NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A decade ago, people were not routinely using video in their everyday communications. Even then, it was clear that video could add value to long-distance business interactions, however its implementation was simply too costly to make it commonplace. With the introduction of truly affordable videoconferencing solutions like Cisco's WebEx and Microsoft's Skype for Business – and the fact that nearly every laptop, cell phone or handheld device has a built-in camera – the use of video communication has become mainstream. In fact, according to Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider (www.us.logicalis.com), videoconferencing is quickly becoming the first mode of communication among consumers and businesspeople alike.
"As CIOs move from yesterday's PBX onto a new unified communications platform, they are, of course, looking at solutions that have built-in video capabilities," says Kevin Carswell, Senior Director Enterprise Application Practice Leader, Logicalis US. "But it's not just about choosing the right technology; it's about quality of service, user acceptance, and ultimately getting the return on investment the organization expects from the solution."
"It's critically important for CIOs who are planning to incorporate video into their unified communications toolbox to first consider the needs of the business and what it is they are trying to accomplish," says Cory Rehfeldt, Collaboration Practice Director, Logicalis US. "If the video solution you choose doesn't meet the business goals or align with the organization's workflow, people won't use it. That's why it's so important to take a methodical approach to planning video solutions that takes into account how the organization works now, where it wants to go, the technologies that can take it there and the support services needed to encourage widespread adoption."
Six Steps to a Successful Videoconferencing Implementation
For IT pros new to videoconferencing, Logicalis' experts have identified a six-step model to help ensure a successful implementation.
- Assess How the Organization Currently Communicates: Before making changes to the way the business communicates both internally and externally, it's critical to fully understand what's being used and how it's being used today. Don't just move people onto Skype for Business, for example, and rip out your prior solutions without knowing how the change will impact the business' current workflow or you could drive productivity to a standstill during the transition.
- Define the Real Business Needs: When considering videoconferencing, it's important for CIOs to work with stakeholders to clearly identify the business' needs and possible use cases for videoconferencing before discussing the technology behind it. Beyond the typical real-time, one-to-one or small group WebEx meeting, possible use cases for videoconferencing today include: telehealth/teleburn/telestroke uses, video translation services, live or recorded corporate training sessions, creating a video resume database of job applicants, onboarding new employees, interactive sales and marketing tools such as webinars and product demonstrations, and educational customer kiosks in retail locations.
- Design End Points with Simplicity and Use in Mind: Today's business users expect video communication to be second nature, as easy as making a phone call – something which is particularly true of millennials who have grown up with a variety of communications tools at their disposal. The bottom line: If it's hard to use or there's a steep, unguided learning curve, user adoption will be slow or even fail entirely. Look for solutions that work seamlessly with what is already familiar to the user and keep simplicity at the forefront of any discussions about adding new technologies.
- Consider Interoperability Between Vendors: Even if you install a homogenous unified computing solution enterprise-wide, that doesn't guarantee interoperability with your customers', suppliers' or partners' end points. What if, for example, you have a client in Europe using Skype for Business, but you're using another unified communications solution? With tools like the Cisco Meeting Server powered by Acano, seamless interoperability with a variety of endpoints is now possible.
- Perform Detailed Network Assessments: Now that you've made the decision to deploy a video conferencing solution, it's time to find out if your network is ready for the change. This is where a comprehensive network assessment becomes a crucial next step; people will tolerate slow email, for example, but absolutely won't use video conferencing if there are lags in either voice or video calls.
- Engage a Skilled Partner: If the goal is to improve your organization's communications processes and your return on investment in the process, consider engaging a solution provider that is skilled not only in the design and installation of video collaboration solutions, but one who also provides post-installation support services that lead the adoption effort companywide.
Want to Learn More?
- Learn more about unified communications, including videoconferencing, then explore Skype for Business as well as a variety of Cisco unified communications solutions here: http://ow.ly/iOaX303WInz.
- Empowering employees to work together from anywhere at any time is the key to keeping pace in today's marketplace. Find out how you stack up against your competition by taking an online communication and collaboration quiz: http://ow.ly/SFTW303WITK.
- What is managed video collaboration – and is it right for you? Find out here: http://ow.ly/hfPW303WJv0.
Logicalis is an international multi-skilled solution provider providing digital enablement services to help customers harness digital technology and innovative services to deliver powerful business outcomes.
Our customers cross industries and geographical regions; our focus is to engage in the dynamics of our customers' vertical markets including financial services, TMT (telecommunications, media and technology), education, healthcare, retail, government, manufacturing and professional services, and to apply the skills of our 4,000 employees in modernizing key digital pillars, data center and cloud services, security and network infrastructure, workspace communications and collaboration, data and information strategies, and IT operation modernization.
We are the advocates for our customers for some of the world's leading technology companies including Cisco, HPE, IBM, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware and ServiceNow.
The Logicalis Group has annualized revenues of over $1.5 billion from operations in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. It is a division of Datatec Limited, listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the AIM market of the LSE, with revenues of over $6.5 billion.
For more information, visit www.us.logicalis.com.
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SOURCE Logicalis US