Teamwork is the future – the evolution of the video conference
Teamwork is indeed the future – but it’s less and less likely that team members will ever be in the same room. Thankfully, video and digital collaboration tools have evolved and it’s now less about the quality of the internet or video stream and more about the quality of the collaboration.
Buffering for video conferences
Buffering – it’s a word that used to fill video conference participants with dread. Thankfully, having to watch your colleagues freeze up on screen or deliver their opinions out of sync due to patchy audio is a thing of the past. It was certainly stress-inducing to the point where many workers still avoid doing anything but hosting meetings via video conferencing.
But today, more than ever, two things hold true: First, teams and effective teamwork are vital to long term business success and second; individual workers are more mobile, more dispersed and more likely to be working from a number of distant locations. The changing makeup and preferences of the workforce - more freelancers, contractors and specialists who work from wherever, whenever - mean you need to have reliable, real-time remote conferencing and remote collaboration tools.
So what should you expect from your video conferencing and remote collaboration tools today, now that we’ve moved beyond the buffering barrier?
A unified communication solution
Today you can create a video conference in moments from any device, network or location. There’s no need for expensive infrastructure or software, and the set up and use should be simple and fast. Because teamwork is so fundamental to business success, you’ll need a unified communications solution that will enhance, not hinder the team experience. Here’s what to look for:
Ease of use
The user experience should be central to the whole system. Firing up a call or sharing information should not require any complex instructions or troubleshooting. This includes connecting to different platforms and solutions or pairing with any standards-based video conferencing system as well as creating, joining and managing meetings from any web-enabled device.
Video-conferencing, by definition, enables remote conferencing. Right? Wrong! Most assume it has to be anchored back at the home office by the hardware in the “video conference meeting room.” That’s no longer the case. Portable, light-weight video conference systems now allow you to run your video conferences from anywhere, connecting with unlimited remote locations across and large groups of attendees and interfacing with collaboration tools that allow everyone to engage and participate.
Teams are only as good as their ability to collaborate, so it’s vital you have collaboration tools that are seamlessly integrated into the video-conferencing experience. Connected and interactive whiteboards aid in capturing and sharing ideas and other content that is formulated by the team as they meet. It's just as important to have automated workflow process that helps digitise, store and distribute this and other content and data to anyone in real time no matter what devices and software they are using to participate in the meeting or the project.
Solid and scalable infrastructure
From a business perspective, your video-conferencing and remote collaboration solution needs to be built on a solid and reliable infrastructure. A top notch global Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) video network is required for great quality with reliable coverage that’s backed by global data centres. A dedicated video network will ensure all communications have the clear quality of a local call and provide the highest levels of security and encryption.
The infrastructure must also be scalable and have the flexibility and resilience required to support your business as you add more workers and more workplaces – both offices and other remote locations. Subscription based services will help you manage the cost as you grow as well as allow you to upgrade both the software and hardware as the technology improves. Subscription based services also mean you aren’t saddled with expensive, redundant equipment every few years.
Remote teamwork is the key to success
Much like in the past, teamwork is indeed the key to success in the future. The difference is that teams today don’t look or behave like they once did; they don’t sit in the same office, they don’t work the same hours and they don’t even work from the same devices. Powerful remote video and remote collaboration tools are essential for businesses with more fluid and dispersed workers and teams. These will ensure that your teams continue to deliver the ideas, innovations and collective outcomes that your business will need to win in the future.