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Eruption in Video Conferencing Results From Iceland Volcano Event

April 18, 2010 - 0 Comments

The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland has created the biggest airline disruption since 9/11 because of the massive ash cloud lurking across most of Scandinavia and Europe. Consequently, businesses are scrambling to create backup plans for what to do about employees who are stuck abroad and important business decisions that have been put on hold because the right people can’t get to the right places to make critical decisions. The costs of this disruption are still unknown, but expected to be a setback to an already struggling economy.

The Board of Dolly Dimples, the largest Norwegian restaurant chain, met via telepresence when members' flights were canceled as a result of the volcanic eruption in Iceland

Dolly Dimples, a Norwegian company, held a Board meeting via telepresence when members' flights were canceled due to the volcano eruption

It has been a rough year for business. From swine flu, to unprecedented snowstorms, and now a volcanic eruption – one has to wonder, what next? And that’s exactly what businesses should be asking themselves. It is no longer a matter of if something will happen, but when.

The bright side is that many smart companies have already put a business continuity plan in place and as a result are finding it much easier to handle this latest disruption. One critical component of the best business continuity plan is video conferencing, illustrated by the below examples:

  • Statoil, a leading oil and gas production company and the largest offshore operator in the world, has over 1,000 video conferencing rooms across Norway that have been in active use since Thursday. As a result, flight cancellations have not had a detrimental impact on the company. Without video conferencing, it would have been impossible for Statoil to execute all the planned meetings and keep business on track.
  • Dolly Dimples, one of the largest restaurant chains in Norway, had a Board meeting scheduled Thursday, but the CEO’s flight was canceled as a result of the volcanic ash. Rather than reschedule the Board meeting, which would have taken 3-4 weeks and disrupted the business, he used telepresence instead to connect with the other Board members in Oslo, hundreds of miles away.
  • Regus, a tele-conferencing firm, has seen increased visitation of 38% in the UK and 9% in the US since the volcanic eruption from companies looking to connect with their global counterparts and customers.

Here are 4 more ways a video enabled business continuity plan allows employees to communicate naturally, safely and effectively, and maintain operations during disruptions:

  1. Reduce downtime during weather events through video enhanced telework
  2. Keep stranded employees visually connected with important customers, suppliers, and family and friends
  3. Prevent the spread of workplace illness when outbreaks occur
  4. Maintain supply chain from anywhere

Have you or your company turned to video conferencing to help deal with the disruptions from the volcano eruption or another type of crisis?

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