Video conferencing: Don’t go live today with yesterday’s hardware

Communication in business is key. The language you use, the gestures you make, even the way you dress can make or break a relationship. How many times have you been on a call and the other person has come across as being short and disinterested in what you are saying? Is this because they simply are, or just because they are distracted by something else, whether that's incoming emails, the people around them, or another phone ringing?

A recent survey highlighted that 72 per cent of employees believe that live video has the power to transform the way they communicate in the workplace, from meetings to internal calls and would help them develop stronger relationships. However, only 28 per cent of employers are encouraging them to use video.

Considering the benefits that live video brings and how much it is now being used in our personal lives through apps such as FaceTime, it is surprising that more businesses aren’t encouraging employees to be ‘live’ in the workplace.

Is your video conferencing hardware up to scratch?

However, when you start to look at the puzzle in a bit more detail, a 2015 survey highlighted that over half (56 per cent) of businesses are using video conferencing hardware, which is deemed as outdated and not fit for purpose.

So, when put in that light, it isn’t that businesses don’t want to be ‘live’. It is actually a case of the cost outweighing the rewards, as they believe procuring and implementing new hardware throughout the organisation will be both a timely and costly affair.

Making the leap

Whilst it is true, a rip and replace of any IT system is going to cost a fortune and unless it is absolutely necessary, there will always be more important projects to focus the time and money on. But, what if you didn’t need to rip and replace, what if the existing hardware could be upcycled and given a new lease of life with a software update?

Through cloud-based software, things such as video conferencing can not only be refreshed, but they can be widely rolled out across an organisation at a fraction of the cost of a traditional hardware upgrade.

This means that hundreds of businesses are currently sat on the technology they need to make their business ‘live’ and with just a small upgrade to the software and the cobwebs blown off the dusty unused systems, they could be broadcasting to the world in no time at all.

Employees could see who they are speaking to, eliminating those awkward ‘disengaged’ meetings and improve relationships. Departments across the business could also be more effective, such as the HR team who could conduct first round interviews via conference and dramatically reduce the amount of travel time by employees to low level meetings, as they would be just a click away instead of a train journey.

By adopting an upcycling approach, not only will businesses benefit from the power of live communication through old technology, but they will also increase their chances of appealing to generation Z, otherwise known as the ‘selfie generation’. This will ensure that they not only attract the best talent out there, but keep the young stars they already have around the workplace to be competitive both now and in the future.

James Campanini, VP/GM EMEA at BlueJeans