Video conferencing is a rapidly-growing segment of the professional AV
industry for a variety of reasons. As this once futuristic technology continues to become increasingly mainstream, it represents a fantastic opportunity for end users to cut back on costs during difficult economic times.
Meanwhile, value-added resellers are poised to leverage the benefits of video conferencing to boost their pro AV sales. Most video conferencing technology offers a quick return on investment (ROI) opportunity for end users. It’s up to value-added resellers to fully capture and explain the benefits to illustrate the solid investment that video conferencing represents.
What is Video Conferencing?
Simply put, video conferencing is any use of video hardware and software to provide face-to-face interactions. It can also include content sharing (often called “video collaboration”) and is being increasingly used in the business world to decrease costs and improve certain operational tasks.
Calculating Video Conferencing ROI
When calculating the ROI for a video conferencing project, be sure to keep the following considerations top of mind:
Total investment. The upfront investment in a video conferencing system usually includes the hardware and software, as well as any training that may be required. Certain solutions also might require ongoing online services, which should also be included in the investment estimate.
Travel savings. Many companies agree that the biggest benefit of video conferencing is reduced travel expenses. Your ROI model should compare the cost of in-person meetings (for training, sales, and conferences, for example) with the decreased cost of meeting online. As the price of gas and the cost of domestic and global travel have increased, this has become a particularly strong selling point of video conferencing. In fact, some companies that previously had large travel expenses could experience ROI within the first year of using video conferencing.
Improved efficiency. At many companies, salespeople, executive team members and training personnel spend a lot of valuable time traveling across the country for appointments, conferences and other meetings. Incorporating video conferencing into a business can create significant time-savings by eliminating travel requirements and, in some cases, creating shorter, more structured meetings. Although this is more difficult to quantify than other “hard” costs, it should be considered as part of your ROI model.
Increased sales potential. By meeting with potential customers over video, end users are able to connect with a greater number of people, in broader geographic areas. This creates the opportunity for increased sales and can even accelerate the sales cycle, since meetings can be scheduled at any time.
Improved training. Training programs for customers and remote employees can also be held via video, creating additional financial benefits. Not only are travel costs kept in check, but the company may also see improvements in product adoption, customer retention and loyalty, and new employee start-up times.
Better customer support. Face-to-face video conferencing can also greatly benefit a company’s customer support capabilities. Call resolution times are often minimized, which helps to improve customer satisfaction and may further increase ROI over time.
By keeping these considerations in mind, you’ll be able to make a strong case to your customers about the benefits of video conferencing in the business world. As video technology becomes increasingly common, now is the time to capitalize on it and help your pro AV business to continually grow.
You Tell Us
Have you already incorporated video conferencing into your business model? If so, what has been your experience with ROI for the technology? Have your customers made use of their video conferencing system as much as planned?