Im hoping that you took my advice and downloaded the M100, Polycoms latest telepresence software solution that turns your PC into a fully working standards-based video conferencing system. If you did and you now have the software loaded, welcome and well done!
So now your probably wondering how to start video conferencing? It may well be that you are the forward thinking person within your organisation, and if that is the case you may well be the only person you know who has video conferencing. Worry not my friend, you are not alone.
There is a whole community of us here and we welcome you with open arms, or perhaps you might want to connect with people you actually know! Take these practical steps and I promise you, you and your organisation will be held in high esteem as the forward thinking company that started a profit increasing, planet saving revolution!
Do a test call
Before you do anything make sure the damned thing works. I’ve been doing this for 13 odd years so I know what I’m doing and I’m guessing that you do what you do well so may not be a video conferencing expert. There are several places to do test calls to real room based video conference systems: Polycom, Lifesize, Tandberg, Video Conferencing. Or just send an email to email@example.com and the bridge operator will contact you and do a point to point, cross platform (IP to ISDN) and multipoint test call with you.
Contact all your suppliers
Are you happy that it really works? It doesn’t matter where your suppliers are located or indeed how many of them you may have contact them all they will be happy to hear from you especially if they think you want to buy something. Ask them if they have video conferencing if they say no send them to me and I’ll look after them. If they say yes, great you will be able to have face-to-face meetings with them without leaving your place of work. You may find that more face to face meetings may strengthen the relationship leading to faster better/faster information ‘The low down’ on the official line and more discounts!
Contact all your customers
If like my company you have large corporate companies within your client base, you can be 99 percent sure that they have a video or telepresence system in at least one meeting/ boardroom. Conversely if you deal with small to medium enterprises or even SOHO (small office home office) they too may have video conferencing facilities even if in some cases its SKYPE (there I said it yuk!) So let’s deal with the corporate clients first every single FTSE company has a corporate governance policy which includes their commitment to reduce greenhouse gases, which covers yes you guessed it travel. Believe it or not if you travel to a corporate client for a meeting when you could use ‘video conferencing’ they get a cross in their box because your traveling to them increases THEIR carbon impact. So If I was a corporate client wanting to choose two identical suppliers (regardless of the product or service being provided) I would choose the one that I could build a good relationship with and indeed who I could meet with, often at short notice when I wanted to.
Moving on to the SME and SOHO businesses. We are all professional businesses who adhere to regulations and best practice in our own market spaces. The one thing that we all share in common is the need to make sure our costs are cut to a minimum while we provide the best products and services in our market right?
As a small business owner my margins are tight and my costs must be kept on a tight leash. And actually my team and I have very precious little time and families to look after. The last thing we want to be doing is travelling unnecessarily. I agree that we must meet new clients in person on one maybe two occasions, for me the third and subsequent meetings are usually over video.
I meet my midlands based team all day every day, because we have a always on link between the offices. I drive from our London office to Birmingham less than a hand full of times per year yet the two teams are like departments across the hall. They have a good handle on the personalities, traits, gossip and banter it just works like the phone doesn’t. What I’m trying to demonstrate is the fact that video conferencing get you under the skin of an organisation in a way that the meeting periodically and telephone conversations don’t.
This is the next step since the internet in the leveling of playing fields.
Polycoms M100 has a price point that enables even the smallest of small businesses can video conference with no ongoing costs.
If you haven’t already done so, download the M100 free trial today. Do a few test calls. Be sure to contact your suppliers and clients. I would love to hear about how you use video conferencing, so write back and let me know how you get on. As always if I can be of assistance please do get in touch.