Is video conferencing helpful for businesses?

Can you save time and money? I have been using video conferencing, but I guess I want to know what you think of it.

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5

Every video conferencing that I've been to ... every single one of them since 2002 (at many different locations, offices, clients large and small)... we always had to spend at least 20 minutes just to trouble shoot. Either troubleshoot the technology, or troubleshoot the users and help them get a hang of it.
In theory, yes, it's great. But in practice, it takes too much time to set up and get going ... at least in my experience.

Oh yes, this is such a problem! There's always at least one who can't download the needed widget, or who's calling from their cell with a noisy connection. This impacts both video conferencing and screen sharing.

And the absolute worst to get connected with if you're not familiar with it is Google. Who's invited, who has permission to view or share? Where's the phantom "administrator" who has to approve this? And zero help.

Now see, I use Google+ Hangouts for private group meetings as well as a livestreamed show. I don't have a problem with it. In fact I was an early adopter so I've weathered through the changes and upgrades in service. It really isn't that difficult to navigate.

What if you don't need the participants to download anything to their computers, what if you can send them a link and they can come online where ever they are. What if you can meet face to face with 12 people at once, what if you could have unlimited number of people in your conference room, what if you could have 140 languages translated with 1/2 second delay? What if you could have a portal of online tools +20 that could help with your business operations and it would not cost your cent, unless you want?

4

I think it is essential providing a digital face-to-face opportunity to connect in a more meaningful way with people. Which service do you use, Preston?

I messaged you- don't think I should say here in the forum

I think you hit the nail on the head. Creating a meaningful face-2-face video meeting is the key to making the desktop video conference a valuable experience. I think any interaction where the expressions of one or more parties is key to a successful outcome is the trick. I think that healthcare and certain law enforcement tasks are prime examples. I see a lot of application for mobile video to desktop having a meaningful value to users as well, for example, a real estate property walkthrough.

Healthcare, non-profits, and now even government agencies are using this technology. I heard that in the government they are demanded to find solutions for video conferencing to save a ton of money being wasted by meetings that are not necessary or that take too much time and money. What if there were a system that could do all this and more, plus be able to be seen on mobile devices and actually participate using mobile? What if it could translate in 140 different languages with 1/2 second delay? msg me.

12

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.

5

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.

Yes, you can have it all. What if in this conference system you could use your phone instead of being attached to your desktop, you can actually be in a conference meeting using your phone and you can get 140 different languages translated during that conference with 1/2 second delay, could that create world wide or global reach. What if you could have over 20+ online tools that would help you manage every contact you have now or into the future plus give you time and it would not cost you a cent?

5

While there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings, video conferencing puts a voice to a face and allows a stronger relationship to be built. It also becomes extremely useful with software such as Cisco's Webex, where desktops can be shared for demonstration purposes. Just keep in mind that meeting members can take a screen shot of or record anything you share!

Carl- you are right face to face is the best- too bad we don't have technology like that of star-trek where we say "beam me up" and we are there. It is coming but I think further in the future. What if you could use a system that would not be as costly as Webex and have all these benefits and more? What if?

4

SKYPE is your friend... well to see if it works for your business. In my last organisation it was the default communication tool for everyone. worked a treat, for us to use the Comcast solution we had in each office for full conferencing was a simple step. Over time this setup saves money on travel and lost work time. So in short... yes it does help.. BUT to Ellens point, it should be used in conjunction with face to face.

Adrian, I do believe Skype has its place, I also use this in certain cases. However what I have found is it not private, so I would not reveal private information on it. I also have heard it can get hacked more then most systems. I know when I have a meeting with clients/prospects or others, I can lock down the room with a password so only those who know that password for that meeting only can get in. Can change it anytime I want.

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