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It’s Time to Extend Video Conferencing Beyond the Boardroom

Posted on August 30, 2017 by Arun Kirupananthan

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Today, your video conferences happen in a dedicated conference room, relying on specialized two-way equipment. This technology is complex and cost-heavy. It often requires dedicated A/V or IT support to set up. For this reason, you’ve relegated video conferencing to the boardroom.

Meanwhile, the needs of your workforce are changing.

The prevalence of remote workers and dispersed teams means 78% of meetings include at least one remote participant. At the same time, a growing number of workers prefer to meet and collaborate in less structured, more spontaneous ways.

As a result, there is a growing demand for accessible video collaboration among all users.

Over 58% of businesses are using video conferencing tools. But, the use case for video collaboration goes beyond your executive team. Below, we make the case for extending video collaboration tools beyond the boardroom.

Frost & Sullivan estimates the average professional spends 40% of their work hours in meetings. Meanwhile, a growing subset of “power meters” attends 18 to 27 meetings a week, representing well over 50% of their time at work.  This rise in the volume of workplace collaboration means meetings today are shorter and more frequent. They’re also more spontaneous and less structured.

These high-volume collaborators have also sparked a change in meeting venues. In 2015 ,Wainhouse Research projected a marked decline in the use of traditional conference rooms. Better tailored to structured, scheduled-in-advance sessions, the boardroom is losing popularity among those who prefer frequent, ad hoc meetings.

Rise of the Ad Hoc Meeting Space 

In a busy office, finding an available conference room is no small feat. Double- and triple-bookings are common.  Some less scrupulous teams don’t feel compelled to make a booking at all.

For these reasons, many businesses are turning to open work spaces or huddle rooms to make spontaneous meeting easier. These are small, multi-purpose spaces tailor-made for ad hoc meetings between small groups. The typical huddle room accommodates four-to-five. Often available without a reservation, these spaces allow employees to meet and collaborate on short notice as the need arises.

The idea is catching on. There are an estimated 30 to 40 million such spaces in enterprise organizations worldwide. But, today just 2% of them support video conferencing capabilities.

Hungry for More Video Collaboration

Among the highest-volume collaborators, 80% of meetings include a mix of in-person and virtual attendees.  Offsite workers can always join meetings via audio-only conference calls. But, remote participants find this technology coarsens the experience and stifles effective collaboration.

Among those who use their laptops to connect with remote colleagues in ad hoc meeting spaces, however, many find the devices aren’t up to the task. In fact, a quarter doesn’t even bother to use laptops for conferencing because of a poor microphone or camera quality.

A recent survey by GigaOM found that 90% of respondents felt video conferencing made it easier to get their points across. Eighty-two percent said they were less likely to be distracted during a video conference. At the same time, two-thirds of Millennials, the fastest growing cohort in the workforce, much prefer face-to-face over audio-only communication.

Wainhouse Research found that, given the ability, 63% of business users would take advantage of video conferencing tools in huddle rooms and ad hoc meeting spaces.

Bringing Down the End Point Barriers 

In the past, enterprises had separate vendors for audio, video and web conferencing. These services combined traditional business phone systems with on-premises video and web conferencing equipment. The budget and resource costs to set them up these systems often meant they were reserved for medium-to-large meeting and conference rooms.

In recent years, however, there has been an explosion of “all-in-one” team collaboration platforms. Driven by the proliferation of cloud and mobile, these services blur the lines between video and web conferences into online meetings.

These “single meeting, single license” products integrate with a wide spectrum of team collaboration, messaging and VoIP software. They offer simple, streamlined user experiences and smarter integration into video conferencing workflows. Many also work on a freemium, lowering the cost barrier for start-up and SMBs.

Don’t Let Your Budget Interrupt

Among businesses that extend video capabilities throughout the office environment:

– 75% observe improved collaboration across dispersed teams

– 100% see accelerated decision-making and faster task completion

– Another 75% report improved customer service

The data paints a clear picture. Today’s business professionals are eager for more advanced collaboration outside the traditional boardroom. And, the team collaboration sector has made it easier to deliver on those needs.

Lower-cost collaboration platforms have reduced the cost to outfit a smaller huddle room for video collaboration to a fraction of a traditional boardroom setup. And, Logitech has introduced cost-effective conference camera equipment that lets you:

  • Plug-and-play with your existing UC platform and infrastructure
  • Integrate with best-in-class third party apps for instant messaging and VoIP
  • Find the right form factor to bring everyone to the table

Your work space is evolving. Help your video conferencing technology catch up. Scale your video collaboration tools beyond the boardroom with pervasive video collaboration from Logitech and Softchoice. Learn about how Logitech’s new line of Video Collaboration products can let you turn any room into a Video conferencing room, affordably.