Video Conferencing

Back to the future for video conferencing

Eric Carson examines the place of the video conferencing in the 21st century business market.

The 90s boardroom craze otherwise known as video conferencing could be about to revolutionise the way we go about our daily business lives once more. The 21st century way…

When video conferencing hit board rooms for the first time in the 1990s employees compared the advanced technology to ‘rocket science.’

There is no denying technology has come a long way since the millennium. We’re easily connecting to the internet from several devices every day and thankfully no longer have to wait for the irritating dial up internet sound thanks to superfast broadband.

Our 21st century devices have been designed and built to cope with hours of daily internet activity. The higher bandwidth and stronger, faster connections allows 2011 video conferencing to stream seamlessly for long periods of time – a luxury simply not possible 15 years ago.

New technologies even spoil us with high definition screens meaning you can see crystal clear real time images of your colleagues from the next room, down the street or even on the other side of the world.

It could be argued the popularity of the service over a decade ago was largely due to the hype and curiosity as opposed to demand or necessity. So is there the demand for it now?

In short, the answer is yes. Companies are doing more global business than ever before and sometimes face-to-face meetings just aren’t practical or even necessary.

By integrating audio and video connections, a video conference is the next best thing to seeing and talking with them in real life. You will also eliminate the time that is effectively ‘wasted’ travelling to and from meetings. Your meeting can begin with the touch of a button.

If the time spent travelling is greatly reduced, so too will be the company’s travel expenses. Less time in the car or on planes also means you can reduce the carbon footprint of your company.

So you’ve invested in video conferencing equipment and now you’re wondering when you actually use it.

Well the possibilities are endless and don’t have to be limited to general catch up meetings with clients and colleagues.

Have you ever wished you had a better customer support mechanism? Or gone over and over in your mind how employee training can be carried out efficiently on a large scale?

Perhaps you work in a multi-branch organisation and struggle to find times when everyone can be in the one place at the one time?

The more you pay for video conference equipment the more advanced the technology and features will be. But there are cheaper, more basic alternatives available which may be a good starting point for beginners.

First Published: 29 Sep 2011

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