More and more companies are switching over to new technology such as video conferencing and cloud based storage, allowing for their offices to run much more smoothly and productively in the process. But it can still be annoying to sign up and pay for a dozen different services and constantly switch between them. What many still don’t realise is that there are many programs available which combine two or more functions into one monthly subscription service. Cloud webcasting is just one of them. Many of these online programs are only available through download, but some use cloud technology for ease of access, and also utilize cloud storage. Here are three benefits it can have for your company, clients, and customers:
- Product Launches
A press conference or launch of a new product or service no longer needs to be restricted to a boring meeting or sending out press release documents to journalists in the hope that somebody will read them. Webcasting to dozens, and even hundreds, of attendees all at once can enable you to reach a wider audience from day one of your product entering the market. You can both make a good impression and save your company money in having to lay things out for journalists.
The option of playing video clips during your presentation only benefits launches further. Many systems will allow you to upload a clip and play it during the meeting for all attendees to view in real time. The meeting host can even pause or speak over the video with more robust platforms. There are many advantages to this approach. Just some of them, listed by Shutterstock, are telling engaging stories, keeping the audience’s attention, and increasing the chance of sales. There are many creative things you can do with an online product launch, such as playing case studies or footage of satisfied customers. Or you could invite other experts in the field as guest speakers for the presentation. Even sharing the video files with attendants is more memorable than simply sending out a press release document.
Image source Wikimedia
- Job Interviews
The work place today is expanding beyond the office and going global, with many companies hiring employees all over the world and working from their own homes in order to cut expenses. While there are always advantages to meeting and working together in person, you can still reach people in another location through online conferencing and open up your hiring options to more than just your direct area. If you only need someone for a short term job or on a freelance basis, virtual hiring saves time and effort. Video job interviews are an ideal way to do this. A cloud webcasting tool such as BlueJeans makes it easy. You can not only conduct the interview, but you can also save it in cloud storage to look back on and consider your potential candidates.
Interviews are a stressful event for the jobseeker, so being able to conduct them from their own home will enable them to be more relaxed and focused on your questions. They can even play their own clips, perhaps their video resume or a show reel for people in the entertainment industry. Even if you are still hiring only in your own town, online interviews still open up a lot of options that the traditional interview doesn’t allow for.
A useful but often overlooked marketing tool is online seminars. These are short presentations lasting a few hours at a time conducted using webcasting tools, in which invited guests can access the talk and sometimes even attend a Q & A session. Many businesses owners have already used them to increase their sales. For instance, if you sell an information product, you can share some of your tips through a webinar, answer customer questions through the question and answer session, and mention at the end that they can access more in depth information through your product. Much like playing clips during a product launch, it allows you to engage with your core customer base, increase your chance of making sales, and share useful information about your product or service.
Customers today don’t like to feel that they are being directly sold to and have started to switch off from traditional marketing methods. Sharing some useful information through a webinar is an ideal way around this, essentially giving your customers a free sample of what you provide. It makes your company name more memorable so that the target market is more likely to buy.
Businesses and individuals are thinking up creative uses for their webcasting tools every day. As the technology develops further, these uses will only increase. They will make working, hiring, and selling even easier. Try out some of these and think of some more creative solutions to your work problems that can be solved by online cloud based conferencing.
High definition conferencing is nothing new in the boardrooms of worldwide corporations, but the rapid expansion of cloud-based videoconferencing apps more businesses of a more modest budgetary level are discovering what high definition can do for them. Far from being out of reach, cloud apps have brought high definition to wherever you, or your staff, happen to be at the time. Liberated from large room-based systems, modern videoconferencing can take place between locations and between devices. You can have face time with anyone, anywhere, anytime. And in the end it can save you a lot more than money.
The Hard Costs of ‘Soft Costs’
A recent Gallup poll had a hard wake-up call for human resources and management across all spectrums of business. When seven out of 10 of your best educated senior employees are disengaged from their jobs. Workers who are engaged and involved, enthusiastic about their environment, and contributing to their organizations in a positive manner have reached a massive low. As productivity has grown, so have demands on the senior workers to contribute more and more of their time to the success of the company, often to the detriment of time they would otherwise devote to their family, or even to themselves. The competitive pressure cooker to give more, do more, and make more has in the end not helped but hurt American business.
Going worldwide, the numbers are actually worse, with 87 percent of highly educated workers from 30 to 64 reporting that they are disengaged at work to some degree. This disengagement can result in high turnover, absenteeism, workplace accidents, quality defects, and even in shrinkage. Re-engaging with employees often reevaluating the culture of the workplace itself. Bringing back enthusiasm, creativity, and even passion requires jettisoning the jargon soaked pabulum of the business publishing industry, created less to help manage actual people, and more to sell books and seminars. Changing the culture to promote the kind of engagement you want to see takes effort and creativity, too.
People really do love meetings. Actually over 90 percent of employees who regularly attend meetings really do value them as a way to contribute to the success of the company and their projects. However, meetings are very costly. A Verizon study placed the average cost of a five person meeting with four attendees required to travel at over $5,000. In addition to being expensive, the study also found that busy professionals are required to attend an average of 60 meetings per month, and most state that they cannot attend all the meetings that are demanding their time and resources. This and the time that they are required to be away from the office, and away from family, also contributes to a great deal of stress for constantly traveling busy professional.
