Video collaboration is here to stay, and as a value-added reseller, now is the time to take advantage of this exciting technology. Video conferencing will continue to take hold in the next several years. In fact, industry research firm Infonetics recently found that 88 percent of North American companies plan to add video conferencing to their unified communications approach by 2015.
However, video conferencing is like any other technology; if used incorrectly, its full potential will probably go unrealized. Many of your customers could benefit from your guidance on video collaboration best practices. For those who are new to video, consider sharing the following tips:
1. Define its scope early on.
Remember, video collaboration is a business solution—not just a technology solution. That’s why it’s important to clearly define and understand how video will be used in an organization and how it will enable business. How does it fit into your customer’s business model, organization and culture? This seemingly simple step can help ensure that the technology is being used to the greatest advantage.
2. Invest some time in training.
Many employees will be brand new to video conferencing. It’s important for any organization to set aside a little time to bring them up to speed. Your customer should make sure that everyone who will be using the video platform understands how to use the technology, its capabilities and any corporate rules or best practices that might apply. Many software manufacturers offer free how-to videos, which will probably suffice for most of your customers.
3. Know where to get help.
Any time technology is involved, there is a chance something can go wrong. Maybe the video freezes or the audio cuts out; or, maybe the chat function isn’t working. Whatever the problem, your customer needs to know where to go for quick and effective help. For technical questions and hardware problems, you, as their VAR, might be the best fit. But for audio and video issues, they might require manufacturer support. With every video conferencing customer, it’s important to establish these different layers of support before their system goes live.
4. Ensure you’re secure.
As more and more business is conducted over video, video security has become more important than ever. As you already know, security measures vary greatly from one video collaboration system to another. Whatever the approach, your customer needs to know that their technology is secure—and will be for years to come. Help them to fully understand the security protocols used in their solution, as well as what they are and are not capable of.
5. Get expert advice.
The world of video conferencing technology is evolving quickly, and new manufacturers are entering the fray every day. Customers need to know that their best bet for getting a reliable and effective system the first time around means working with a VAR on each stage of their deployment. Be sure to reiterate how important your role is in the video industry and how vital you are to helping them install the solution that is right for them.
Share these tips with all of your customers and prospects to ensure they’re getting the most out of their video conferencing technology. Consider featuring these best practices on your company website or blog or on a branded flyer. Establish yourself as an industry thought-leader for customers, and you’ll benefit from more business, now and in the future.
What other best practices or tips would you add to this list? What area would you say most customers really struggle with?