Why video is the new voice for business meetings

people in video conference

We’ve been hearing that “video is the new voice” for several years now, and it appears that video communication is finally starting to take off.

Whether in a formal video meeting room, on a desktop, or even a mobile device, video is helping businesses become more productive. Combining work context with the ability to escalate voice and video interactions brings a richness and social aspect to communications not previously available.

Video communication goes beyond the words and lets you see whether someone is rolling their eyes, nodding their head in agreement, or looking confused.

Using video for everything from killing email to hiring new staff

According to a recent survey by BlueJeans Network, well over half of the 4,000 employees worldwide interviewed found that seeing people rather than just hearing them provides tremendous productivity benefits.

For example, 68 percent of the respondents noted that live video will save them time spent in unproductive face-to-face meetings in the next five years, while over half see it significantly reducing the volume of email traffic. In addition, 82 percent of respondents feel that live video is important for collaboration, training, and troubleshooting.

Around 72 percent of respondents have higher expectations of information being readily available than they did two years ago, and believe that video technologies can change the way they communicate at work. And 82 percent see live video playing a useful role within their organization over the next two years whether in training, troubleshooting customer issues, or product collaboration.

The demand for video in the workplace is growing, as 51 percent of the respondents said they would prefer to work for a company that embraces live video as a way to communicate, and 73 percent believe hiring of new staff could be transformed with video.

Video is easier than ever to use

It can be as simple as dragging and dropping an individual’s name into a “conference room” or clicking on a name and selecting “video chat” from the drop-down menu to initiate ad hoc conferences. With video across the firewall, collaboration is expanded to consumers, vendors, and partners.

Cost savings from reduced air travel and hotel expenses can be tremendous. For example, one video consumer conducted roughly 100 client meetings over video, saving an estimated $2,000 to $3,000 in travel costs per call, noting, “That’s easily $250,000 a year.”

Replacing employee travel with web and video conferencing and collaboration tools such as shared workspaces and document repositories can save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

Who uses it?

Use cases for video are all over the board – from human resources to marketing to engineering. Of course, help desks and contact centers are taking advantage of the value that video provides.

Human resource departments use video conferencing for interviewing job applicants, while tech support can show someone how to fix a problem with a laptop. Marketing departments can share mock-ups for new campaigns, while executives in different countries who don’t often get to meet in person can see each other and form more personal relationships.

The use of video is expanding beyond the video meeting room to the desktop, as well as to mobile devices. Video meetings are no longer limited to the meeting room, as mobile devices become important video endpoints, enabling video meetings from any location.

We’re also experiencing the rise of huddle rooms, which are small conference areas equipped with audio, video, and other technologies that let teams and workgroups get together in a more ad hoc and informal way without having to schedule a meeting room.

How AT&T video solutions bring it together

A variety of vendors are offering video solutions, but in many cases these solutions need to be brought together as part of an overall unified communication and collaboration solution.

Companies like AT&T are stepping forward to help make video collaboration more accessible.

As a strategic partner for large and global businesses, AT&T offers a series of technologies providing video solutions, including the Cisco line up of collaboration solutions from WebEx, through desktop, huddle, and meeting room solutions, all the way to the super high-end telepresence solutions. WebEx solutions can be combined with AT&T Global Audio Conferencing solutions to provide increased functionality.

When integrated with AT&T Global Conferencing for example, AT&T Conferencing with Cisco WebEx solution provides global audio capabilities, in conjunction with high-definition (HD) video and WebEx web conferencing features, enabling attendees to join conferences with local, in-country phone numbers in more than 150 countries.

Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms Cloud (CMR) is an additional feature available with WebEx meetings that provides conferencing bridging capabilities to enable an instantly-available video meeting experience.

AT&T also offers video conferencing through Blue Jeans Networks, which is a cloud-based, multipoint solution to let users collaborate through a variety of mobile devices, desktop PCs, as well as room and immersive video systems. Blue Jeans allows users to scale their video conferencing capabilities without abandoning investments they’ve made in solutions from Cisco, Polycom, and others, while interoperating with Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business), Google, various web browsers, and more.

New challenges on the horizon

As video becomes a more prominent part of your enterprise’s Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) environments, expect to see new players, new technologies, and new challenges.

Your enterprise needs to think about the most effective ways to integrate the various legacy solutions with the newer video capabilities, while making video accessible to workers in any location using any device. A quality video experience requires a secure and guaranteed network, leading edge technologies, as well as the skills and expertise to manage and deploy the solution.

Video is the new voice. Are you ready?

Blair Pleasant President & Principal Analyst COMMfusion LLC About Blair

Blair Pleasant is president & principal Analyst of COMMfusion LLC and a co-founder of ucstrategies.com, an industry resource on the growing UC arena. All opinions are her own.