Businesses face up to video

Video conferencing has rapidly moved from a rare and expensive experience to a mainstream necessity for Australian businesses as they adopt the technology to address key business challenges, including reaching customers and suppliers more effectively, enabling flexible working for skilled employees, competing in a global marketplace, or providing engaging staff training.

According to a recent research by Ovum*, a third of businesses surveyed are already using professional, business-grade video-conferencing services, with an additional 34% expecting to use it in the next 12 months.

55% of communication is visual – body language and eye contact – and 38% is vocal – pitch, speed, volume and tone of voice. Using video can help you to build deeper levels of trust in shorter amounts of time.

The research findings come as Telstra announced availability of a new cloud-based video-conferencing and collaboration service provided by Blue Jeans Network. The product allows businesses to use the internet to connect face-to-face while sharing content and presentations with staff, customers and suppliers, regardless of their size or location. As a web-based solution that works with most video systems and devices, Blue Jeans makes it easier and more cost-effective for businesses to adopt video conferencing, or make better use of their existing video equipment.

Will Irving, Group Managing Director, Telstra Business, acknowledges the pain you go through when you are not able to do business with who you want, when you want: ‘Telstra provides services to more than one million Australian businesses right across the country, from Bruny Island to Broome and back again. So we understand that doing business across this massive continent is often hampered by the long distances you need to travel for face-to-face meetings.

‘Face-to-face communications are invaluable. In fact, 55% of communication is visual – your body language and eye contact – and 38% is vocal – your pitch, speed, volume and tone of voice. Using video can help you to build deeper levels of trust in shorter amounts of time, which means you’re able to reach decisions more quickly. For example, one quick five-minute video conversation could eliminate 15 back-and-forth emails. It is also a far more engaging medium for sales and purchasing discussions or HR and training activities.

‘The flexible workplaces of today are more successful when employees working from home can see their colleagues and customers, and for local businesses to thrive in an increasingly global market, tools like professional video conferencing are an absolute must. With this new solution employees at work, at home, or on the road can connect face-to-face with their colleagues, partners, and customers whether they are in a boardroom, an office, a living room, or a coffee shop,’ Irving says.

* Video Collaboration Service Requirements: Australian SMBs, Ovum, January 2014