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Why video is the dial tone of choice

27 Sep 2012

In line with rapidly evolving technology, video today is not only about conferencing, it’s about collaboration.

Video collaboration is now recognised as mission critical for businesses to remove barriers of distance and time, connecting experts to where they are needed most and creating greater trust and understanding through visual connection.

Today’s video collaboration technology has been designed with the needs of the end user in mind. If you can make a phone call, you can make a video call – it’s that easy. The flexibility of video solutions available today means video has gone beyond the boardroom and is the new ‘dial tone’ of choice for many organisations.

Now, you can just as easily make a video call from your tablet or smartphone as you can from the company boardroom or workstation. The video dial-tone creates deeper connection, intimacy and relationships between users.

As demand for video continues to grow, cloud-delivered video offerings are expected to be a key contributor to this growth, given New Zealand’s diverse business landscape. Likewise, major infrastructure changes underway like the Government’s Ultra-Fast Broadband are also expected to drive unified communications growth as infrastructure catches up with technology.

Video is at a tipping point. It has moved into the mainstream of business communication and is considered an essential part of any organisation’s Unified Communications (UC) strategy.

Realising the Benefits of Video

Companies which have successfully introduced video collaboration have considered how it will fit into their current business processes. This means ensuring end users have the training and tools to give them the confidence to use video. Confident users pioneer the use of video conferencing and convert others through their own enthusiasm.

When developing and introducing a UC strategy, there are a few things to consider. Below are four tips to help make a successful transition.

1. Thinking Long Term

While it’s important to make sure everyone starts using video to collaborate in the short term, thinking longer term is vital to ensure your investment has longevity. Even if you are only looking to take small steps with video, it makes sense to think about longer term UC needs. This way, decisions made today will not adversely impact on future flexibility.

2. Communicate to Achieve Company Wide Adoption

Introducing video should be given the same gravitas as any major change management strategy. With this in mind, it’s important to communicate what you are doing and why. This will drive employee understanding in terms of what using video within the enterprise will mean to them and what they will need to do differently. It helps to use real life examples to illustrate this.

For example, if your workforce spends a lot of time visiting clients, it will be important to demonstrate the benefits video collaboration will deliver in real world terms e.g. reduced travel time, improved productivity and increased business efficiency.

3. Test, test and test again

Run a pilot study to test your UC concepts with a small group of people before a company-wide launch. Decide what trial groups you will focus on; choose those who will help spread the word and get others on board. Ensure you communicate effectively, giving employees clearly defined goals and tools including training where necessary.

4. Leadership Endorsement

Successful introduction of video depends on support from the management team; it should understand the short and long term benefits. Employees look to their leaders for endorsement when change is happening, and this will help to encourage rapid adoption and usage of video more widely across the organisation.

Our appetite for increased connectedness is driving innovators to create new ways to connect and communicate – and evolving and improving video technology is a key part of that.

By Gary Denman - Polycom Managing Director, ANZ

This article can be found in the latest issue of IT Brief Magazine, available here