Video Conferencing

From telepresence and meeting-room video conferencing to desktop conferencing and mobile video, capitalize on this upward trend. Understand how to talk to customers, justify costs and scale—and business will flourish.

Video Conferencing Resource Library for End Users

Video Conferencing Resource Library for End Users

How the Benefits of Video Conferencing Can Increase Productivity

 The business technology world is growing in leaps and bounds. Examples include the huge increases in use of smart phones and tablets, the deployment of telecommuting programs at enterprises of all sizes and strong growth in the connectivity of global industry.  In order to succeed in this dynamic business world, companies need to be planning for the future, adopting new technologies and escalating plans to leapfrog the competition.Video conferencing is a technology that can help businesses connect and escalate by changing the way people interact across time zones and geographies by providing the ability to emphasize body language or nonverbal communication. According to some researchers, as much as 93 percent of communication is nonverbal.  So much of business today relies on effective communication. Since it is difficult to interpret nonverbal cues during telephone calls, emails or instant messages, communication is not totally clear, can be misinterpreted and can lead to a lack of productivity.However, there may be a simple key to the problem – HD video conferencing technology. With video conferencing, no emphasis or visual signal is left misinterpreted because everyone can see each other live, preventing miscommunication. Some of the most important benefits of HD video conferencing are:Reduced travel = reduced expenses, greater productivity – Business travel has always been a very important aspect to the success of a company, but it is also one of the most expensive. Since video conferencing allows people to talk face-to-face, it can be used to replace many trips, which can save time, money and planning. Since meeting times are typically shorter via video conferencing, productive time can be regained. VARs can help customers determine how much a company will save with video using the following cost justification tool: multiply the number of annual trips by the average cost (including airfare, hotel, meals and fees, plus time lost while waiting during delays) and compare it against the cost of installing a video conferencing system.  VARS can show that most companies can reach a break-even point within three months after their system is installed and can significantly improve productivity.Better communication = increased productivity – The ability to communicate effectively is the lifeblood of sales, marketing, production, management and many other divisions.  Yet so much of our business communication is done via voice mail, email, audio conference calls and instant messages, none of which show expression, intonation or interest level. Video conferencing provides the opportunity for geographically diverse coworkers to communicate in real-time with live expressions, clear voice intonations and more accuracy. As a result, projects are completed more quickly and effectively, productivity is enhanced and relationships are built.Enhanced work/life balance – Video conferencing tools can enable telecommuting while maintaining or increasing productivity. Employees who are given the option to telecommute give their employers a73 percent approval rating, compared to 65 percent of traditional office workers. This means reduced employee turnover with no loss in productivity. Studies show that employees who telecommute put in longer hours and are more productive since they don’t have to sit in traffic going to and from work. With video conferencing, employees can maintain productive personal relationships regardless of location. VARs should ask about turnover rates and about the cost of training a new employee and use that information to help cost justify the implementation of video conferencing in the enterprise.Video conferencing is a valuable business communications tool. Video conferencing benefits contribute not only to the bottom line by reducing travel expenses, but also by improving productivity through more concise interaction and improved morale. Progressive enterprises understand the value of video conferencing as a tool to beat out their competitors, improve delivery of products and services and prevent employee turnover.  Video conferencing is something that any business in any industry can see real productivity benefits from.  VARs should talk with customers about video conferencing as a productivity tool and provide examples of cost justification to make the sale.Are there collaboration issues you would like to see us discuss here? Please add your comments below.

4 Video Conferencing Benefits That Can Inspire a Team

Video conferencing has officially come of age, as end users in nearly every industry begin to embrace the technology. Consider this: Video conferencing has the power to benefit any organization that holds meetings, has remote employees or offers training classes. So, in essence, these systems are for everyone.And video conferencing doesn’t only stand to benefit a company’s executive suite. There are also some significant video conferencing benefits available to management, entry-level employees and entire departments. That’s the beauty of video conferencing: It can serve very different purposes for each individual team.For value-added resellers (VARs) who offer video conferencing, it’s important to keep the business benefits of the technology in mind. Beyond cost-savings, reduced travel and other selling points, it’s also helpful to play up the ways in which video conferencing can make a difference in individual employees’ everyday jobs.Consider these four video conferencing benefits that can inspire a team:1. Improved communicationsAs any remote employee knows from experience, conference calls can make you feel disconnected and out of the loop on projects. And sometimes email can lead to misunderstandings and delays. But video conferencing enables real-time, face-to-face communication, helping end users to truly connect with other participants as if they were in the same room.When video is used, conference participants are more likely to stay engaged and focused on the task at hand. This type of connection helps to foster collaboration, positive relationships and more effective communication. For many companies, the result will be a more effective meetings and a more cohesive, energetic team.2. Increased productivityFor many teams, video conferencing can lead to a bump in productivity that can have ripple effects throughout an organization. Employees are much more likely to enjoy their work and feel inspired and satisfied when they feel effective and productive.In a wide range of companies, video conferencing helps boost productivity in multiple ways; for example:Less time spent travelingFewer meeting delaysMore focused, better structured meetingsReal-time communication, rather than waiting for emails and phone calls3. Better training opportunitiesOne of the more well-recognized benefits of video conferencing is its fantastic training capabilities. Regardless of where employees are located, they can be easily trained using face-to-face communication. Thanks to the improved communication capabilities of video conferencing, employees experience improved, more thorough training.In turn, improved training helps new (and, in some cases, long-term) employees feel better prepared for their job, which inspires them to work harder, stay invested in work and be a team player. With an entire team of well-trained coworkers, the opportunities are exciting.4. Competitive advantageWith improved training and better communication among employees, a company creates a competitive advantage for itself, which might be the most significant of all the video conferencing benefits. Employees who communicate effectively and share a high level of energy make for a strong, successful company. And for employees at all levels of an organization, there’s nothing more inspiring than that.Do you think video conferencing has the power to inspire teams of employees? What other benefits have you seen the technology produce?

