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Key Components for Maximizing Video Conferencing Investments: People (Part 1 of 4)

officeE29The key to maximizing the value of a video conferencing solution is to make sure that it quickly becomes, and stays, an integral part of the daily routine.  The more video is used the more efficient the business becomes and the greater the return on investment (ROI).  There are four main components to making the most of your video investment: People, Processes, Technology and Education. This is the first of a series of four posts that will address how to align these key components to maximize the ROI of your video solution.

Integral to the successful implementation of any new technology is having people in place to help drive adoption. This includes advocacy at the executive level to form a top down approach to encourage use, as well as the support of an internal video champion, whose duty is to ensure everyone is comfortable with using the systems.  The video champion provides expertise to new users, manages video conference rooms and implements programs and campaigns to make video a standard operating procedure for any meeting.  These programs can be as simple as a “Video Awareness Day” to help elevate comfort levels or “No Fly Weeks” to further encourage the use of video to take the place of meetings that would have previously necessitated travel. There are many programs that can help make the adoption process fun and easy, but it starts with the video champion making it his or her mission to integrate video into everyday business practices. A recent post discussed some ideas about how to get employees hooked on video conferencing and it showcased the success that Vodafone has had with their adoption of video conferencing.

Have any other ideas for how to  make video part of your routine? Be sure to check back next week to learn about processes that can be implemented to measure the growth of video usage.

Breaking down walls for at-risk moms

April 14, 2010 at 11:29 am PST

We here are Break Down the Walls are usually all about video, but we have to tip our hat to this story. Federal Computer Week reported last week on Text4baby, a MHealth initiative that gets care tips and reminders to underprivileged moms-to-be via text message. Here’s the story.

MHealth (“M” for mobile) is basically the wireless subset of telehealth and is starting to attract a lot of attention. When announcing the program White House CTO Aneesh Chopra noted that 90% of Americans have a mobile device, so text was a great vehicle for these important medical reminders.

Let’s hope we get wireless broadband right in this country, and maybe soon mobile video will be just as ubiquitous as texting.

Virginia is for lovers — of telemedicine

April 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm PST

In previous posts on Break Down the Walls, we’ve discussed how telemedicine helps increase access to healthcare. This is especially important in today’s healthcare environment and in rural and underprivileged areas where the existing doctor shortage creates limited access to needed services.

Telemedicine has so much potential for helping patients receive better and faster care, that the Commonwealth of Virginia recently signed the “Telemedicine Bill” into law. The bill will enable health centers across the state to utilize video teleconferencing (VTC) and other telemedicine solutions for diagnosis, treatment and consultations. This will also help to increase the use of telemedicine in Virginia’s rural communities.

Virginia is one of eleven states that have adopted such telemedicine legislation in an attempt to force insurers to cover telemedicine services and further increase adoption of telemedicine solutions within their borders.

By embracing telemedicine and VTC, Virginia and other states can provide equal access to care for all of their citizens regardless of where they live, and ensure that they receive the care they need when they need it – while at the same time reducing healthcare costs for patients and providers alike.

We at TANDBERG are proud to see states breaking down the walls to effective healthcare. We’re also exceptionally proud to be providing the specialized solutions that enable telemedicine and provide a new way of caring.

5 Ways Manufacturing Companies are using Video Conferencing

April 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm PST

Automated_Manufacturing_Line_300x300Companies of all kinds are exploring the many ways video conferencing and telepresence can help minimize expenses and maximize productivity. A recent post discussed a few of the ways that financial institutions are using video to their advantage, but they aren’t the only ones. Manufacturing companies have found a few ways of their own to benefit from the use of video. Here are five ways that manufacturing companies are using video to their advantage:

  1. Enforcing quality assurance cost and procedures: Communication processes are standardized with the use of video conferencing and ensure foreign partners are following U.S. standards. Video conferencing allows for instantaneous inspections of partner’s productions to ensure they are in line with set standards.
  2. Finding and screening new offshore partners: Business development teams are able to conduct interviews with potential partners in India and other offshore locations. Through IP-based equipment, staff can see the people and their facilities to get a truer sense of the business environment and narrow the pool to a handful of companies worth visiting.
  3. Improving customer relationships: Customer satisfaction is key to any successful business. New customer relationships require close interaction and daily video conferences are able to keep new projects on track and increase customer satisfaction.
  4. Reducing hiring costs: Manufacturing companies are reducing hiring costs by using video conferencing to pre-interview candidates. This process also lets the manufacturer demonstrate its flexibility and state-of-the-art workplace, both of which are appealing to potential new hires.
  5. Keeping project teams in sync: It’s crucial for project managers and call center managers to synchronize the status and requirements of each project on a daily basis. Video conferencing creates a face-to-face atmosphere that results in teams working more closely towards the ultimate goal. This results in more clearly communicated objectives and quicker project completion.

Any other ideas for how manufacturing companies can benefit from video conferencing?

The above post is a condensed version of 10 Ways Major Manufacturers are Using Video Conferencing to Increase Business Volume and Decrease Costs., follow the link to read the full article.

President Obama says yes we can expand telework

April 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm PST

We’ve said it in the past, now President Obama is saying the federal government could avoid shutting down if more workers had the option to telecommute. According to a post on The Hill’s Technology Blog:

“The president concluded by saying, ‘work is what you do, not where you are.’”

Frustration is growing in federal agencies about the lack of telework opportunities. Whatever your politics, embracing telework is change we all can believe in.

Thanks President Obama!