Videoconferencing

6 things to look out for when choosing a videoconferencing solution

By Videxio

We’ve experienced that some organizations struggle to extract the maximum benefit from videoconferencing initially. They often become surprised that something so user-friendly takes some time for people to adapt to.

A big reason for this is often that companies assume that they don’t need to do anything to encourage user adoption when implementing a new video platform. Ensuring your organization benefits from the full power of video meetings is about more than just flipping the switch and hoping people become power users from the get-go.

However, the good news is that it definitely doesn’t need to be too complicated either. Of course, each company has different processes and challenges to successful user adoption, but we’ve put together this quick guide that you can adapt to help you and your team join the conversation as quickly as possible!

1.  Decide who will be using video and what they will use it for:

If you already have a legacy videoconferencing service, you might have some idea of how videoconferencing might be used by your teams. But it’s still an advantage to think about how it will be used day to day. Videoconferencing is no longer just limited to scheduled meetings in large conference rooms. Thanks to the cloud, it’s now mobile and offers flexible, ad hoc calling as well. Some important considerations for how video might be used within your organization might include:

  • Do all or just some individuals need personal video meeting rooms?
  • Do you need team meeting rooms for a group/project/department to share?
  • Do you need to invest in specialist videoconferencing hardware (recommended if your video usage will be heavy)  
  • Will you be inviting lots of external participants (eg. clients, vendors, sales meetings etc.) to your video meetings? Will they be using a range of different devices to join your meetings? 

  Read more: 5 tips for better teamwork

2. Appoint a project manager:

In days gone by, this would have usually been an IT Manager by default. But thanks to adavnces in cloud computing, unless you’re planning a large implementation, it doesn’t necessarily need to be an IT specialist leading a project. It just needs to be someone willing to learn the basics of the service and can administer user accounts on behalf of the company. Some of the tasks for the project manager might typically include:

  • Assess/trial different vendors
  • Assign other admin users in the company if required
  • Monitor and drive user adoption
  • Organize training / onboarding if required

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3.  Choose a videoconferencing platform that’s easy to join for everybody:

Like all business technology, videoconferencing systems can run into problems of compatibility. The right platform should support people joining your network and experiencing a fantastic video experience regardless of the device of software they use, or whether they're in your company network. You should check that a provider:

  • Supports mobile and tablet devices, as well as desktop, on top of traditional SIP/H.323 videoconferencing systems 
  • Enables joining through your browser - this is sometimes referred to as WebRTC, and essentially allows anyone to join your network through their regular browser
  • Is compatible with other video software (such as Skype for Business)
  • Offers audio-only for when individual users can’t join using video

Some tools might support a few of these functionalities, but the best tools should seamlessly enable all these options at the same time. This is key to not only having a smooth video processes internally, but giving external stakeholders a quick an efficient way to join your meetings and conferences, at the same time.

  Find out how to use video to strike a better work-life balance.


4. Test your options:

It might seem obvious, but make full use of your trial period. Videoconferencing is particularly sensitive to network conditions, which will affect the quality of your calls. The real test of a video network is not delivering a couple of calls with a nice picture, but consistently offering great quality pictures and audio. So actually use your trial period regularly to assess it over time. Videoconferencing should enhance collaboration to make your people more productive. It’s not productive to have meetings interrupted by lagging pictures or low quality audio, hence ruining your work groove. So, to be sure:

  • Use a trial period to make calls at different times and of different lengths
  • Think about places you’re planning to make regular calls to - for example do you need to speak to the Beijing office every week? Does the network coverage really offer quality calls in and out of China for example.

 

5. Create a plan for training to make user adoption painless:

Introduce your new videoconferencing setup and highlighting its features in short documentation or by arranging in-person training sessions (depending on your scale). For larger organizations your vendor should be experienced in helping to on-boarding, and should be able to advise you or provide content or consulting services to get you up and running.

Ultimately, you should aim to to communicate as effectively as possible how people access their login details and the timeline for the project, as well as who the admin users are if people need to request further help.

  • Make sure people add their video address to their email signatures. If you have the service, people need to know about it to start using it!
  • Try running some non-essential internal meetings on video first. That way people can try it out without being pressured to deliver an important presentation or report.
  • If you have virtual meeting rooms for your team, treat them as physical meeting rooms by adding them to your company calendar/booking system.
  • It doesn’t take long to get used to using video in place of email or old fashioned telephone calls, but the more frequently people use it, the quicker the process is. Aim to make video calling part of your company culture by encouraging people to use it whenever possible. They’ll soon wonder how they ever survived without being able to see and hear everything in their meetings and conversations.

Read more: How to use Virtual Meeting Rooms
 

6Track your progress:

It’s especially important to keep track of whether or not your new videoconferencing system is being used regularly or not. Monitoring progress is an important part of incorporating any new technology or strategy into your business model. If you don’t have an efficient process in place, it likely won’t be used to its fullest potential, with diminishing returns on your ROI. With cloud video it's easy to tack usage and call history across your company network. This means you can spend just a few minutes every week to keep track of how people are using the service:

  • Track overall usage to see adoption over your whole organization
  • See if individual teams or departments are struggling - do you need to offer extra training or events to help different areas of your business
  • Do you have enough equipment and users? If usage continues to grow, do you need to set up more dedicated videoconferencing rooms and systems?
  • Do you need to add more user licenses as video becomes an engrained part of your company culture?
  • A VCaaS service should make it very simple to scale your service up to add new users without extra technical support or system architecture

These were only a few tips to get you started with choosing the right videoconferencing solution for you. Sure enough there's more to the decision making depending on your needs, but if you stick to these tips it will help you along the way. Good luck.

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by Videxio

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