ready, set, videoconference

Videoconferences are finally gaining traction in business settings. While the convenience of videoconferencing technology has been touted for several decades, today’s videoconferencing systems deliver picture-perfect video with crystal-clear sound – at a price that’s becoming more and more affordable.

As the workforce becomes increasingly widespread and virtual, the need for high-touch interaction among coworkers, customers and partners has never been more important. A good videoconference system is an effective alternative to travel, saving the company significant time and money.

Videoconferences are ideal when the meeting needs a higher form of social interaction than voices on an audio conference call can provide. Videoconferences capture both the verbal and non-verbal communications that take place.

Many businesses with multiple locations have set up room-based videoconferencing or telepresence systems, which are used for everything from announcements to meetings and trainings. The business value of videoconferencing is reflected in its market momentum. The sales of videoconferencing grew 14.4 percent each year in 2010 and 2011.

The use of desktop videoconferencing is starting to rise as more employees become comfortable with this technology. They are more likely to pop open a video session on their tablets or laptops for an informal collaboration or check-in with co-workers. Or workers will use their desktop video to join into a call happening in their company’s video room when they are not able to attend in person.

A generational shift is also underway as the Millennial’s enter the workforce in droves. Those in their twenties have grown up with technology and many use Skype and Google+ Hangout to video-chat with friends and family. These habits will no doubt cross over into their work lives.

Having content and collaboration tools integrated into UC software is also a productivity booster, as many workers want to share and collaborate on documents and presentations via web conferences.

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