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Thousands of organisations are focused on cutting costs, but how are they able to do so whilst maintaining, and even improving productivity?

That’s the question being posed by Video Conferencing specialist Videonations as businesses grapple with austerity and slowing growth.

“Millions of us are afraid of change, which makes us averse to using new technology, especially in the workplace,” says MD Ian Carter. “But the proven fact is new technology in the workplace is the main contributor of cutting costs, improving productivity, and even speeding up the decision making process.

“Business mogul, Richard Branson, is quoted as saying that anyone who thinks new technology isn’t going to keep changing the world has got their head in the sand. I know what many of you are thinking! Richard Branson is a multi-billionaire, and for him the initial cost of implementing new technology into the workplace is a mere drop in the ocean.

“For business owners and budget handlers, yes new technology can be costly, and no it’s extremely unlikely you’ll generate an ROI within the first six to twelve months. But even in these tough economic times, is a business’s roadmap really only twelve months? If it’s just ‘ticking along’ and capital expenditure has halted, it is definitely time for them to get their head out of the sand. If they are not prepared to invest in new collaborative technology solutions, then they best stop aspiring to be successful. Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth!”

With claims that London would ‘grind to a halt’ during last year’s Olympics, Videonations saw a staggering 300% rise in uptake for hosted video conferencing throughout the South East of the country, spanning virtual meeting rooms. Interestingly usage remains high.

Carter explained: “The Olympics was a golden period for us and it proved that once businesses embrace new ways of communication they don’t go back.”

One area businesses around the UK are focused on is travel expenditure, according to Carter, a former Falklands War Commando who is used to winning battles in the face of adversity. “Fuel, accommodation, flights, etc. How do businesses reduce travel expenditure and remain productive? Now lots of people often turn their heads away when I mutter Video conferencing. Perhaps they are reminded of a meeting many years ago when they participated in a video call which was visually and audibly poor. They probably left the room thinking: ‘I hope I never have to take part in a video call ever again.’ Well as some of them will have already experienced, video conferencing technology is now a must have business tool and has been deployed across thousands of organisations. Bandwidth restrictions are less challenging, and face-to-face video communication is now delivered in high definition.

“Organisations are using the technology for internal and external communication. Rather than travelling five hundred miles for a meeting, of which 90% of the time spent travelling is non-productive and incurs fuel and accommodation costs, businesses are choosing to conduct meetings over video. Both time and money is saved, and it causes little disruption to an individual’s working day.

“Many of the most successful organisations are refusing to develop partnerships unless each party has adopted the use of video collaboration technology. It’s more personal and up to 70% more productive than a telephone call, mainly a result of facial expressions and hand gestures.”

Videonations is now part of the Nycomm Group of companies that includes comms distributor Nimans with headquarters at Manchester. Not surprisingly the group is a big advocate of VC, as Carter concluded:

“Video communication is more affordable than ever with desktop and cloud based offerings, which cause little strain on IT departments as well as offering interoperability, which ensures face-to-face communication between two or more people irrespective of video device.

“Cost-cutting for any business takes serious consideration, as does devising a business development plan. However failing to include collaborative technology in a development plan may as well be a plan to fail.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine
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