Bringing the meetings home is one way to handle it, videoconferencing is very popular. Bluejeans HD videoconferencing and other apps have bridged the gap that room-based video systems could not. Bluejeans can operate on any equipment, any system, and most operating systems – such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. By bringing the videoconference to your employees, on whatever device they happen to be using at the time, you are making meetings simultaneously more accessible and more inclusive. In addition you are creating the incentive for geographically diverse staff and departments to work together. When a meeting simply takes a few taps and a swipe on someone’s iPad, it becomes as easy or easier than walking down the hall and knocking on someone’s door.
Face Time is Money
Implementing videoconferencing that can be used by everybody, no matter where they are or how they access the Internet, can bring 87 percent of remote users to feel more connected and engaged with their coworkers and their projects. A Gigaom study points out that videoconferencing is an awesome way to increase enthusiasm and productivity. As much as people value meetings, there’s nothing to say that everyone has to be in the same room. Contractors, home workers, office workers, staff at remote worksites, and management can all agree that good meeting really brings life to an otherwise moribund project and passion to the fore.
Making the most of your employees’ creativity and drive doesn’t mean micromanaging or making ridiculous demands of their time and resources. Working to find new tools to help them reengage will mean a lot to your bottom line, as well is to your reputation as an employer that someone would really love to work for. Increasing employee engagement and satisfaction doesn’t mean pampering or pandering, it means giving people the best available tools you can to do what you hired them to do. Videoconferencing can bring your people closer together, and give them a new and deeper interest in their workplace, coworkers, and work.
Video conferencing has provided many businesses with greater productivity and opportunities for communication. What makes it even better is that it has also helped businesses save money. Increasingly more businesses are considering using video conferencing as their primary means of communication. It can save money, make the team more efficient, and reduce roadblocks to networking. However, it can still be challenging for some employees to make the change. Here are some of the ways that you can make the transition smoother.
Explain General Expectations of Conduct
One of the first things to make sure everyone understands is the general expectation of conduct. Intuit reports that one of the best ways to get the team to collaborate through Blue Jeans and other similar video conferencing services is to ensure that everyone knows how they are expected to behave on a video call. Video conferencing is a distinct communication style that has different etiquette requirements. Talk to your employees about how to avoid distracting noises, remain within the frame for the conversation, how to stay healthy and so on.
Transitioning to Video Conferencing for Most of Your Communications
Expectations of conduct should also extend to potential cultural misunderstandings. For businesses generally focused within the same geographic area are not as likely to run into this issue. However, if you are working in a more global or multicultural setting, you should make sure everyone is on the same page. Be aware of common points for concern and have recommended procedures in place for potential issues. Hand gestures that are benign in the US, for instance, may be offensive to someone from a Latin American country. Avoiding these sort of faux pas can make the collaboration run far smoother.
Provide Expectations of Available Times
Being on call at all times can be trying. The International Trade Association recommends making the expectations clear from the beginning for all aspects of the communication. The most important thing you can let them know is whether they are to be on call at all times, specific times, and so on. People who are always on call for situations that involve video cameras may feel self conscious, particularly if they are telecommuters who work from their homes. Be sure to explain this to them in advance. It may be wise to have downtimes as well so that your employees can recuperate.
Determine and Discuss Policies on Recording Conversations and Meetings
Business Insider reports that record numbers of employees are starting to record evaluations, business meetings, and regular discussions. While 12 states require all participants being recorded give consent, the majority do not. However, you, as the business owner, need to determine how you want these to be handled. If you prohibit unauthorized recordings, you can help protect yourself, even though the recordings may not be criminally offensive. A no recording policy can also make dismissals and protection of corporate secrets safer.
Have a Training Session
Even when using an intuitive service provider like Blue Jeans, you should still have a training session for all your team members. You can either do this as a group or require that they go through the necessary tutorials. Most of your employees will probably have a general understanding of how the cloud video conferencing system will work. However, some of the more nuanced tasks may require some give and take. Having a group session is not a bad idea though as some of your employees may be uneasy about asking questions for fear of appearing stupid.
Continue to Have Feedback Sessions
It’s important to determine what concerns your employees have as they transition into the video conferencing for their primary communication. Having the initial guidelines will get things off on the right foot. However, as time passes, you should consider having additional feedback sessions to determine how well the current setup is working and whether there are additional concerns that should be addressed. These can be conducted privately or in group sessions. Group sessions may give a greater perspective on the overlying issues but private sessions will more likely reveal less censored concerns. After the feedback session, revise the conduct requirements as needed.
It will take time for any business to adjust to using video conferencing as their primary form of communication. Even when a service provides significant improvements for productivity and efficiency as well as savings, some people may be resistant to the change. However, you can make it easier for them. Start off by making sure that everyone understands general behavior expectations as well as the times when they are supposed to be available. You should also make sure that your business’s policies on recording and so forth are made quite clear. To help avoid any usage issues, offer a training session. If you make this mandatory or put it into a group setting, you will be more likely to cover all the potential issues even if your employees are embarrassed. As this is a learning process, continue to have feedback sessions with your employees. Look to see what needs to be improved and what you can do to further streamline the process.