Is video conferencing really all that practical?

The same question was asked in the mid eighties when cell phone antennas started to appear in the middle of the back windows on automobiles.  Back then cell phones worked within a limited area footprint and they only worked from the car because they were mounted in the car.  The early adapters of cell phones certainly experienced more time savings and efficiency.  Sales people loved it – They can make more calls in an area and more spontaneous appointments with prospects and customers.  Service people loved it —They can confirm more appointments from the road or call customers to say they are running late.  Now it’s hard to imagine a cell phone tethered to a car with no access to the internet.

We are seeing the same thing with video conferencing. First you needed a dedicated room and technician to make the call.  Today you need an app on your smart phone or iPad and a child can make the call.  In the conference room the system is simple to install and simple to use.  Soon it will be hard to imagine how we managed without video conferencing in our homes or businesses — We will have video numbers for both.

Here are three clients who understand how practical video conferencing can be:

One of our clients is a nationally recognized medical college. Professors use our cloud based mobile video conferencing service to meet face-to-face with interns around the state. They can collaborate through their computers showing x-rays or other medical related material.  Professors can also use the cloud based service to accommodate a guest speaker in their lecture halls with standards based video conferencing capability built-in.  This is very practical – In fact this particular client is expanding this service to other departments.

Another client is a national manufacturer with 4 offices – Ohio, Florida, Texas, and California.  They serve key national accounts from all four locations.  Video conferencing allows this client to meet in all locations simultaneously to efficiently manage sales, inventories and deliveries better, serving their national clients.  They also have more management meetings without any travel between these locations.

We have a not-for-profit video conferencing customer who needs to meet with incarcerated clients throughout the state for substance abuse counseling.   They have three locations in Ohio.   Counselors save up to 20 hours per week travel time using video conferencing.  Staff meetings are also easy as the multi-site feature allows simultaneous connection between all three offices.  Counselors really depend on the technology now.  If a system goes down, they call immediately as this has a major impact on their efficiency.   If you don’t think you need video conferencing – Think again.  You may be leaving money on the table.

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