Video Conferencing has been used in organizations since the 1980s CITATION Dav05 \l 1033 (Davis & Weinstein, 2005). Companies have relied on the technology to conduct business in an efficient, cost-effective as well as productive manner. However, with advancements in technology, the business case for the same is transforming itself CITATION Hyo14 \l 1033 (Hyoun Park Group, 2014).
The business world has changed. Companies have offices spread out globally and in different time zones. There is a need for constant sharing of information and meetings of regional heads and employees to collaborate. This report offers insight into how video conferencing as a technology can be of value to todays businesses; capturing the different types of video web conferencing, real-world ways in which organizations leverage visual collaboration through video conferencing in finding new customers, serving present customers in better ways, and lastly, improving business bottom lines CITATION Hyo14 \l 1033 (Hyoun Park Group, 2014).
The Video Conferencing Business Case
Video conferencing was traditionally used whenever organizations wanted to avoid business travel CITATION Kar07 \l 1033 (Karagheusian, 2007). Correspondingly, whenever the need for justification on video conferencing investments came up, all that was done was the calculation the amount of money that was saved by NOT travelling CITATION Dav05 \l 1033 (Davis & Weinstein, 2005). However, there is more in terms of what is saved or gained. In addition to the financial aspects of savings, employees experience other soft benefits. These include no time spent packing up for travel, time spent going to airports, passing security, and even waiting at airport terminals and finally sitting in planes to get to destinations of business. These two benefits; a. time and b. money, still hold in todays business cases for investment in the technology CITATION Kar07 \l 1033 (Karagheusian, 2007).
Types of Video Web Conferencing
It is proper that we know the different video conferencing solutions available in the market for us to know which one suits our needs as a business. The most common types are: integrated, set-top, desktop, telepresence, service-based and hybrid video conferencing systems.
Telepresence this is a simulation of the live or actual meeting in a way that makes it as close as possible to the in-person meeting. The participants appear life-size due to the large screens as well as the cameras positioned within eye-level. In some cases, solutions position screens around boardroom tables even going to the extent of implementing holographic images and 3D images so as to make the experience more realistic.
Set-top - meant for small businesses. Fits small meeting rooms. The system itself sits atop a monitor then gets worked on a cart. Easily rolled around. Can be used in other rooms when the need arises.
Integrated meant for group conferences. The equipment is centralized at a given location. Best for classrooms and boardroom conferences.
Service-based these are offered by telecom carriers. The telecom carrier handles the network set-up. Less work on the client firms end. Only the solution is paid for. Management left to the provider.
Hybrid - blend of 2 or more systems. For instance, some telepresence features could be merged with those of set-top implementations. This aims for versatility. There are providers who offer this to businesses who need customized solutions.
Desktop laptops and desktop computers given a spot during meetings. The solution is on computers. This is the most affordable given that most employees today own PCs and laptops. Can connect to tablets and smartphones as well. As such, a hybrid of this and the service-based implementation is best for the company due to costs and flexibility.
It should be noted that the most complex systems have higher costs.
Savvy enterprises today have realized that there is more that can be done using video conferencing than just in the team meetings or standard project meetings CITATION Swa10 \l 1033 (Swan, 2010). As a matter of fact, with proper deployment and utilization, there can be a huge transformation in the manner in which organizations do business. Video conferencing can change things for this organization.
The company should adopt the use of hybrid of desktop and service-based implementations due to costs and flexibility associated with such a set-up.
The Benefits of the Recommendation
Productivity and Efficiency:
Video conferencing is used in the improvement of the performance of resources as well as in the reduction of time as well as costs that are linked to processing business CITATION Dav05 \l 1033 (Davis & Weinstein, 2005). Employees make video calls whenever they want from their laptops and thereby merely incur data costs. Implementation costs will be low as compared to other types of implementations.
Video conferencing is used to expedite and enable partnering, teaming, as well as bonding of external and internal resources CITATION Hyo14 \l 1033 (Hyoun Park Group, 2014). Employees will not have to travel to each company branch to have meetings or know each other.
New Services Enablement
Types of services and reachable target audience are expanded with video conferencing.
Clients, customers and even partners are communicated to using video conferencing CITATION Dav05 \l 1033 (Davis & Weinstein, 2005). This leads to efficiency, effectiveness and leaves a high impact on such communications.
Real World Use Case
Merger and Acquisition
A high tech company reduced negotiation phase duration from 5 to 3 months thereby saving thousands of dollars through strategic video conferencing use CITATION Kar07 \l 1033 (Karagheusian, 2007). In the scenario, video conferencing offered varied benefits. For instance, face-to-face meetings over video calls helped enhance trust between business executives much faster than would have happened via phone conversations CITATION Kar07 \l 1033 (Karagheusian, 2007). Additionally, there was no need for coordination of schedules or even wastage of time by travels and meetings in person.
Further benefits included the point that there was faster integration amongst managers from opposite sides before the finalization of the deal CITATION Kar07 \l 1033 (Karagheusian, 2007). In-person meetings would not be allowed before the merger completed. Video conferencing made virtual meetings possible at zero costs; and without need for traveling.
The estimated investment on the video conferencing equipment was US $500,000 CITATION Kar07 \l 1033 (Karagheusian, 2007). An amount that was paid back in under six months by cost savings and nothing more.
BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Davis, A., & Weinstein, I. (2005). The Business Case for Videoconferencing: Achieving a Competitive Edge. Wain house Research.
Hyoun Park Group. (2014, February 13). The Business Case for Videoconferencing. Retrieved from Third Sector New England: http://tsne.org/blog/business-case-videoconferencing
Karagheusian, L. (2007, June). Can video conferencing up your productivity and reduce costs? Retrieved from Computer Weekly: http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Can-video-conferencing-up-your-productivity-and-reduce-costs
Newman, D. L. (2008). Videoconferencing technology in K-12 instruction : best practices and trends. Hershey: Information Science Reference.
Swan, G. (2010, August 7). Video conferencing: The business case. Retrieved from CIO: http://www.cio.com.au/article/356106/video_conferencing_business_case/
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