Webinar: Driving Usage and Adoption of Visual Collaboration

“When organizations embrace collaboration across their workforce, something truly remarkable occurs. Individuals come together with common goals and their collective power can accomplish far greater things than each individual on their own.”

In a world where instant messaging, email, and on-line audio meetings reign supreme, shifting an organization’s culture to adopt visual collaboration or unified communications (UC) solutions can be extremely challenging.

Implementing a new technology is a significant change in the organization that, if underestimated, can produce disappointing results.

Join us for an informative webinar that will cover several key steps an organization must take in order optimize usage and adoption of visual collaboration among their workforce. This includes:

  • Executive Support & Planning.
  • Identifying & Integrating the Technology
  • Designing Processes & Procedures
  • Disseminating to the People

Driving Usage and Adoption of Visual Collaboration
[Click Here to Register]
Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM Eastern / 11:00 AM Pacific (US)

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Video has become a staple in both my professional and personal lives. I find it so much easier to have a conversation face-to-face and simply get annoyed when I have to pick up the phone. Unfortunately, I still meet a lot of people who just don’t seem to love video as much as I do. We’ve already discussed a few excuses in a previous post; including people can spy on me, I cannot multitask and video is creepy. Here are a few more of my favorites:

Video is too difficult to use
Half of the time I can hear the other person but not see them and the other half I can see them but not hear them. That’s assuming I connect of course which is maybe only about quarter of the time. On the off chance that I can connect smoothly, the video image keeps breaking up and I can barely hear my colleague let alone see them. Yes, we’ve all heard the woes of unfamiliar video users and if video equipment and networks are not set up properly these inconveniences are probably true.

However, in most instances video is as easy to use as the telephone. UC solutions such as Microsoft Lync and Cisco Jabber make video conferencing as easy as typing in a name and clicking connect. There is no need to look up or remember a phone number, let alone an IP address. Similarly, cloud based bridging services not only remove most interoperability barriers but allow enterprise video solutions to connect with consumer desktop and mobile solutions such as Skype and iPads.

I sit in a public area and have little privacy
Conversations over video can be quite public if you are using computer speakers. Not only can people hear what you’re saying, they can hear what your counterpart is saying removing every ounce of privacy. Not to mention we all have that one coworker who’s a little loud or a little nosy and can be rather distracting when on a video call.

Try substituting a headset or pair of headphones for your computer speakers. Not only will this keep the conversation slightly more private, it will reduce some of the background noise allowing your colleague to hear you better.

I don’t like the way I look on camera
I look too fat, too pale, too old, too young for that matter – the list goes on and on. Newsflash: no one likes the way they look on camera because we are overly critical of ourselves. I mean everyone hates how they sound over audio but that doesn’t keep them from making telephone calls does it? So why then does it keep them from video conferencing?

Besides, there are few little things you can do to enhance your appearance – starting with the position of the camera. Make sure it is not right in front of you or zoomed up all the way; the closer the camera is, the bigger your face looks. You don’t need to prepare for the nightly news but a little foundation and bronzer goes a long way. Finally, make sure the area around you is tidy, although if you want people looking at your mess rather than your face, this is the way to go.

Getting over the hurdle of being afraid or making excuses not to be on video can be challenging. But do it, because in the end the advantages of using it far outweigh any negative feelings you may have!

Related Articles
Stop Being A Video-Phobe Part One

Collaboration, team work, relationships and communication; these are some of the latest buzzwords in business today. Companies are not only embracing the collaboration era but looking for ways to enhance communication and strengthen relationships between colleagues, business partners and even customers.

The result: video enabled organizations.

The benefits of video conferencing are undeniable and technological innovations have made video more accessible and easier to use than ever. As a result, organizations are adopting visual collaboration solutions at a rapid rate. However, while some organizations are creating a competitive advantage with stellar results; others see the equipment slowly collect dust.

So, what makes the difference between the two outcomes? How can an organization ensure a successful video implementation?

Simple, effectively manage the implementation and build a video culture.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done as organizations tend to underestimate the amount of time and planning required to effectively manage a video implementation. A company must consider the impact the technology has on the interrelated subsystems within an organization; including the behavioral subsystem (the people), the structural subsystem (the process), and the technological subsystem (the equipment).

