Posts tagged Wainhouse Research

How to Promote Video Collaboration in Your Workplace

As we use video conferencing systems more often in the workplace, we are working together to address challenges and complete projects. The use of video conferencing in companies of all types and sizes reflects a need to improve employee engagement and productivity.

To promote video collaboration in your organization, deploy user-friendly video conferencing systems in your meeting rooms. That’s one of the major takeaways from a new paper by Wainhouse Research, “Profiting From a Business Video Culture.” The study notes that end users consider video conferencing in a dedicated room essential to the workplace video experience.

This also holds true for those of you working in mid-market companies, where PC-based collaboration is the most common use of video conferencing. Forty percent of mid-market employees use video conferencing at their desktops on a daily basis. Think that would make room systems unnecessary or unwanted? Think again.

According to Wainhouse, the frequency of use leads to a better impression of video conferencing, with most respondents saying they would participate in it more often if it were available in dedicated rooms. 

Some major takeaways from the Wainhouse report:

  • Among those who attend video calls at least once a week, they prefer dedicated room conferencing over PC-based video calls.
  • The availability of room-based systems makes end users more likely to take part in video conferencing in other venues (huddle rooms, desktop, mobile).
  • Companies of most sizes overwhelmingly prefer video meetings in conference rooms

Room-based video conferencing systems mitigate the background noise and interruptions you have to deal with when taking calls you take at your desk. Other benefits include:

  • Trimming travel costs
  • Enhancing teamwork with internal and external stakeholders (colleagues, clients, customers, partners)
  • Attracting the talent that expects a collaborative culture 

If your company is like others, with a high percentage of PC-based video, you already have a solid foundation on which to build and extend these benefits across your organization. As you do your research and talk with potential service providers, you’ll want to make sure they can provide the same quality of meeting-room video collaboration you’d expect is afforded to the largest companies. That includes a consistent, positive user experience that promotes adoption. The services supporting that quality and your users must be global or nationwide in reach while also addressing the challenges of individual offices and ensuring that all locations are receiving consistent service. 

Read the Wainhouse Research paper as you consider an expansion of video conferencing that would improve productivity, employee engagement, and talent retention at your company. 

Download “Profiting From a Business Video Culture” >

Polycom Solutions Integrate With Lync 2013; New Video Survey Released

Polycom has announced that by June, Polycom HDX, Polycom RealPresence Group and the RealPresence Platform will be interoperable with Microsoft Lync 2013. This interoperability extends to standards-based Scalable Video Coding (SVC) and H.264 AVC. These software updates are designed to make it easier to launch video conferencing sessions from the familiar Lync interface. Read the full Polycom announcement. >

Coinciding with this announcement is the release of a report authored by Wainhouse Research and Polycom, “The Real Benefits of Video.” Among the highlights:

  • 64% of over 4,700 survey respondents use video conferencing at least once a week
  • 94% cited increased efficiency/productivity as the number one benefit of video conferencing

Download the full “The Real Benefits of Video” survey. Be sure to visit our Video Collaboration page to learn about AVI-SPL’s approach as an integrator,  for an overview of the technology currently in use and to read case stories about some of our notable projects.

 

 

Andrew W. Davis of Wainhouse Talks Collaboration and Communication for Businesses

Andrew DavisIn advance of AVI-SPL’s upcoming Collaboration Expo 2012, I interviewed keynote speaker Andrew W. Davis, cofounder and senior partner at Wainhouse Research. He discussed the changing nature of communication for businesses, and what it’s like to be called an “industry visionary.”

