The online-versation started with a poll about “How do you feel about the technology that supports your business?” and quickly became a conversation about video conferencing…
An interesting jump from non-specific technology poll to a discussion of one particular tool, Suzy, but since it is a favourite topic (and since we agree completely) I think I’ll jump in: the flexibility to take advantage of video conferencing – and plain old-fashioned telephone conferencing – is not only the backbone of a progressive operation but often also a critical enabler to reduce costs as well as an elemental component of a home or remote working policy.
Even better you can try for free: a basic “starter set” would be Skype which provides one-to-one video conferencing (free other than your network charges, if you are mobile and with a premium Skype service which provides quite a bit at a very low cost, including group video conferencing with, I think, up to 10 callers).
Video call in my home office with a 100Mbps broadband connection – or in my office in London (with an even faster connection) work beautifully and can be accessed on either my PC or my tablet… and the video connection over 3g on my Android handset is more than adequate.
The money saved is great.
The time saved is even greater (due to the fact that more can be done in less time overall, which provides a better work-life balance (or just allows you to work more :-)
The planet contribution is not insignificant and contributes directly to your green credentials
* there is of course another discussion around premium services (where I have seen everything up to bespoke rooms with full HD video walls: a slightly different discussion with a slightly different price tag but my point is that pretty much all needs can be accomodated
And yes, Steve, I agree particularly about an open line: while running a start-up joint design and development project on between Canada and the UK, the value to the team from a communications and inclusiveness perspective alone would have been great but the additional facility to share whiteboard sessions, etc allowed us to get maximum value out of the few overlapping core office hours.
I did want to address Steve’s point: all we can do is hope that the math speaks for itself… in general I am finding that as time moves on the ‘resistance is weakening’ (and not only partly because they’ve they’ve run out of other ways to save money)
At a certain point the obviousness of the ROI (when there is a real return to be had) will help make the sell but, from a foreigner’s perspective there is at least one simple rule: if there is a tea pot (or a Tea Lady) in the office, then chances are that they won’t be up for a video conference :-)