Author Archives: Danielle Downs

5-W's-of-a-Video-Conferencing-Strategy

Video conferencing initiatives continue to be an increasing priority to many organizations. With advancements in technology, the promise of connecting people anywhere, any time, on any device is now an attainable goal when video collaboration is implemented correctly. The first step in this process is to put together a solid video collaboration strategy.

As a starting point, here are 5 important for getting your video strategy off on the right foot.

Who will be using video?
More specifically, what business units will be using video? Will this be for executives only? Will different departments have access to the video conferencing equipment/services?

What will they be using it for?
What type of meetings will be taking place when using video conferencing? Will they be internal or also have external participants? Will they be point to point meetings or will you need multipoint capabilities for larger meetings? Determining your priorities for these meetings will help with demonstrating immediate value.

Where will these meetings take place?
Will you have dedicated conference rooms with video conferencing equipment? Will these be in all of your locations? Will you allow desktop video conferencing and mobile conferencing abilities? These questions will also help with determining what type of technologies and if you need to implement a BYOD policy.

When will this be purchased?
What is your purchasing procedure? Will this be something that you can move forward with once the correct technologies are determined? Does your organization view video conferencing as an op-ex or cap-ex purchase? These questions are important for determining the best way to purchase this equipment and if certain options like leasing might make sense.

Why do you want to implement video?
This may be the most important question when putting together your video strategy. You must determine what your organization is trying to accomplish and what the goals are with regards to video collaboration. Once this question is answered, you will be able to choose correct technologies and implement a strategy that will work towards those goals.

Once you are successfully able to answer these 5 questions your next step will be to determine the technology, and equally as important, begin creating a video adoption strategy. IVCi can help you build a high quality video conferencing strategy and implementation as well as assist with adoption and usage strategies.

Are you ready to move forward with your video conferencing strategy? Contact us for a free consultation.

This-week-in-collaboration

Welcome to our bi-weekly recap of the week’s best articles surrounding collaboration.

What Next for BYOD?
Cisco introduced a BYOD solution to remove some of the burden from IT Departments and provide them with a central point for managing many aspects of the BYOD lifecycle including on-boarding, device profiling, authentication, authorization, offboarding, and self-service management. This all fits in to the recently created industry segment, Mobile Device Management.

4 Productivity Tips for Business Meetings
Many people dread meetings and conference calls and according to a Blue Jeans Network survey, 6% of employees have admitted to falling asleep during conference calls. 4 tips for making the most of your meetings include; face-to-face interaction, timing, less talk, more action, and giving everyone a voice are very important to successful meetings.

How does your mobile define how you work?
A new term, ‘generation mobile’, has been coined for individuals who are defined by their preference for mobility both in terms of the devices they use and their approach to work. The majority of generation mobile individuals are in the early stages of their career and own three or more connected devices. As opposed to using these devices to aide in their workday, they are shaping their working lives around their mobile devices.

The Future of Enterprise Communications: A Customer Perspective
Frost & Sullivan published the results of their annual end user survey on enterprise communications. Business-grade softphones, tablets, and UC clients are expected to experience the most significant increases in demand over the next three years, and cloud computing is expected to increase by 20% over the same time period. Similarly, the rise of the virtual organization and the need to support remote workers, mobility, and bring-your-own technology (BYOT), along with the growing demand for social networking, visual collaboration, and a more personalized experience, are top of mind for IT decision makers and having a considerable impact on IT investment decisions.

Web, video conference insomnia therapies show promise
Insomnia treatment that’s delivered through a web-based program or video conference may help people feel less tired during the day, according to a small study from Canada. For people in rural areas, who may not have access to more traditional treatments, they can use video conferencing to connect with doctors. The study suggests that both web and telehealth based treatments of insomnia show promise and are worthy of further development and study.

Picture-4 Ways Video Can Enhance Customer Relationships

Video conferencing has long been known for reducing travel costs, saving time, and strengthening collaboration within an organization. However, when organizations utilize video conferencing to support customer relationships they have the chance to increase the ROI on their technology investment and boost both new and existing client relationships.

There are multiple ways that video conferencing can add value to customer relationships.  Here are a few that stand out;

1. Training:
Organizations can use video conferencing to help train customers on the product or service they are purchasing. This can help make the training more efficient and allows the ability to provide face-to-face training without needing to be on-location.

2. New Product Updates:
A great way to stay in touch with customers is by giving new product and existing product updates. By using video conferencing to give these updates, companies can stay connected face to face more efficiently with multiple clients.

3. Market Research:
The best way to determine what your customers and future customers need is with market research. Using video conferencing to connect with customers and gather their input is invaluable for R&D. These meetings also give companies a chance to strengthen customer relationships.