Six Advantages of Video Conferencing for Education

The culture of our educational system is ready to utilize recorded video of historical events as well as live streaming on a larger scale. With video conferencing, educators can bring life experiences directly into the classroom. These are just a few of the things that schools can do with HD video collaboration and video streaming technology:1. Virtual Field TripsFor times when budget issues or lack of time make actual travel impractical, video conferencing can fill the bill. One school used the Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas to “take” students on a video conferencing field trip. As a result, 5,000 schools in Texas are able to take in the exhibits at the museum from the comfort of their classroom.2. Visits from ExpertsInviting experts to visit classrooms via video allows for an interactive experience for students with people skilled in the field being discussed. Specialists often have busy schedules, and video conferencing can reduce the time and expense of travel and simplify a visit from a subject-matter expert by projecting him or her directly into the classroom from anywhere. Using video conferencing technology, a major university was able to connect physics experts with physics students for an in-depth workshop. Because it would have been expensive to travel so that these groups could interact live, video conferencing provided this unique opportunity.3. Leave No Student OutStudents who live in rural areas may miss out on many opportunities due to the distance they must commute. Connecting rural students via video conferencing gives some students the opportunity to be involved in lessons from their homes and can improve learning by letting students virtually attend field trips that may not have been accessible to them.4. Allow Students to Travel the World Students are curious about the world around them and people in other countries. Three years ago, more than 125 students in three high schools on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska spent the night sleeping at school in order to be awake for a 4 a.m. videoconference with students in Nazareth, Israel. Connecting with other classrooms in countries all over the world allows students to understand and work with geographically distant cultures. Students with this opportunity will likely be better world citizens.  5. Save Lessons and Meetings When a student misses a class due to absence or wants to review the content again, video conferencing recording and archiving tools can be used for playback in order to teach or reinforce a lesson. This works great for the teaching staff as well; staff meetings can be held via video conferencing in order to save time and travel expense and can be recorded for those unable to participate in the live meeting.  6. Parent/Teacher Conferences Holding conferences over video conferencing can minimize scheduling conflicts for both parents and teachers. Some video conferencing systems offer tools like guest invites in order to engage parents in parent/teacher conferences.Advantages of video conferencing technology for the education sector include reduced costs, efficient use of time, effective collaboration between students and teachers, and learning from anywhere at any time. This growing market is a good one for vendors to target.  MAGPI provides different video conferencing programs that cross grade levels and content areas, from learning about sharks to understanding the Civil War. Additional content-focused programs are accessible through the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration. Google is also an effective way to search for ready-to-use programs or for teachers who are looking for other classrooms with which to collaborate. Vendors that sell not only the hardware but provide inspiration for global classroom interaction are most likely to be successful in the education market.Does your business sell video conferencing hardware to schools for the purpose of global interactions? Is this something that would be of interest to your business? Please comment below.

