Video conferencing technology is leaving the telepresence room for desktops and mobile devices and will bring new business communication opportunities and challenges to the marketplace. At the recent UC Summit 2012 conference targeting telephony VARs, Solution Integrators, and business communication Consultants, there were several topics that captured everyone’s interest. They were new, disruptive technologies that are changing business communications, as well as new opportunities for the technology channels to generate increased business and revenue by helping clients to migrate from traditional telephony communications to UC-enabled applications.
In addition to the opportunities for “cloud” based services, video conferencing options at the desktop and with mobile devices (tablets, smartphones) are becoming more affordable and available to replace delays in scheduling or traveling for face-to-face meetings. In addition, with UC-enablement, video conferencing options also include end-user options for participating in real time with voice rather than being on camera. The bottom line is that UC-enabled video conferencing can enhance all collaborative activities more flexibly and cost-efficiently.
Video Conferencing Sessions Have To Be Managed By Leaders
With all the flexibility of UC-enabled conferencing, there still needs to be leadership for the participants. In an interesting study of video conferencing success by the 1080 Group, the study showed that the productivity objectives were rated above any cost saving benefits.
The research separated responses from end users who were “Attendees” (participants) vs. those who were “Leaders.” Both groups indicated the need for the Leader(s) to be “on camera,” to be well organized, and to avoid distracting mannerisms.
The report also suggests the need for accommodating “mixed” audiences, where not all participants are necessarily on “camera.” Again, where it is necessary for a particular participant to be “on camera,” that must be coordinated by a “Leader.”
The takeaway of the study suggests;
“Personal leadership appears to be a significant factor as organizations adopt video conferencing into regular practice, and video conferencing “Leaders” have an opportunity to collaborate in this process. Given that some industries report much shorter than average usage times, it appears organizations are using video conferencing more and more like making a short telephone call. The opportunity is for all “Leaders” to more consciously guide the process of change.”
For another perspective on the role of video conferencing, see Phil Edholm’s (News - Alert) white paper about Middle Manager usage.
Videoconferencing will be replacing face-to-face meetings, as well as voice calls and conferencing. This will be made more possible as multimodal end point devices are deployed by end users at the desktop and as mobile smartphones and tablets. What that means is that the opportunity to exploit the various benefits of video will increase as participants can now participate in real time, regardless of where they happen to be located. Such benefits include both seeing video information, as well as seeing the participants, or both.
Of course, not everyone can participate at the same time for a voice or videoconference. For this reason, it may be appropriate for unavailable participants to be able to access a recording of the conference session and add their comments and questions after the fact. So, what usually required full real-time participation can be extended to maximize participation without too much delay time involved.
Edited by Brooke Neuman