4. Adding additional resources during in-person meetings:
When on-location with customer, often times it is essential to have additional resources (i.e. engineers, technicians) there to assist with the meeting. Having those individuals connect to the meeting over video allows them provide overall support more efficiently by reducing the time lost if traveling to each meeting.

Understanding the many different ways that video conferencing can benefit an organization is imperative in truly understanding the value of visual collaboration.

To learn more about how video conferencing can assist your organization, contact us for a personalized consultation.

 

Should I Lease Or Buy Video Conferencing Equipment?

January 13th, 2014 | Posted by Danielle Downs in Video Conferencing - (0 Comments)

Question

As video conferencing becomes more and more crucial, the decision goes from whether or not to invest to how should we invest? When it comes to buying video conferencing equipment, leasing or buying are the two main options. Which one is the best option? This all depends on each individual companies requirements, bottom line, and preference. Here is a look at some of the pros and cons of each to help you decide what’s best for your organization.

Buying Equipment

Pros:
1. Provides more options and increased flexibility since organizations have total control over what they purchase.
2. Endpoints and infrastructure can be customized to meet the organizations exact specifications and requirements.

Cons:
1. Larger upfront costs associated with purchasing equipment.
2. Equipment can become updated prior to it wearing out.
3. The equipment can be complex and difficult to install and maintain if company does not have the right technical resources.

Leasing Equipment

Pros:
1. No upfront costs & predictable monthly payments.
2. Equipment is easier to update and replace, giving companies access to the latest and greatest technology.

Cons:
1. In the long run, leasing is normally much more expensive than purchasing and companies will always have an equipment payment.
2. Leasing is more complex as it requires more paperwork, credit checks, and financial information to procure.

The decision to lease or purchase often comes down to how much flexibility a company needs and how much cash they have at hand for an upfront purchase. Depending on budgets, this comes down to if a company would prefer to purchase the equipment as a cap-ex or op-ex expense. Once you determine how your organization would like to purchase the equipment, the next step will be determining your use cases and how you will be using video conferencing in order to determine what solutions make the most sense for you.

Want to learn more about your leasing options? Contact us to schedule a consultation where we will walk you through your purchasing options as well as help you determine what video conferencing equipment makes the most sense for your organization.

This Week In Collaboration

January 10th, 2014 | Posted by Danielle Downs in Cloud Services | Collaboration | Mobility | Video Conferencing - (0 Comments)

This-week-in-collaboration

Welcome to our bi-weekly recap of the week’s best articles surrounding collaboration.

First Look: Why Banks Should Copy Amazon s Mayday Video Support

Financial institutions should take notice of Amazon’s video on-demand customer service feature and think about utilizing a similar service on their mobile and tablet applications. Giving customers the ability to speak to a customer service representative face-to-face from their mobile device or tablet could exponentially improve their users digital experience.  This could not only help customer service but also be further extended as a sales tool when branch personnel help with remote assistance to their customers.

Getting Great Audio in a Video Call

Video conferencing has helped to make communication an increasingly enriching experience. However, quality audio in a video call is an essential aspect that cannot be overlooked. Some of the important ways to get great audio include; good echo cancellation, a wide range of frequencies carried by a system, directional microphones, specialized signal processing, high quality speakers and an audio visual optimized room. Any effort to achieve better sound will quickly pay off with more productive and energetic meetings.

Virtualizing Video

Cisco announced it is virtualizing Videoscape, their leading immersive video solution, by putting it in to the cloud. It now is offering cloud software capabilities that can run on public and private clouds, enabling service providers to deploy new video applications on demand. They are also offering Videoscape Cloud Services functionality “as a service” using a unique consumption based model. Cisco Cloud Fusion for Videoscape ties all of the implementation options together. It allows SP’s to seamlessly integrate various models of deploying Videoscape to best support their business needs, maximizing return-on-investment.

A Third of Meetings Use Mobile

According to Blue Jeans Network’s bi-annual “State of the Modern Meeting” report, a 1/3 of all meetings now include a participant on a mobile device. Some other findings include that 71% of people believe they lost a deal due to the lack of face-to-face interaction and 6% admitted to falling asleep during an audio-only meeting. Using video conferencing has proven that visual collaboration is possible regardless of budget-cuts, holidays, bad weather, or geographic dispersion.

Collaboration Wanted; Employee Buy-In Required

Collaboration technology promises many benefits. These advanced solutions remove traditional communication barriers and make it easier to conduct business and speed up decision-making. These solutions can also provide travel savings and reduced office space necessary when implementing telework policies. However, to truly benefit from collaboration tools, end-user buy-in is critical. Because collaboration technology is designed to improve the way people interact, it is very personal. Due to this, users need to have a firm understanding of how the solution is going to meet their own unique needs.