Five Real-Life Examples of the Benefits of Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is important in all types and sizes of businesses in order to help improve face-to-face communication and collaboration. There are many reasons a company should implement video conferencing, from reducing costly travel to support for distributed workers. According to a recent survey among businesses in North America, 58 percent are expected to evaluate video applications in 2016, providing a huge opportunity for value-added resellers (VARs) to enter the market or improve video conferencing sales.Looking at real-life examples of the benefits of video conferencing can give VARs ideas on how to target customers in their area. Some examples follow:A major university was looking for a way to allow remote students to use their personal technology to engage in classroom activities. The educational institution implemented cloud-based video conferencing that improved collaboration and access for distance learning. Because students get the opportunity to see what is going on in the classroom instead of just hearing the lecture, absorption rates are significantly higher.A large manufacturing company has three locations in three different countries. Teamwork was suffering because team members had difficulties building relationships over the phone, email, and instant messaging. With the implementation of video conferencing, team members were able to meet face to face, allowing them to get to know each other better. This improved their ability to collaborate effectively. According to a recent study, 55 percent of communication effectiveness comes from being able to see facial expressions and body language as opposed to verbal communication efficiency at 38 percent, a prime reason to invest in video conferencing. This also reduced travel time and expenses.An energy company was looking for eco-friendly initiatives in keeping with its corporate goals. The company implemented video conferencing in order to allow an expert trainer to provide classes simultaneously to multiple locations without the need for travel, eliminating significant amounts of carbon emissions. This virtual training capability allowed employees and the trainer to save travel time, get back to their jobs faster, and learn in a collaborative environment. The video conferencing solution is also used for team collaboration and executive and sales meetings and for communicating with external partners, allowing the company to gain the most from its investment.Hospitals are committed to the best care possible for their patients, and one large New York hospital is no exception. In order for doctors to be able to share information and attend lectures without traveling, the hospital implemented a video conferencing solution. As a result, doctors are able to attend more lectures, and information can be seamlessly disseminated. Doctors are up to date on the latest medical subjects, and this improves their ability to serve their patients. This hospital also invested in video streaming technology that allows medical professionals to view video meetings when and where it is convenient for them instead of trying to fit everyone’s schedule into one, fixed meeting time. Doctors can also use this technology in order to take tests and increase their certification levels, which also improves patient care.Security can be compromised when prison personnel have to transport prisoners from prison to court. In addition, fewer guards are available at the prison during the transfer, and transportation adds to costs. By using video conferencing in prisons, prisoners can meet with judges without ever having to leave the prison. This frees up personnel, improves security, and reduces costs. In addition, using video conferencing for meetings with the judge typically takes less time than courtroom meetings, allowing the judge to handle more cases per day. The video conferencing solution is also used by other prison and court personnel in order to contact third parties, like the Bar Association.These are some real-life examples that VARs can use in order to educate their clients about the benefits of video conferencing. By keeping a shared library of video conferencing case studies, VARs will be able to easily and effectively address any type of business need in a company of any size, which can only result in better sales results.Does your company sell video conferencing solutions as part of unified communications and collaboration? What is your favorite real-life example of how video conferencing helped one of your clients? 

The Advantages of Video Conferencing For Better Solutions

Outstanding communication is one of the cornerstones of a successful business. If communication is strong, an enterprise can increase productivity, save time and beat its competition to the finish line. If communication is weak, not clear or is misinterpreted, a company will likely lose out to its competition. Communication in an organization takes place in many forms, such as phone calls, audio-conferencing, instant messaging and emails. Apart from often costly face-to-face meetings, real-time video conferencing is the most advantageous way to interact. In turn, resellers who sell to enterprises using a total solution concept by showing the benefits of a properly designed video conferencing platform integrated with other communication and collaboration tools will be successful as well.  Here are some examples of how to explain this to customers:Matt, a manager, is working on a team with Irene and Sarah on a time-sensitive project. Matt sends an email to his team members to let them know that part of the information they had provided was incomplete and to please research the issue and respond as soon as possible. Irene responds to her teammates with a lengthy email apologizing to everyone for not providing the material required, all the while worrying about whether or not this will affect her job. Sarah sends an instant message to both to say she is on it and asking for a time frame. As a result, several emails and instant messages are shared within the team with negative time and productivity effects on the project. If this team had set up a short video conference to discuss the assignment there would have been a lot more clarity and a lot less time wasted. Irene wouldn’t be worried about whether her job is in jeopardy because she could have interpreted Matt’s body language and non-verbal signals to know that Matt was simply concerned about the timing of the project but was not upset with his coworkers. Body language issues can arise with phone calls and audio conferences as well. According toRescue Time, emails eat up approximately 1.5 days out of a five-day work week or about 28 percent of the work day. This is primarily because workers must read and respond to a message and often it takes more than one round of emails to resolve an issue. Time is one thing that cannot be regained, so ensuring a business is using tools that simplify and clarify communication is invaluable.Video conferencing as part of a total unified communications solution can also save time, automate tasks and increase yield. Ensure that customers understand that video conferencing can be integrated with email and calendaring applications. Meeting notifications can be sent automatically to attendees to remind them of the meeting. Document sharing can be enabled on video calls so everyone can see and discuss the project at hand. Video conferencing integration can simplify interactions within a business making collaboration easier and more cost-effective.In addition to unified communications applications, it is important for enterprises to plan for a total solution that provides a system for management, performance and control. This includes a platform that facilitates management of the solution, firewall traversal and network control. Once that system is in place, companies can use Multipoint Control Units (MCUs) to connect multiple sites and gateways for seamless communication. Installing the right infrastructure is the key to a successful deployment.Video conferencing can be a big part of a better solution for enterprise customers. Resellers who make the case for the benefits of video as a part of enterprise unified communications will be able to earn revenue from infrastructure products as well.Do you have suggestion on adding video conferencing for a better solution? Please add comments below.