An integrated approach to adoption must be used as the impact of a new technology reaches beyond the equipment, affecting the people and the process within an organization. Failure to consider these inter-dependencies can result in significant resistance and even abandonment of the solution.

To dig deeper into this trend and understand some of the best practices and key areas to consider, download our new white paper.

Driving Usage & Adoption

In a world where instant messaging, email and online audio meetings reign supreme; shifting an organization’s culture to adopt visual collaboration or unified communication solutions can be extremely challenging.  Implementing a new technology is a significant organizational change that, if underestimated, can produce disappointing results.  There are several key steps an organization must take in order to effectively drive adoption throughout the organization. This is the final post in a five-part series covering the successful development of a video culture within an organization.  Read part one here 

The business world is moving at a faster pace than ever before and organizations need to continually adapt in order to survive.  Visual collaboration plays an integral role in allowing organizations to make fast, fluid and flexible decisions; however, simply implementing the technology will not produce the results most organizations hope for. 

Senior management must continue to drive adoption of visual collaboration; starting with their own usage and adoption.  Managers should push the use of visual collaboration anytime the solution is available; such as board meetings or companywide video updates. 

Organizations should also map usage of visual collaboration solutions to business unit profitability.  This allows for visibility into the most effective uses of video; and often times, organizations will see increased profitability and innovation among units with the highest use. Usage mapping also provides the data needed to develop benchmarks for usage and performance.  Management can use this information to identify areas for improvement or additional business units that may benefit from the deployment of visual collaboration solutions. 

In addition to usage mapping, organizations should review overall reporting and usage metrics.  Advanced reporting can provide insight into trends that would typically be missed; such as, a decrease in the usage of a particular outdated system or specific times when video usage peaks creating an over demand on the organization’s network.  As a result, organizations can proactively address any issues to ensure they receive the most out of their video investment. 

Finally, senior management should evaluate the overall success of the visual collaboration implementation.  Questions such as were key metrics and goals achieved; were users accepting of the technology and where are the areas for improvement; should all be discussed.  Not only will this help in deploying visual collaboration to other business units; it will help the organization understand how to implement major organizational changes in the future.

This post is part of a five-part series covering the successful development of a video culture within an organization.

Part One: Because the boss said so is not enough!
Part Two: It’s more than just bits and bytes
Part Three: P is for Process, that’s good enough for me
Part Four: Power to the People

It seems like everywhere you look some analyst is saying video conferencing has hit a tipping point and its usage is skyrocketing.  The technology continues to improve while the cost of entry continues to decrease, which is great news for just about anyone who needs to communicate with people in other locations.

What happens though, when an organization finally decides to pull the trigger?  It partners with a solution provider, picks a technology or manufacturer, sets a budget, and implements.

Great! Now it’s time to watch the investment pay for itself as members reap all of the personal and business benefits video has to offer.  Or, maybe not?

One key piece of the implementation puzzle that cannot be taken for granted is the need to promote the use of video within an organization.  It is crucial to design a usage that is tailored towards the needs of end users and the organization’s overall goals.

A good roll-out should begin with a communications plan that outlines how video should be marketed internally.  Key components of this communications plan include:

  1. Program Goals
    In most cases this will be as simple as “to successfully deploy video by creating awareness and excitement while driving user adoption.”
  2. Key Messages and Objectives
    • Why should employees use video?
    • What previous perceptions of video technology need to be addressed?
    • What corporate initiatives are connected to video (going green or sustainability programs)?
  3. Marketing Vehicles
    What media/technology/events will be used to get the word out? (Email, launch events, internal video messages, etc.)
  4. Timeline
    What is the overall roll-out timeline and structure for the program?

With a comprehensive communications plan in place, it is vital to obtain executive sponsorship of the plan. In most cases, any events associated with the video roll-out should include executive participation (launch parties, demos, etc).

The final piece to the puzzle is ongoing marketing. It is not enough to simply announce the launch; a continuous effort must be made to provide updates, additional training, and success stories.  If the internal communications effort is consistent and continues to showcase the value of video, usage and adoption of video technology will skyrocket!