You’ve probably heard the quote “it’s a big world out there” about a million times. And this is certainly true especially if you factor in some geographical numbers. The total land area of the entire planet is over 510 million square kilometers. If you were to travel that, it would take you approximately 37 hours. And that’s if you do it non-stop.
Fortunately with today’s technology, the other side of the world is so much closer. And this is something that businesses nowadays benefit from. Decades ago, if you wanted to meet with an associate in Australia, you would have to travel over 16 hours by plane. But with online video conference tools, you can have a meeting right at the comfort of your own office.
What is Video Conferencing Software?
According to Investopedia, an online business resource, video conference software is a tool that allows businesses to hold meetings even if the participants are in different locations. It is a technology that is quickly becoming popular because it makes it easier for companies to reinforce communication among employees and improve relationships with partners, suppliers and clients.
Business video conference software can be between point to point, which means there are only two locations involved, and multi point. The latter, of course, obviously means that three or more participants would be in the conference.
In order to use the tool, the different locations need to have the following,
- Webcam – this is used to capture image so it can be transmitted to the other locations.
- Screen – this is used to show the image captured from a remote location.
- Microphone – this is used to capture audio to be transmitted to the other locations.
- Speaker – this is used to play the audio that is transmitted from a remote location.
- Network – this is used by the software to transmit audio and video. It can either be ISDN or IP.
While the technology may sound complicated, it is quite easy to understand. According to Visual Systems Group Inc or VSGI, the software functions on a cyclical process. This basically means that the different stages in the process loops until the meeting is done.
For example, if you were in a meeting with your supplier in China, audio and visual signals will be transmitted between the two locations. When you say something, the image and audio is coded and compressed by the software’s codec. It is then sent through the network to your supplier’s location. The codec on their side decodes and then decompresses the data.
The transmissions are received in real time video with both data combined. The audio signals are delayed so it is received at the same time as the images. This needs to be done as it is common knowledge that sound travels faster than light.
There are different types of video conferencing software for business. So choosing one would depend on your needs. Desktop video conferencing is ideal for individual and SMB use. It works on the most basic equipment such as laptops, desktops and even IP phones.
The more sophisticated types are room-based and telepresence video conference software. It caters to businesses with more extensive business needs. These can be used for other purposes such as run online meetings to increase the benefits of a learning management system, and hold quick touch base meetings to support planning and implementation recorded on project management software.
While room-based and telepresence may provide more features, it does require additional investment on equipment and logistics. Conference or physical meeting rooms will need to be equipped with large screens and more high ticket audio and visual hardware.
What Does Video Conferencing Software Do?
The most important function of video conferencing is that it makes connecting with key people so much simpler and efficient. Prior to this technology, meetings, conferences and even trainings were costly affairs that impacted the business’ profitability. If you didn’t want these costs, then you either had to forego them or settle for cheaper options.
For example, meeting with suppliers across the globe could be done in two ways. The first one was to travel there and incur expenses for the trip. The second option was to communicate either via phone or mail. While calls, emails and letters served their purpose, it didn’t have the personal touch of a face to face meeting.
Online video conference software reviews show that users find the additional benefit of being able to see who’s on the other end as one of deal makers in choosing to invest in the tool.
So, what does video conferencing software do? It helps keep your costs down while still maintaining a healthy and personal relationship with the people you need to meet. Companies who use it find that their people are more productive and able to maintain a work life balance so they stay happy with their jobs.
Video Conferencing Software Solutions
Optimizing your company’s operations with the best video conferencing tools for your business can deliver a host of benefits. This is the reason why most companies are now seeing this technology as a sound investment rather than a frivolous cost. Below are some of the ways video conferencing can help your business become more successful.
- Improve Communications – Whatever size or type of business you’re running, communications is an integral part of your success. This is one of the benefits of collaborations software that includes video conferencing which makes it such an invaluable tool.
Poor communication within the company is so much more than just a social problem. It is an issue that can result in financial loss. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, inadequate communications within a corporate setting have a huge financial impact. A survey cited on their site reported the average loss is $62.4 million per year.
Video conferencing software helps everyone stay on the same page. So while other forms of communication such as emails, recruiting software and project management software have their own benefits, none can produce the same level of positive results on communication as audio video conference tools can. Whether it’s communication within the company or with clients that you want to maintain quality on, this software is certainly a nifty tool to have.
- Decreased Costs – Because the software allows people in different locations to meet online instead of an actual physical venue, it can help reduce business costs. These costs may include plane tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals that are filed as travel expenses.
Unfortunately, it sometimes becomes a choice between saving money and maintaining quality. For example, if you needed to provide training for your sales associates that are either home-based or report to another location, you may make arrangements to have everybody meet at the head office.
This type of congregating employees will surely cost a lot of money. To control the costs, you may either choose to use other less efficient ways to train the associates. But by having virtual training rooms that can be accessed from anywhere, you don’t have to worry about breaking your training budget to provide quality support to your associates. With costs reduced, resources such as manpower and budget can be allocated more efficiently.
- Increase Productivity – The software makes it convenient for participants to join. Instead of wasting time on travelling, people simply jump on the bridge. If the location is across the city, participants don’t need to worry about traffic and not getting to the venue on time. It substantially reduces the employees’ stress level to not have to fret about being late.
This also means that your employee can use the travelling time on their job instead. Dialing into a bridge takes less than five minutes while travelling across the city in rush hour traffic might take anything from thirty minutes to an hour. Imagine the loss of productivity in the considerable time difference.
Participants can keep working until it is time to meet and then immediately get back to work as soon as the meeting is done.
- Improved Work Life Balance – A good and productive employee is one that has the right skill sets and healthy attitude towards work. Your people may have these at the time they were hired, but without the right nurturing, your once model employees can quickly turn into a bad apple.
To avoid this, you make sure that they have the needed support to continuously improve. To make sure their skills are honed, you provide them with training. To maintain their positive attitude, you boost their morale. And this is where the video conference tool comes in.
With the travel kept to a minimum and time at work used more efficiently, your employees will be able to keep a favorable work life balance. They are able to get home on time because they don’t have to spend hours finishing tasks that were left hanging when they travelled to join a meeting.
One thing that most business owners and managers would agree on is that a happy employee is a productive one. And to add to that, a productive employee is what drives a business to success.
The world is unmistakably a big place. But with the technology that video conference software for business brings, it is slowly becoming small enough for people to be able to communicate more efficiently.
Whether you are looking at purchasing online video conference software or download one of the free ones available, you can visit CrowdReviews.com to get more information. Our list of video conference software providers is a great place to start at for a tool that can deliver the results you need.
Latest posts by Katherine Burke (see all)
- Top 7 Reviews of the Best Pharmacy Software and Their Uses - January 19, 2017
- What is Online Registration Software and How Does It Work? - January 17, 2017
- Guidelines on How to Compare Help Desk Software - January 14, 2017