truly embrace videoconferencing though, you need to trust it. While videoconferencing tools are generally more reliable than in the past, the quality of some are still spotty. A unified communication system like Star2Star offers organizations of all sizes a consistently dependable alternative to fickle web conferencing software.
Incredibly easy to use, Video Meetings lets you and your employees connect with the touch of a button. You can even connect with people outside the organization; all they need is Internet access. To support collaboration, Video Meetings includes a text chat feature so users can communicate with one another during the call and a whiteboard feature that allows participants to view and collectively edit documents. Even better, there’s no need to employ technical experts; it’s that easy.