The Board Meeting – How videoconferencing accommodates everybody being everywhere

The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce – Ohio, (SACC-Ohio), accommodates quarterly board of directors meetings. Participants are business leSACC_Gothenburg_02aders and business owners who sit on other boards of companies and large financial institutions — They are important, and their time is valuable.   Several are retired or semi-retired executives with second homes in different parts of the world.  Needless to say synchronizing schedules for a board meeting is a challenge.  SACC-Ohio addresses these challenges with the use of the Avaya Scopia mobile videoconferencing app and standards based videoconferencing system in the boardroom.

In their last meeting, two board members were vacationing in Florida, but attended the meeting right from their condos on the golf course.  They simply connected on the wireless network with a laptop which brought them right into the boardroom. In the past another critical participant would drive to Cleveland for the meeting from his home base in Columbus.  The board meeting is three hours with no breaks.  The drive from Columbus to Cleveland is about two hours one way.  The Columbus board participant attends from the comfort of his home office and because he saves four hours driving, he was able to attend another meeting in Columbus that would have otherwise been postponed.SACC_Gotheburg_03

Collaboration is critical in these meetings.  It was simple to connect a computer in the boardroom and share content with everybody instantly.  Because the Scopia mobile app is build on the ITU, (International Telecommunications Union), standards, nobody had to think about what app is being used or what videoconferencing equipment is in the boardroom.  The presenter simply pressed the presentation button on the remote and everybody could see the content in real time instantly. This really came in handy as the SACC-Ohio web site needed to be reviewed and updated.  Remote participants did not have to go the website and participants in the boardroom viewed the website on a large flat panel display.   The presenter navigated the website in his presentation and everybody could see what was referenced without hunting and picking on their computers, and getting confused on what content is discussed.  This saves a tremendous amount of time. Collaboration is critical in any videoconference. (See collaboration article)

Important decisions for the entire year had to be made at this last board meeting.  Without the videoconferencing capability these decisions would have been delayed for weeks and major international opportunities would be lost.

In today’s business environment the quick and the nimble wins. Any board of directors not utilizing videoconferencing technology now will be outmaneuvered and passed up by competitors communicating and making critical strategic decisions at light speed through videoconferencing.

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