Using video to communicate and collaborate can virtually eliminate geographic boundaries, placing colleagues, partners and customers around a virtual conference table regardless of where they physically reside in the world.
Therefore, it’s critical for CIOs to employ the right video collaboration tools as part of a companywide unified communication strategy to help boost the company’s productivity and become even more agile and responsive to the changing business demands of today’s fast-paced business world. To help here are five of the most important steps to take as IT pros define their video collaboration strategy.
5 Important Steps in Video Collaboration Planning
- Get Back to Basics: The starting point for implementing video capabilities may not be crystal clear, which is why it’s important to start with the basics: Get a thorough assessment that uses proven methodologies to provide a clear view of what already exists and what needs to be added or changed. In most cases, some of the IT infrastructure already in place will be able to support video collaboration, but the IT department will need a shopping list for any technology additions or upgrades that will smooth the process. It’s important to note that the best assessments won’t focus strictly on the IT department, but will span many departments and business functions. This kind of comprehensive assessment, typically delivered by a solution provider experienced with communication and collaboration strategies, will help the CIO uncover who in the company will be most likely to use video collaboration tools, and will be used to develop recommendations for the best end points for the organization’s specific needs, all information IT pros need to present their case to key business decision makers.
- Learn all the Benefits: In addition to the obvious communication and competitive advantages a video collaboration solution offers, it also helps improve project management, optimize workforce productivity, improve responsiveness to market changes, support an increasingly complex global network, accelerate adoption of real-time business models, and reduce travel costs while uniting a decentralized workforce. Centralized management and administrative features – from recording solutions and conferencing to call control and scheduling – make it easier to control costs and complexity while ensuring a seamless end-user experience.
- Solve the Toughest Problems: Knowing who will use a video communication and collaboration solution and how they will use it will help the CIO ensure the solution is both effective and widely adopted. Stepping outside the proverbial back room, IT pros will need to reach out to line-of-business managers and key employees to discover – and solve – their pain points. The key to a successful video collaboration solution with a strong ROI is an alignment of the IT investment with the needs of the business from the start.
- Test Your Networks: Unified communication networks have enabled countless businesses to route traffic for data, voice and video over their corporate IP networks, but there’s an important distinction between delivering that traffic in a local, low-intensity environment like a single office and providing an enterprise-wide backbone capable of serving tens of thousands of users at carrier-grade levels of reliability and performance. Before an organization can rely on video communication for business-critical meetings and services, the CIO has to be certain that performance and availability will never be an issue.
- Plan for the Future: While employees video-calling each other from their desktops can offer productivity gains, more significant benefits extend far beyond the desktop. Immersive video rooms are taking the place of business travel, customer care is being transformed with virtual “in person” experiences, in-store surveillance cameras can detect long wait lines, and the factory shop floor can access video capture and streaming capabilities to monitor line status or security problems. Using video can help the CIO innovate across all areas of the business. The best solutions will take advantage of BYOD technologies that enable users to communicate face to face anywhere, at any time, on any device. Therefore, enterprise video collaboration solutions should support all major device platforms equally well, with a native device experience and full OS and vendor support.