As video conferencing continues its steady growth, a new trend is emerging right along with it: mobile video conferencing. According to a recent Wainhouse Research survey, 16 percent of video conferencing users are already collaborating over mobile devices. A surprising 50 percent said their organization plans to test or deploy mobile video conferencing within the year.
Smartphones and tablets are now an integral part of many businesses. It seems only natural that employees would leverage these devices for conferencing and collaboration sessions. Now, collaboration is no longer limited to offices, boardrooms and cubicles—it can take place nearly anywhere.
For your customers, mobile represents just one more way to maximize collaboration between remote, traveling and in-office employees. And there are a number of ways to leverage mobile to enhance workplace collaboration. Consider these tips:
1. Welcome the BYOD movement.
The growing “bring your own device” trend simply makes sense. Many employees already have their own iPad, smartphone and laptop anyway. Why not leverage those devices to really maximize a team’s collaborative power? Your customers will need to have IT approval to establish a BYOD policy, since employees will likely be accessing secure network resources, in addition to company email and video conferencing sessions.
Your customer will benefit from eliminating the cost of buying each employee a work phone and other devices. Employees appreciate BYOD because they get to keep their own device and phone number. Plus, each employee will be able to take advantage of mobile videoconferencing, online collaborative tools, email and more – all of which maximize collaboration, no matter where an employee is located.
2. Embrace modern communication.
Mobile collaboration could one day spell the end of business travel as we know it. After all, why should a remote worker fly halfway across the country for a business meeting when he could collaborate over his iPad just as effectively? Today, “face-to-face communication” increasingly means through video – not in person.
Mobile video conferencing and collaboration reduces travel time and expenses, while making idea-sharing and brainstorming seamless, effective and real-time processes. With mobile devices, employees can share information and contribute to their team as needed, rather than being constrained by travel arrangements.
3. Go beyond video.
For a growing number of companies, mobile collaboration isn’t just about video conferencing. Now, employees can take advantage of a wide selection of collaboration tools, including email, telestration (on-screen drawing), document and desktop sharing, and more.
Many smartphones and tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note, directly support telestration. Others enable on-screen drawing with apps like Hudl. Desktop sharing is supported by a variety of collaboration software platforms, as well as by individual apps, such as ShareFile for iPad. These types of tools help make the flow of information and ideas quick and seamless, which maximizes collaboration, even from mobile devices.
As a value-added reseller, expect your customers to look to you for advice on making the most out of their video conferencing and collaboration tools. As mobile becomes a larger element of workplace collaboration in the coming years, be prepared to offer your expertise on how to maximize collaboration.
How are your customers leveraging mobile devices to enhance workplace collaboration? What other tips or best practices do you have to share regarding mobile collaboration?