Videoconferencing and the Small Business
Videoconferencing has long been identified with the Fortune 500 executive, costly, great quality only on television and in movies and difficult to use. With the launch of freeware such as Skype, Facetime and so on... many more users have been exposed to the great phenomen of videoconferencing albeit not business class the user has been exposed to video meetings at a rate so fast that the traditional business class providers can only nod in awe to.
Over the past year or two more and more business class services providers have begun to dabble in offering business class services to the SME (small-mid sized enterprise) market to a degree of success. Most are focused on what they believe is the sole reason videoconferencing has not been adopted at a faster rate and that being "price". From 29.95 a month to 50.00 to 99.00... price price price... however the message remains the same.."technology, technology and technology" and not the real benefit videoconferencing provides. By focusing on price and technology the service provider has again "missed the boat". They see offering a low end product with low end service so that it fits on top of the way people work today and less on the true benefit video brings, saving time and increasing productivity. How they generate buzz is based on "more features lower price" followed by the message that no one really understands (h.323, h.264 etc...). As the head of a small business I would not understand it how h.323 benefits me.
Of note a recent survey from TeleworkResearchNetwork showed that 80% of Americans would like to telecommute.This alone will lead to retention of key employees, cuts in office and travel costs and recruiting. this by having employees work from home at least 1 time per week. Then add stress reductions and the positive effect on the environment and it is a wonder why more companies do not adopt to the use of video sooner.
Some of the benefits videoconferencing does provide for the small business are:
- Improved communication between offices
- Improved communication between team members
- Improved communication with resellers, distributors and vendors (in the future customers and user groups)
- HR Training and Education
- Cuts in Travel Costs
- Elimination of related stress
- Positive Impact on Family and Personal Life (work life balance)
- Better Time Management
- Increased Productivity
- Employee Retention
- and more...
-How your company can grow with Videoconferencing
We have a ways to go but in baby steps we are making progress.
-Try it out 14 days