Many organizations have to manage a workforce that may be located outside of the main office, out of the country, or out of the time zone. Therefore, they are experiencing a greater demand for collaboration technology from employees who adopt an agile working method and managers who need to improve efficiency and productivity, while maintaining consistent communications.
This has seen an explosion in Integrated Software as a Service (SaaS) conferencing solutions, which are capable of delivering user-friendly services to customers. Many of the organizations that have adopted this technology see immediate benefits, due to a rapid adoption process and instant service with users that allows them to communicate seamlessly with colleagues, customers and partners.
In video communications, it is difficult to offer and support video conferencing sessions scheduled at little or no notice.
Many of these organizations see real tangible benefits in terms of staffing, retention and increased productivity, which carry a significant competitive advantage. As with any move to a new technology solution, a successful transition to cloud-based video communication technology requires a few key steps:
1.Review the benefits and capabilities of the cloud
First, you have to make sure you make the decision that best suits your organization’s needs. Most companies move to a cloud solution in search of the following benefits:
Reduced cost . IT departments are under pressure to cut costs. Investing in on-premises video conferencing hardware and infrastructure can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Cloud-based video conferencing services expand IT budgets to much more than a lump sum upfront payment for an on-premises solution.
Increased flexibility . It is difficult to offer and support video conferencing sessions scheduled on little or no notice, but this kind of flexibility and agility is necessary in a dynamic business environment. With an intuitive, cloud-based application, IT administrators can recoup their valuable time by allowing users to be more self-sufficient.
In addition, enterprise-grade cloud-based video communication platforms offer more flexibility to increase or decrease capabilities based on user and business requirements than services derived from consumer applications.
Simplified automation . IT administrators choosing cloud-based video conferencing providers no longer need to hassle with the decision of whether to build and manage their on-site video conferencing infrastructure, freeing up valuable time, money, and effort.
Web-based administrative consoles provide IT administrators with easy access to dashboards to check usage statistics and customize settings.
Increased Device Diversity – Video conferencing software needs to support a wide range of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technology. Keeping up to date on all updates to different smartphones and operating systems can be challenging for support staff. So organizations often prefer to assign that task to a cloud service provider that can also handle seamless integration and support.
Professional cloud-based video conferencing solutions bring collaboration to the devices employees use every day. Such as browser and desktop based applications for laptops and tablets, to mobile applications for smartphones. No need to worry about the software version or complicated updates.
Interoperability – On-premises video conferencing products often lack interoperability and yet live in a world of proprietary software that requires users to purchase an expensive gateway to call third-party video communication devices.
Organizational decision makers moving video conferencing to the cloud make interoperability the responsibility of the provider and avoid being burdened with incompatible equipment that leaves users in isolated compartments.
2.Choose the right provider
Once it has been determined that the cloud-based video conferencing solution is suitable for the organization, it is time to choose a provider. Decision makers should pay close attention to the provider’s service and support agreement, ask about outage levels, and discuss their availability. This is a critical business tool that must have the highest levels of support and service.
Those interested in continuing to offer their employees the benefit of a traditional face-to-face meeting in a conference room, as well as the ability to have phone meeting options with people from other locations and face-to-face meetings should consider hybrid models that include a cloud-based video conferencing solution with a hardware component in a conference room, to offer employees the best of both worlds.
Lastly, effective implementation is key – even if the software is perfect for your organization, it won’t work if it’s not properly implemented. An effective implementation includes:
Choose a manager. Selecting the right team and establishing who does what and when reduces the chance of a successful implementation and ensures that everyone knows who has the final say.
Set a deadline. Imposing a clearly defined timeline and ensuring that the vendor will be available when needed eliminates the risk of continuous deployment with no end in sight.
Stay focused. Resisting the temptation to think through all the details instead of focusing on the big picture is vital to moving forward with implementation. You have to take care of the important things first and enjoy the additional features after deployment.
Listen to the expert. Customers often expect software vendors to configure the new one to suit their internal operations, which can have long-term negative consequences. Remembering who the expert is – the vendor, when it comes to new software, and the organization, when it comes to business operations – is vital to a successful implementation.
Get user acceptance. After a long authorization process, it is common to assume that the inside sales process is complete. But nothing could be further from the truth. The employees who will be using the new software the most have probably not been involved in the approval process. TO
ensuring that they value (and defend) the use of the new software will increase the likelihood of a timely implementation. It is important to gain the trust and acceptance of your users and give them feedback on the implementation.
As companies continue to employ a globally distributed workforce, the demand for an enterprise-ready video communication solution that can deliver a seamless connection experience will continue to grow.
Organizations that bet it all and are committed to improving employee communication and collaboration could benefit from a workforce that returns the favor with increased productivity, reduced staff migration, and better employee relations.