Video conferencing is about to truly hit its stride as a growing number of companies around the world begin to see its benefits. In fact, 88 percent of North American companies in one study said they plan to add video conferencing to their unified communications approach by 2015.
The reasons for the strong growth of video conferencing are diverse. For example, more companies are beginning to embrace telecommuting, which video conferencing helps facilitate. And younger generations are more likely to feel comfortable with emerging technologies like video conferencing.
However, the strongest force behind the growth of video conferencing is easily the incredible collaborative potential of the technology. In today’s business environment, where employees are expected to be easily reachable, even on the go, video conferencing helps shrink the distance between coworkers, students and teachers, doctors and patients, and more.
To sell video conferencing, it’s important for any value-added reseller to understand the technology’s potential. In a variety of settings, video conferencing can help to increase collaboration in several ways:
1. By creating a presence for remote employees.
Video conferencing allows remote employees to “be there” for important meetings and events in a way that phone calls and emails simple can’t match. Coworkers often feel more engaged when using video conferencing, rather than voice conferencing alone. This increases the role of remote employees, which helps to ensure that everyone’s voice is added to the collaboration process.
2. By simplifying sharing.
Companies with remote employees often experience frustrations when sharing new ideas, concepts or documents. Video collaboration solves that problem by helping coworkers visually share materials, such as sketches, storyboards or video clips, in real-time. Video conferencing enables remote employees to actually view what’s going on in a meeting or brainstorming session; plus, even basic video conferencing programs like Skype enable users to quickly upload files to other users to share them directly.
3. By gathering the right people.
Video conferencing enables companies to collaborate with the best of the best, regardless of where they are located. Years ago, budget constraints stifled the collaborative potential of many companies, since it would difficult to gather the right people all at once or on an ongoing basis. By collaborating by video, it’s possible to leverage the knowledge and experience of employees from around the world, at any time.
4. By building relationships.
The relationship-building power of video conferencing also can have a big impact on a team’s collaboration level. It’s especially challenging for remote employees to get to know and develop a rapport with coworkers who have the benefit of sharing an office. Over time, a lack of connection between employees can hamper communication and limit collaboration. On the other hand, coworkers who regularly meet face-to-face through video conferencing are more likely to feel that they truly know each other, which can foster communication, creativity and enthusiasm.
In a growing number of companies, video conferencing is being accepted as much more than a simple communication device; today, it’s being viewed as a way of maximizing collaboration by truly connecting coworkers and fostering communication, even over great distances. In the coming years, the growth of video conferencing will likely continue as employees becoming increasingly mobile and the telecommuting trend takes hold in a wide range of industries. Now is the time to break into the video conferencing space by selling to the technology’s exciting strengths and potential.
Have you experienced an increase in customers who are interested in video conferencing? In your experience, where is the most growth in video conferencing coming from?