As the global business climate evolves–faster purchase decisions, increasingly complex challenges, and ever-higher costs of commerce–more businesses are turning to video conferencing to gain a competitive advantage.
Whether your business is a startup with a single office and a few employees or an established enterprise employing thousands around the world, here’s a quick look at how companies at both ends of the size spectrum can benefit from video conferencing.
For Small and Mid-size Businesses (SMBs)
The pressures on SMBs seem to increase daily. Whether it’s a new competitor entering the market, faster turnaround times for project delivery, or that the workforce is becoming increasingly more mobile and disconnected, video conferencing can help SMBs remain competitive and even thrive amongst the chaos. In particular, video conferencing helps SMBs improve collaboration, better manage costs, and expand the reach of their business to spur growth.
- Enhanced collaboration: With up to 90% of the US workforce hoping to telework at least part-time, video conferencing and collaboration platforms can help keep co-workers, colleagues, and customers connected as the traditional office slowly evolves to a virtual one. Video conferencing solutions feature a range of collaboration-enhancing tools such as a whiteboard, screen sharing, and group and private chat that help replicate an in-person meeting experience.
And, since the conversations are streamed live over video, participants can also see everyone’s body language, facial expressions, and other mannerisms to pick up on the subtleties of face-to-face interactions to eliminate miscommunications or misunderstandings.
- Reduce operating costs: Closing new business or managing an important customer relationship out of the market can get expensive, as travel expenses quickly add up and cut deeply into profits. Video conferencing can effectively replace most, if not all, extensive and costly travel and has the added benefit of streaming video over the Internet, so there are no additional costs associated with phone lines either.
Another advantage, smaller companies with fewer resources can use free versions for a handful of users and then add features or user licenses to grow deliberately while keeping an eye on new budget line items.
- Expand the reach of the brand: Hopping on a last minute flight to meet a prospective customer, attend a seminar, or engage with an existing client isn’t always feasible–or affordable–for SMBs. Video conferencing gives smaller companies the ability to “be everywhere” and extend their market presence without actually going anywhere–or spending a dime traveling.
For Enterprise Like their SMB counterparts, enterprises–despite their larger sizes and, ostensibly, greater resources–are also looking for ways to expand their business and improve collaboration, while reducing costs.
Enterprise organizations often have a number of offices spread across countries and continents, making travel expensive and meeting difficult for geographically dispersed teams. Companies trying to expand their geographic territories to capitalize on new opportunities face increased operating costs (especially travel-related) and overhead in their growth efforts; video conferencing is one the best solutions for avoiding unnecessary added expenses.
- Improve collaboration and reduce operating costs: Video conferencing helps large companies with expansive footprints–whether regional, national, or global–shrink the distances between colleagues, partners, and customers by bridging time zones and geographical boundaries. In fact, some studies show that using video conferencing reduces corporate travel-related expenses by as much as 30%. More than 85% of large companies use video collaboration to expedite decision making, regardless of where their colleagues and counterparts are located, because it’s instant, interactive, and offers many of the same collaboration tools available in a meeting room. Now, account executives in New York can communicate face-to-face in real time with partners in Tokyo, and simultaneously connect with customers in Dubai without any of the three parties leaving their offices or homes.
- Extend the reach of the brand to support business growth: Video conferencing does so much more than just connecting individuals or small teams. It’s also a high-powered sales and marketing medium, enabling companies to convene global audiences in richly featured, interactive webinars and webcasts. Companies can use video platforms to broadcast corporate news, product launches, customer training, and even press briefings–complete with feedback polls, chat, and other interactive tools–to thousands of attendees simultaneously and record the session for on-demand playback.
Regardless of company size, location, or industry, video conferencing enables face-to-face interactions without the hassle and expense of travel. Today’s video conferencing platforms offer a range of features, functionalities, and capabilities to every business meet its goals through easier connections, richer interactions, and livelier engagements.