Off the top of your head – how would you describe a successful company that is growing fast?
- Has intimate customer knowledge
- Provides great customer service
- Is agile and responds quickly to changing requirements
- Considered a great place to work
These are just a few characteristics that jump into my mind.
My colleagues recently produced the video Be Everywhere with Video Collaboration (PLXX) to show how effective video collaboration can be. It highlights many of the characteristics I’ve listed above. Although fictional, the company depicted in the video reminds me of some of the small and medium sized marketing agencies I’ve worked with in the past. They show a real can-do attitude, but with enhanced and accelerated service using business quality video collaboration.
So, why haven’t more medium-sized organizations adopted video technology? A colleague recently told me that “93% of the conference rooms in the world don’t have video.” This got me thinking about some of the common barriers to video adoption and about what Cisco is doing to break them down.
In the past, the cost of secure, high-definition video limited it to boardrooms or corner offices in larger enterprise organizations. But if you can use consumer video at home, why shouldn’t business-quality video be available to everyone, from any device — securely. To use a familiar phrase at Cisco: “from the browser to the boardroom.” As we develop new technologies and design new endpoints, we’re focused on making the prices go down as the value goes up. I think our latest collaboration room endpoints are great examples
Over the years, I’ve been in a number of meetings where nobody knows how to set-up the audio visual equipment. I’ve also been in a few meetings where the quality of audio and video make it hard to tell who is speaking, or what they are saying. Poor experiences like this mean that, at best, meetings are unproductive and, can lead to expensive equipment languishing unused. People may choose less efficient tools like email; arrange audio-only conferences; or wait to travel to an unnecessary face-to-face meeting instead. Here, some of Cisco’s engineers discuss how a user-centric approach to design is making great video easy to use, whatever type of device you want to use.
But ease-of-use shouldn’t apply only to the end users. Some video solutions are complex and difficult to install and maintain. Fragmented, multi-vendor collaboration solutions increase management and support overheads. And midsized businesses don’t usually have large IT teams to manage this complexity.
So to help reduce this complexity, we recently announced we will include video conferencing infrastructure as part of the Cisco Business Edition 6000, our end-to-end packaged collaboration solution for midsize businesses.
And when it comes to deploying room systems, we’ve made that simpler too with integrated systems that can be set-up in minutes.
Return on Investment
When creating a business case for any IT investment, it is important to have a clear idea of the benefits and that they fit with your business priorities. Here are just a few of the benefits we see come up with our customers:
- Cost Reduction
For a long time, the video conferencing industry has focused on reducing travel and accommodation costs. This still holds true. For example, the price of a new SX 10 endpoint is likely to be less than the price of a single transatlantic business trip.
- Increased Productivity
Additionally, video collaboration can help improve productivity by speeding decision making, facilitating workforce mobility and workplace transformation projects, and increasing staff engagement, training and retention.
- Enhanced Customer Relationships
Using video to complement visits to customer sites can really help cement relationships and reduce sales cycles. As does enabling customers to have video meetings with subject matter experts – including financial advisors, healthcare providers, teaching staff, sales specialists and help-desk agents.
“Our clients benefit from the fact that we can respond even more quickly to their needs.”
Chief Information Officer
Is now the time to re-consider your plans for video collaboration? Can you be everywhere with video? For more ideas, take a look at this white paper by Analysis Mason. It discusses the benefits of video and deployment considerations for midsize organizations. Or visit cisco.com/go/midsize
If you’re attending Cisco Live next week and would like to hear more about our Midsize Collaboration Solutions, come along to my session on Monday 1-2pm PST in Moscone West 2001– it would be great to see you there: PSOCOL-1402 – Cisco Midsize Collaboration Solutions Overview