Whatever the size of the business you’re running, you understand that the key to success is efficiently managing your finances. Increasing your revenue is only half the battle of being profitable. In order to drive profit, you also need to have control over your costs.
Optimizing your operations with up to date technology such as expense management can certainly help keep your finances in check. You lower your cost thus increasing your business’ profitability. One of the technologies that you can invest in is video conferencing software.
What is Video Conferencing Software?
Webopedia, an online resource for technology, defines video conferencing software as a program used by companies to conduct live conferences. It is a tool used to reinforce healthy communication between departments and offices.
The software is used to bring together groups or individuals who need to discuss business matters. It is often a part of online collaboration software that makes it easier for different people to work on projects together. It is technology that’s preferred over the simple call conference done over the phones because it allows the people involved to interact better with each other.
The software uses basic equipment such as webcams, headsets or microphones and speakers and an online connection to make the video conferencing possible. It can be a point to point connection meaning there will only be two parties or remote locations in the conference. A multi point connection is also possible depending on the type of service that you use. All parties who will be participating in the conference need to have connection, the software and equipment to use the system.
How Does Video Conferencing Software Work?
Understanding how audio video conferencing software works will help you determine exactly how invaluable it can be to your business operations. This type of technology can improve your business strategies by enhancing communication between personnel.
The technology behind different types of video conferencing software may sound technical but it can certainly be easy to understand. According to Visual Systems Group Inc, a visual collaboration and network solutions provider, videoconferencing uses a cyclical process. It means that while it does go through various stages, it continues in a loop to function.
Since it will be transmitting audio and visual signals, the different points included in the process need to have the necessary equipment as mentioned earlier. As with any cyclic process, it has a beginning point. For example, if you were to have a video conference between your New York and Miami locations both offices need to be connected via ISDN or IP network.
Using the example scenario above, you can use the New York location as the starting point. When one of the folks in New York asks a question for someone in Miami, the audio and video information is coded and compressed and then sent through the network. The information transmitted will then be decoded and decompressed by the codec in the Miami location. That means, the people in Miami will see the New York Office and hear the question.
When Miami replies, the same process happens. The response is coded and compressed and sent to the New York location where it is decoded and decompressed. The codec functions at a high speed that all data transfers appear to happen in almost real time. The process continues until the meeting is over.
There are times when there are delays in the audio or video transmissions. The quality of the video and audio depends on network bandwidth and hardware. So, if you don’t have a large bandwidth you’d notice a lot of delays during the video conference.
Common Features of Video Conferencing Software
There are numerous types of video conferencing software for business available in the market. Software developers and vendors offer unique features to make their product stand out. Below are some of the common features offered by both free video conferencing software downloads and ones available for a fee.
- Text Chat – This feature helps participants send each other messages without disrupting the main speaker. For example, if the speaker is giving instructions on a project that the team is working on, the team leader can immediately delegate the different tasks real time. Members can then make sure that they take not of all the details they need from the speaker. By the time the meeting is done, teams will already have a game plan set so they can get right to work.
- File Transfer – For most meetings needed files are sent over before the actual conference. This is done to give participants time to go over the data that will be discussed. However there are meetings where files that have not been sent are presented. To transfer these files more efficiently, it can be sent through the connection so everybody can access it immediately. Participants won’t need to check their separate emails to get the needed file.
- Desktop Sharing – This feature is perfect for meetings or training sessions where the participants need to see the screen of the speaker or point person. There would be no need to create screenshots or individual log-ins for a program that’s being demonstrated.
- Slide Presentations – While being able to see each other during a remote conference helps the dynamics of a meeting, seeing data is also essential. The best video conferencing software allows slides to be used to support whatever data is being presented.
- Recording – Taking minutes during a meeting is one of the most challenging tasks a participant needs to do. Unless that individual’s only function is to take down notes, multi tasking during the conference can be difficult. Business video conference software has recording functions which makes going over the details of the meeting much easier. Participants can review the recording if they wish to clarify anything. If training is done via a video conference, this can also be used to train new or other employees if the trainer is not available.
With the different features the software offers, it’s easy to see how it can make numerous processes much simpler. From enhancing training to making project management processes more efficient, video conferencing can certainly help improve your business’ operations.
Cost Benefits of Video Conferencing Software
While video conferencing delivers a host of benefits for your company, business owners and managers certainly look for how it can improve profit. With the investment needed to get the software, connection and needed equipment, how it can provide ROI is a question that needs to be addressed. Here are some ways that the software can impact your company’s profitability,
- Reduce Travel Costs – When you run a business that has multiple locations, getting all the key players in one venue can be a nightmare. Not only do schedules need to be adjusted, but budget costs for the meeting can be astronomical. You would need to book plane tickets and hotel rooms. You will also need to arrange for transportation for your employees while they are in town. In addition, business trips often come with per diem allowances for your employees and this is on top of their regular pay. Your expense report will certainly be a nightmare, with costs skyrocketing.
By choosing to use video conference software instead, you can avoid the travel costs of these meetings. Participants need not leave their locations which means not only will you save on plane tickets and hotel rooms but you can also guarantee a more efficient meeting. Your employees will have access to all the information they need for the conference as they are able to do it from their own locations or offices.
- Enhance Communications and Reduce Costs due to Errors – As every business owner and manager knows mistakes cost money. For example, if you have an event planning business, you need to make sure that all the details of events that you run are up to the specifications of your clients. If your notes are incomplete, you might end up with the wrong flowers or table cloth colors. Errors like these cannot be charged to the client, so your business would have to cover the costs. You’d order new flowers and new table cloths which would be an additional cost. You might end up losing money on the event rather than getting profit.
Video conference software features include recording. So you can always review the details of your client’s request by viewing the recorded meeting. This will certainly ensure that you don’t have additional costs that could’ve been avoided.
- Solve Critical Issues Faster – Businesses often encounter issues that need to be addressed real time. Waiting to get problems fixed may result in revenue loss. For example, if equipment needs to be fixed, getting help through video conferencing will make it much easier to follow instructions. The issue might be one that can be easily fixed if the technician can demonstrate to the user how to do it. This means you can get back to business much faster.
Video conference software reviews show that businesses who decided to invest in it have had positive results. They have seen benefits such as reduced costs and increased productivity. You too can enjoy these benefits by optimizing your communications with the software. Visit CrowdReviews.com and check their list of video conference software vendors that can offer the services you need.
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