Video conferencing is definitely a great technology helping many businesses, sectors, and industries worldwide in terms of reduced travel costs, improved efficiency, etc. Tools like R-HUB HD video conferencing servers, WebEx, GoToMeeting, etc. are used for conducting video conferencing.
Absolutely! When used properly, this method of communication is fantastic for building business relationships both within the company (if you have offsite workers) and with customers/clients. Treat a video conference just like a normal in-person meeting: dress appropriately, be conscious of what the camera is and isn't picking up at all times, and make sure that you know how to use the video conferencing software/interface like a pro--enough to help others in the meeting if they have audio/visual problems, too.
Video Conferencing is a great tool that I use it everyday! At my office we might have only 3 or 4 appointments at most on a given day, and instead of having someone at the receptionist desk, we set up a monitor and I video conference in from my desk in the marketing department. It's a huge money saver as we don't have enough reason to hire another person aside from just sitting at the front desk, but now we always have the ability to greet a guest. Also, our partners and clients who come in think it's an absolutely amazing display of technology!
We use video conferencing to keep meetings with other employees who work from home, conference others in for meetings so they can see the whiteboards, and Skype clients so they can speak to us face to face. Selling VoIP, Surveillance, and Video Conferencing equipment can come with quite a price tag, and a few of our customers have taken advantage of the reassurance video conferencing provides that we're not a webstore running out of someone's basement.
There are several positive answers from others on your question, and if anyone has other inquiries, this might help out: http://www.voipsupply.com/video-conferencing. It's our landing page for Video Conferencing with links to short articles our Video Conferencing Consultant, Andria Baunee, has written regarding knowledge base, buying advice, and tips and tricks.
Hope this helps!
Yes, I absolutely think video conferencing can help businesses. I actually work for a company that creates communication and collaboration with hosted Microsoft Lync Service and I've seen a lot of business benefit from better workplace productivity. I think it saves a lot of time and money when you don't have to meet clients face-to-face. Although in-person interactions are great, if it means a better bottom line, why not make the move to video conferencing? I think it's the way of the future. Think about how far we've come in technology. Can you imagine trying to write your thesis on a typewriter. Sheesh.
Yes, it will be invaluable for my business, I want to train 100,000 recent univ. grad. to become distributors /sales people bringing product direct from factory to retail shops. wide on line conferences.
A really "obvious comment": You need an excellent internet connexion. If not it's a pain. It shouldn't be only fast but stable.
I think video conferencing is an excellent tool when used correctly. When marketing technology we tend to forget that a very important communication tool still interacting face-to-face with our customers. Unfortunately this isn't always an option, so a substitute like video conferencing is always a wonderful solution.
I've worked at a few companies that have always integrated video communication whether it was with customers or remote employees. This helped bring together the team or the customer and made the end result much more successful.
I have used video conferencing since the early 2000's when they wer clunky and unreliable. But I never gave up on it. My staff is dispersed throughout the country as well as my clients. It's not always feasible for me to travel. Video conferencing allows me to be there without being there. As we move further into the impersonal "social media" landscape (yes, I said that...everyone seems to be hiding behind Twitter handle, Facebook pages, etc...and email, video conferencing allows me to be more interpersonal. No technology is 100% reliable. But we're getting better versions each year. My personal choices are Skype and Google+ Hangouts. I'd much rather see people than look at slides on a screen share.
Video conferencing has been the next big thing for the last 20 years, however, I think we are finally starting to see mass adoption.
Video calls can be as simple as a Skype call from your Smartphone or computer and as complex as an immersive experience where you have several screens and cameras to maximize eye contact.
The really simple calls are starting to displace some phone calls and the complex ones are avoiding some travel. We will always have phone calls and business travel but in many situations you can have a more productive meeting if video is enabled.
A trend I see is mixing the simple and complex calls where some executives in NY and London are reviewing the company strategy and then need to reach out to a mobile user using Facetime or Skype to consult on a specific matter.
In today's globalized world, the companies that use video have better communications (non-verbal cues are a high percentage of the message we transmit), make decisions faster (no need to meet in HQ to get approval from your boss) and have a happier workforce (less travel and better work-life balance if working from home is allowed).
However, although the technology enables a company to obtain these benefits, the most critical part is making sure the technology is embraced by the company, from the board to the intern that has just joined some days ago.
Disclaimer: I work in the video conferencing industry.
We have used Skype video to include a missing member in a face-to-face meeting, and it has worked fine. She could even see what others were writing on the white board.
But for regular meetings among dispersed professionals, we are much more likely to use a screen sharing service. I find looking at each other's mug shots twitching on the monitor is completely distracting, and unnecessary. And I cannot believe how unattractive people are--including myself--when photographed with a pinhole camera. Since nobody looks right at the camera, we all look downcast, squinty, or shifty-eyed. I quickly avert my eyes.
Much better to have voice contact, then share whatever docs we want via screen sharing. Started out using expensive ones like WebEx or GoToMeeting, but have switched to ones that cost about $20 per month, like StartMeeting. The person running the meeting can switch control of screen sharing to whomever needs to share docs next.
I'm describing meetings with people I already know. If I'm connecting with somebody for the first time, e.g., a marketing contact, then face-to-face via video is definitely worthwhile to establish eye contact and size each other up. But after that, all we want to do is share docs and hear each other talk.
And of course we use plain old conference calls for 80% of remote group meetings.
(Haven't yet used Google Hangouts, but the same concerns would control.)