How To Use Cloud Videoconferencing For Crisis Management

By Videxio

Because videoconferencing has traditionally been anchored in fixed video systems installed within physical conference rooms, it's usually more associated with scheduled communications, where hosts and guests have the time to organize their attendance with plenty of notice. Monthly board meetings, or weekly updates? Great. Unplanned or emergency scenarios? Not so great.

The videoconferencing systems of the past were not always flexible enough to cope with unexpected events where responsiveness is key. But the emergence of cloud video conferencing, or VCaaS (videoconferencing-as-a-service), has started to transform the way businesses are able to capitalize on video, providing a more adaptable framework in which to execute video calls and ad hoc meetings. 

This means video is now more user friendly, so that it can adapt to situations where prior planning isn't possible. We’ve outlined some steps you can take to create a robust process to better manage emergency situations using a cloud video service:

First, a quick introduction to VMRs:

In addition to allowing people to continue with traditional physical conference rooms, VCaaS gives you the ability to create VMRs (virtual meeting rooms). They are a key component of cloud videoconferencing, and help to provide an agile videoconferencing service: 

  • A VMR is a digital meeting room that’s available at all times - you don’t have to schedule a meeting to join the room
  • Each VMR has a fixed address, usually formatted to look like an email address - think of it like an assigned telephone number for your room  
  • Anyone in your company can access the room whenever they need  
  • Everyone can join in the most convenient way for them, whether through their browser, a software client, mobile device or desktop, or an available videoconferencing system
  • VMRs can also be accessed by telephone, so people can still attend a crisis meeting even if the option to join by video is not immediately possible

Step 1. Decide on the number of rooms you need:

  • Because a VMR is digital, it’s simple to create as many rooms as you need for different purposes and occasions
  • Give your rooms names relevant to their designated purpose
  • For example you could have a room called ‘Weekend/Out of Hours Network Failures VMR’, or ‘Emergency Executive Board Meeting VMR’
  • You can create these special VMRs in addition to any regular VMRs which get used consistently for more general types of planned meetings and video calls, so you know they will always be ready to use

 

Step 2. Clearly define the purpose for each room and the circumstances it should be used under:

  • If you have multiple rooms for crisis management scenarios, along with distributing the details for specific rooms, you should create simple written instructions for each room, stating the circumstances under which each room is to be used, and who should attend or have access
  • Double check people know the routines and understand how to join the room using different options  - either using a video system, or using a browser or software client when using a computer or mobile device

 

Step 3. Decide who needs access:

  • Once a room has been set up, it can be accessed in the same way every time, as the same room info stays the same
  • You only have to distribute the room access details once to each participant
  • The room should also be listed in your company’s video address book for even simpler access
  • Unlike with older videoconferencing systems where you sometimes needed an administrator or host to create a new meeting- and then send out invite links each time- people in your company with the room details can join whenever they’re ready
  • This means people can join the room even if they’re out on the road, in a hotel or an airport 
  • People outside your company network will be asked to enter a pin code
  • The designated room host can set their private pin to further regulate access from outside users

 

Step 4. Test out your routines:

  • During a crisis, any time that can be saved can be critical in limiting the damage, or reducing money being lost to, for example, a severe network outage
  • Try running a dummy emergency meeting to test your system in order to ensure everyone is confident in following your processes
  • The designated room host can manage the meeting through their own private VMR dashboard, for instance, muting people or inviting new participants as required

Interested in finding out more about how VMRs can help you deliver your most important communications? You can read more here

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