  1. What is the value of the expo for attendees?
    The Collaboration Expo is a fantastic way for people to get up-to-date information on the latest conferencing and collaboration products and services.  AVI-SPL’s event pulls together several features and benefits, including a short, focused conference, an exhibit hall for real demos, and a chance to network with likeminded colleagues. Even better, most customers will be able to attend without the cost and burden of long-distance travel.
  2. What changes have you seen in the work environment that are worth noting as they relate to communication and collaboration?
    The most obvious change is the shift away from phone and email communications on the part of the younger work force and more use of mobile and social tools. You can’t help noticing that everyone today has a “follow me” link for Twitter, Facebook, etc. whether you are in high tech or low tech. It’s really amazing how things have changed so fast and so deeply. Mainstream enterprise communications today I would say is still driven by audio conferencing, but web is coming up fast. The issue here of course is that both of these technologies enable multitasking – doing other things while you are on the call. Video conferencing is enslaving in this respect – you have to pay attention. This is both a plus and a minus, depending on who you are and what your intention is in attending the meeting. Nevertheless, I expect video conferencing to explode as the application is “ported” to tablets and smartphones.
  3. What do enterprises need to do to adapt to those changes going forward?
    My advice is to be flexible and stay flexible. One way to do this is to shift the focus from buying solutions as hardware or CPE deployments to buying solutions as services. Managed services come to mind here, but cloud-based or hosted services as well. Enterprises should invest in conferencing and collaboration solutions to help them gain efficiencies all over the map; but doing so does not necessarily mean the customer has to own all the bits and pieces.
  4. What are some collaboration technology trends you’re watching for 2012?
    There are two separate but related things to watch, both video-centric. One is the incorporation of video capabilities into what we have known for the past few years as web conferencing. Citrix HD Faces is a case in point, and Cisco’s WebEx Jabber is another. The interesting angle here is that most people are comfortable with web conferencing; many already have accounts, and the video being incorporated today is not only high quality, but often free in the sense that there is no extra charge above the web conferencing costs. The second technology trend is one we’ve seen a lot of already – the move to mobile platforms like tablets and smartphones. These two developments could help video go mainstream; they will also change the nature of the industry for both vendors and channel partners.
  5. How important is AV/IT convergence in today’s workplace?
    It’s important for several reasons. One is that the convergence offers the potential to enable a whole new set of applications and solutions.  My supposition is that five years from now, many of the solutions you will be selling haven’t been invented yet.  The second reason is that the convergence will change the skill sets required to be successful in the industry – both for vendors and channel partners as well as for the customer’s internal support staff.
  6. Does technology drive change in the workspace, or are advancements in tools and systems more the result of pressures from within an organization?
    Sad to say, I believe technology drives change and not the other way around. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, end users don’t really know what they want or need.
  7. Let’s say it’s 2020 – what does a well-run organization or company, regardless of industry, look like and do well?
    For starters, the solutions we will be using in 2020 haven’t been invented yet. And the solutions will be wireless, whatever they are.  New capabilities change behavior in unpredictable ways. (Did you know ten years ago that you’d be shopping on the Internet for books, movies, music, clothing, and power tools?) And change is not always continuous. I think a well-run organization in 2020 will look very much the same as it does today from the outside, but from the inside it will be very different – with distributed information workers, less focus on working from the home office, less travel for workers, less commuting, more home-life balance. I also think we are more likely to be shaped by or constrained by external events than we are by technology – energy costs or shortages, global climate change, terrorism, economic shifts. I try to not get too depressed about these things, but you can’t help it if you read the papers.
  8. What are your daily industry must-reads?
    In the traditional media world I am a devotee of the Wall Street Journal and the Economist magazine. Online resources include NoJitter and TechCrunch and reuters.com.
  9. What is it about the technology industry today that excites you?
    You have to admit that the continuous changes is an effect that is both exciting and stressful. In our space — conferencing and collaboration — there are continuous improvements in the technology on one hand, and interesting battles going on in the politicial/technical/marketing arenas between the vendors. It’s a giant football match, with the size and shape of the football changing all the time.
  10. What’s it like to be called an “industry visionary?”
    It’s a crappy title, but somebody has to wear it. Remember though, being a visionary is a dangerous job, particularly when it involves predicting the future.

Register now for the April 18 Collaboration Expo 2012 event in Dallas to see the latest in collaboration and communication solutions from over 25 of the leading manufacturers. In addition to learning about the trends in digital media, video conferencing, Unified Communications and telepresence, you can attend Andrew Davis’s keynote address: “Beyond ROI: Finding Real Value in Collaboration.”