While video collaboration tools have been available for the past few decades, the technology has not always been reliable enough to execute goals in a timely fashion. Struggles equipment installation, low video quality, and incessant breaks in connection have stood in the way of productive collaboration across the video conferencing platform.
Thankfully, the technology has advanced to take advantage of cloud computing software, allowing for more lightweight, web-based conferencing tools that allow users to conference without the interruptions and clunky interfaces of the past. With built in cameras and microphones as a standard feature of new laptops, as well as cloud-based services, the landscape of video conferencing has never looked better.
Here are some of the features that have helped to improve the user experience and allowed video collaboration to become an effective and intuitive tool.
File Sharing and Screen Sharing:
When you are planning a conference call with video collaboration, you are probably going to want to make use of that software for more than just hosting the face to face interaction. If you want to work on a project in real time with a colleague in a different office, you likely need to be working in the same documents and reference the same materials.
With file and screen sharing capabilities, video conferencing tools have advanced to support that active collaboration between users. If you’re dealing with a presentation in a client facing capacity, being able to verbally deliver your presentation is of course important, but being able to share the pertinent information visually as it appears on your screen is an extremely effective way to convey a point and deliver more effective sales pitches or updates.
It is often the case that you are working on a project that requires collaborative input from more than just two team members. Finding a service that is able to support the connection between larger groups is essential to providing an effective platform for the virtual workspace.
Companies that are capable of supporting up to 100 participants in a video conference are going to deliver a much higher level of collaboration and team cohesion throughout the project. This consolidation allows your team extra time for preparation so that they can deliver the most compelling and accurate representation of their services to the public.
As far as attendance capacity is concerned, one of the features that can come in handy for businesses is the capability to host informational or instructional webinars about the type of services your company offers. By hosting an easily accessible webinar to be watched by a wide audience of potential customers regardless of geographic location, your business is making the most of its time and money to build new leads.
The same information that would have previously had to be conveyed through a series of repetitive meetings with smaller groups are now able to be consolidated and more effectively presented in a single webinar over an internet broadcast.
Variety of Access Points:
One of the most essential aspects of a video collaboration service is its accessibility. If a service is only accessible from one conference room in the office, that’s going to severely impact your ability to make productive use of it. The user experience in a conferencing service should be one of ease and convenience, not one that requires you to schedule a busy slot to use the conference room for your call.
With cloud-based services that allow you to access the video collaboration from your desk, from your browser on a home computer, or even from mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, go a long way toward making the service a viable and valuable tool.
Synergy between Video Collaboration Platforms:
While being able to access your video conferencing service from a variety of locations and devices is a great advantage, another essential feature is the ability to synchronize conferencing between companies and individuals operating from different software systems. In previous video conferencing iterations, companies would have to decide which conferencing system was the most popular and would be compatible with the largest number of clients and customers.
The technology is now capable of supporting conferences between different software so that a team member operating the video conference from a platform like Cisco is able to seamlessly communicate with his or her colleague who might be using Microsoft Lync. Such collaboration between different platforms allows your business to maximize the number of outside companies that can be reached and eliminates the need to learn the operating complexities of more than one trusted platform.
So as you can tell, the features that comprise the user experience play a vital role to the efficiency of a video collaboration system and whether or not it contributes value to your business.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr – Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine