Move Business Ahead With Video Conferencing

In this highly digitized age of information, more and more routine business activities are moving online. Purchasing, invoicing, accounting, design and collaboration…all things that can take place not only on a screen, but entirely within a browser.

Your company may embrace Dropbox and Google Drive to exchange information and workshop documents, but some things just can’t be done online, right? Sometimes there’s no alternative to just getting people in the same room, even if that means hundreds of hours and dollars in travel fare: there’s no replacement for a business meeting, right?

Not necessarily. Let us introduce you to the power of video conferencing, and what it can do to streamline your communication, save you time and money, and kick start your business straight into the fast lane.


Advantages of Modern Video Conferencing

The top of the line content creators in video conferencing have developed their products specifically to smooth out some of the old problems that held the format back, making video conferencing a legitimate stepping stone that small businesses can use to get ahead in the modern market. Here’s some of the features the best of the best have to offer.

  • Web-based conferencing. Now that webcams and microphones are standard with most computers and mobile devices, video conferencing has been able to move almost entirely online. Services like Blue Jeans Network can host hosting multi-person calls online, through their own servers. This saves bandwidth for you and your customer, and means you can conduct video calls completely in your browser, without having to ask clients or employees to download and install new software just to talk to you.
  • Broad compatibility. Many browser based services are system-agnostic, meaning they’re compatible with any operating system, on any device: clients can join a browser based conversation from their phone through an email link, or start the call on an iPad and continue it from a desktop. That level of control and flexibility help make a video conferences feel like a real conversation and collaboration. Blue Jeans will can also link in participants using other video conferencing networks like Skype or Cisco.
  • Better audio and video for natural face-to-face communication. Many people complain that video calls feel robotic or unnatural, and it’s hard to make the same kind of connection via video. Fortunately, quality improvements in video streaming have made calls much more natural: you can attain high definition video conferencing with Blue Jeans or similar services without straining your budget or your bandwidth. Cloud-based services are quick and easy to connect to, which makes the participants feel less distant, especially when all they need to do to connect is click one link.
  • Collaborative editing for better exchange of ideas. Many video networks offer document sharing features to make collaboration easier and more fluid, between you and your client and between teams within your business. Collaborative editing interfaces usually take the form of screen sharing, or a “virtual whiteboard,” a shared document that all participants can edit to workshop an existing document, or plan and collaborate.


Saving Time and Money

Beyond offering better tools for collaboration and information exchange, video conferencing can reduce expenses significantly and give you a little extra breathing room in your budget. The economy’s recent rebound means that people are spending money on travel again: according to the New York Times, travel expenses topped 270 billion dollars last year, and nearly half of that was business travel.

If you’re a small business without that kind of money to invest in travel, video conferencing can go a long way towards leveling the playing field, letting you connect with clients all around the world without having to invest the time and money in travel. It keeps your pool of employees close to home, not losing days at a time in air travel: a meeting on the other side of the world is a simple as a click to the “start call” button.

Reducing your travel expenses has a big picture benefit as well. In 2009 no less a company than Microsoft pledged to reduce their carbon footprint by cutting down on business travel…by using video conferencing. Small business or large, there are advantages to be gained for your company (and potentially your taxes) by embracing video conferencing.


A Few Final Words

Video conferencing as a format had a rocky start, but innovations in streaming speed, video quality, and cloud-based hosting have made it a truly powerful tool to have at your disposal, no matter the size of your business or your area of expertise. Now that agnostic, cloud-based systems are so easy to set up and use, there’s no reason not to embrace the power of video conferencing, and let it work to your advantage!


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