Video conferencing is nothing new. The first video conference was held in 1968. And if you remember Neil Armstrong on the moon, we saw “live” video pictures and had a two-way radio conversation with him at the same time. And TV news programmes have been interviewing people “down the line” ever since it was all in black-and-white. So we are pretty much used to the technology.
However, in business the cost of the equipment was prohibitive for many companies, except big blue-chip firms. And even then, they needed to set aside a special meeting room for the purpose. Of course, things have changed in recent years with dramatic reductions in the cost of video technology and the increased portability of it. Indeed, you only need a webcam on a laptop to hold a live video conference these days – and you can even take part while your on a train, for instance…!
But that might not be such a good idea to discuss confidential matters or future plans for your business…! Portable, web-based video conferencing clearly has its place, but for many companies more secure and higher quality solutions are necessary. And these will cost more than web conferencing, so people clearly want to know the advantages they’ll get for spending more money.
The advantages of video conferencing are mostly obvious. For instance, you save money on having to travel and you can reduce your carbon footprint as a result. Then there is speed – rather than having to spend a few days travelling around to your offices or to your clients, you can get the discussion done, over the video conference, cutting back on the time it takes, helping you meet deadlines more easily.
However, there are some extra advantages of video conferencing which are not always so obvious.
Firstly, there’s the ability to bring in extra information and additional participants. How often have you been in a meeting and wanted to show the other participants some data – only to find it is back in the office? The only way out of that is to say you will email it to them later – and then you forget…! With video conferencing you can load your files live for everyone to see the relevant information. It is this easy access to all your information that means video conferencing has another “edge” over traditional meetings. You can also call in someone with particular expertise – you can’t easily do that if you are in a physical meeting at a different location to the person with the knowledge you want to tap into.
Secondly, video conferencing helps boost creativity. That’s because with video conferencing true collaboration is possible. In traditional meetings, someone stands at the front, gives their presentation and others comment or discuss. But they cannot “work” on that presentation – add to the data, enhance the information or change things in any way. With video conferences that include screen sharing that is possible – participants truly can work together, often across international boundaries and time zones, collaborating on a project, rather than working asynchronously, which is the norm for most businesses. And when people collaborate, rather than work separately, they tend to be more creative, coming up with more ideas and potential solutions to problems.
So, not only can a business save money with video conferencing, they can also increase their productivity, speed up their work and be more creative at the same time.
For video conferencing solutions check out our complete video conferencing package at just £223 per month or these specific products: