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2/4/2008
02:49 PM
Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek
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Desktop Video Conferencing Offers Two Surprising Benefits

More and more companies are realizing that to stay competitive in today’s increasingly global marketplace, they must support a virtual workplace in which distributed employees can collaborate, quickly and easily, regardless of where they’re located. That’s certainly what unified communications are all about, as organizations want and need to deliver real-time communications to their employees. It’s also a big reason why vendors are pushing—and companies are buying—telepresence and high-definition video conferencing systems. Now, forward-thinking companies are looking for ways to integrate their UC applications into business processes, to speed transactions and enable quick and informed decision making. But many such organizations forget a critical component of those very same business processes: the human element.

When integrated into business processes, desktop video communications can ensure that the human element doesn’t get lost as companies go virtual. With most such processes, certain steps require a personal connection for anything meaningful to get done—and nothing delivers that experience as well as video, which allows participants to see facial expressions and body language, as well as make eye contact and get a true “feel” for the person they’re working with. Confusion is minimized, and better decisions are made, faster.

Furthermore, desktop video allows end users to get comfortable using their PCs as a point of communications. While many employees are reluctant to give up a hard phone for a soft one, once they grow accustomed to having video discussions on their desktop, they’re much more likely to launch other forms of unified communications from the same place—including simple point-to-point voice calls. This can be a boon for companies that want to migrate employees to an entirely software-based IP telephony system and other unified communications applications.

Desktop video isn’t ideal for all visual collaboration; it can’t compare to room-based or executive desktop systems for quality. But it can certainly compete with them on ease-of-use, not to mention the fact that it can be offered to employees working from home and/or geographically remote locations, where high bandwidth may not be available. So for companies that need to connect lots of far-flung constituents as part of core business processes, allowing them to see one another as they make key decisions along the way, desktop video can have significant payback.

For more details, please download a Frost & Sullivan whitepaper on the value of desktop video conferencing as a means to enhance—and in some cases, enable—business processes at key junctures, as well as expand the use of all IP-based communications in the enterprise.

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