Video conferencing has been adopted prevalently across many industries as a convenient and modern tool for workplace collaboration. It is a medium that can support current working conditions, such as remote working and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and has advanced to such a level that a good service provider can guarantee high quality and reliability.
Yet, many people still believe that a video meeting lacks the personal touch of a face-to-face meeting. However, with the way in which video conferencing has moved on in recent years, many traditional types of meeting can be replaced with a video conferencing solution.
There are a few reasons why people choose not to either implement or extend video conferencing solutions and services, let’s take a look at a few examples and dispel the myths.
- It’s harder to control than a normal meeting
Teams working in different locations can be brought together by video conferencing, and yet some people believe that it is harder to control the behaviour of attendees than in a face-to-face meeting. The video conferencing solutions of a decade ago lacked the quality in audio and video to support extensive numbers of attendees, which is not the case in today’s market.
Today, we are able to offer state-of-the-art HD cameras that track and zoom in on the active speaker. All this is typified in the setup of the Cisco MX800D, which also features two noise-cancelling table microphones that give conversations a more in-the-room feel. Attendees can speak and have their voice heard in the same way they would in a traditional meeting. Furthermore, the ease of use of modern video conferencing hardware and software mean anyone can use it effectively.
- It’s not as reliable as just having everyone meet in the same place
Yes, having everyone in the same room is convenient at the best of times, but at the worst of times there can be several barriers to the perfect meeting. People travelling from a distance may not make it in time due to unforeseen traffic issues, which can set every other attendee’s day back significantly. Organising a time for everyone to be in the same location is tough, but with video there are no excuses. Reliability is key for a productive meeting, and there may be circumstances beyond anyone’s control that result in a meeting not taking place or taking place without all the necessary attendees.
With video conferencing, reliability is all part of the process. Videocall, for example, offer service level agreements which set out the expected performance of a service so users have peace of mind. Moreover, there is no need to track the traffic or leave early to avoid potential barriers to your arrival. Interoperability with any video-enabled device means there is no need for travel at all.
- You can share ideas more easily in a traditional meeting
Sharing ideas and collaborating are both integral parts of a team becoming productive and achieving results. With a traditional conference or meeting, ideas can be shared freely and brainstorming can be done with ease. This is no different from how ideas are shared in a video conference meeting.
Cisco’s multi-stream display options allow for shared screens, showing data on one and attendees on the other. Documents can be annotated and shared, and a standard wall or whiteboard could become a smart surface to be drawn and the contents shared further. This is particularly useful in industries sharing advertisements, graphs and statistics or graphic designs that involve regular adjustments and sign-offs.
- A traditional meeting commands more respect from potential customers/partners
There has long been an idea that video conferencing is less professional than a face-to-face meeting. Perhaps a couple of decades ago this may have been true; intermittent connections and unreliable levels of quality could see numerous drop outs and disconnects and more effort spent on ensuring things were working than actually collaborating.
This is not the case with contemporary video conferencing solutions such as the Cisco IX5000. Three 70-inch displays offer unequivocal quality and a stylish aesthetic for visitors to the office. Those on the other end of the call can see a beautifully designed state-of-the-art meeting room that speaks to the level of professionalism of your business. For businesses looking to seriously impress visitors, investors or partners, a solution like this has features that are at the height of their modernity, not just in terms of the hardware on offer but also the entire room environment. Staggered seating, personal monitors for information sharing and intelligent microphones all help to redefine video conferencing as a highly-polished, highly-professional method for meeting. Also, with many levels of service, including fully-managed cloud-based solutions, this professionalism can be achieved easily.
- Privacy and security are more easily attained in a face-to-face meeting
Of course, when everyone is in the same room, anything that is said will remain inside those four walls. With video conferencing, there is a worry that video could somehow be hacked, stolen or watched by a third party, leaving sensitive information unsecure. However, the medium has advanced to such a level that security is a top priority that can actually be delivered.
Utilising edge servers to share video without actually infiltrating you network strengthens security. Cloud computing – whether it be on-premise, hybrid or entirely cloud based – security levels are defined by the service provider and clearly mapped out so a business feels assured. Videocall offer highly innovative cloud-based VaaS (video as a service) platform called ICE – you can learn more about that here.
For more information about video conferencing and the ease with which it can be integrated and scaled, download our free whitepaper, "Video Conferencing Should Be This Easy".
Or, for more information about any of the product mentioned in this blog, get in touch with us now and see how Cisco and Videocall can revolutionise your office collaboration.