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Overcoming the challenges of hardware based video collaboration

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It’s always better doing business face to face. But this
doesn’t necessarily mean being in the same room. For
several decades, video conferencing technology has been
connecting thinkers and innovators from across the globe
– fuelling growth and driving profitability.
Yet new independent research has highlighted a
disconnect between the perceived usefulness of video
conferencing technology and its rate of take-up by
businesses. Video conferencing is seen as a promising,
but largely untapped, resource.
The study, commissioned by BlueJeans Network,
investigates the expectations and experience of video
conferencing technology among IT and operations
decision makers across the UK. It unearths the critical
challenges businesses face in successfully harnessing
collaboration technology, while also revealing the steps
that can be taken to overcome them.

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Overcoming the challenges of hardware based video collaboration

  1. 1. Conversation stopper Overcoming the challenges of hardware based video collaboration
  2. 2. Introduction It’s always better doing business face to face. But this doesn’t necessarily mean being in the same room. For several decades, video conferencing technology has been connecting thinkers and innovators from across the globe – fuelling growth and driving profitability. Yet new independent research has highlighted a disconnect between the perceived usefulness of video conferencing technology and its rate of take-up by businesses. Video conferencing is seen as a promising, but largely untapped, resource. The study, commissioned by BlueJeans Network, investigates the expectations and experience of video conferencing technology among IT and operations decision makers across the UK. It unearths the critical challenges businesses face in successfully harnessing collaboration technology, while also revealing the steps that can be taken to overcome them.
  3. 3. 59% have enjoyed increased productivity as a result of video conferencing technology. 59% A Clear Choice for Business The business case for video conferencing is a convincing one. Three in four IT and operations professionals believe its use has had a significant positive impact on their business and employees. And well over half have enjoyed increased productivity (59%) and operational efficiency (55%) as a result of implementing the technology. Ultimately, business is about people. Organisations thrive on good conversations, mutual understanding and effective collaboration. So it’s noteworthy that two-thirds of IT and operations professionals have observed better internal morale after implementing video conferencing solutions, and 52% cite improved supplier/client relationships. IT and operations decision makers overwhelmingly endorse the interpersonal benefits of video conferencing. Nine in ten believe it builds stronger relationships between participants than audio calls and emails alone. And four out of five say the technology lessens the likelihood of miscommunication in their company. The message is clear. Video conferencing boosts productivity and operational efficiency while also facilitating smooth organisational communication.
  4. 4. Most believe it should be easy to join video conferencing calls – but only 9% find joining calls straightforward in practice. Most agree that video conferencing should be a useful solution for calls involving large numbers of people – but little more than a third have found it useful for this in reality. People cite interoperability with various hardware and software solutions as a helpful feature of video conferencing technology – but only one in ten have experienced the benefits of interoperability personally. The Disconnect In spite of the growing popularity of video conferencing solutions, the report reveals a disparity between users’ expectations and actual experiences. People know that in theory video conferencing should offer them seamless, flexible and high-quality communication, but they aren’t seeing it in real terms: People are aware of the benefits that they should be enjoying through video collaboration, but the conferencing solutions available to them aren’t delivering on these promises. If companies want to realise true ROI for video conferencing solutions, they will need to define and address the underlying causes of the disconnect between expectation and experience. They must bridge the gap between potential and everyday practicality.
  5. 5. Identifying the Barriers Three key barriers to better implementation of video conferencing solutions emerge from the report. In a nutshell, these are: Lack of interoperability Hard-to-use technology Aging hardware
  6. 6. 83% of IT and operations professionals feel that their current apparatus will remain fit for purpose for just two years or less Aging Hardware Aging hardware is a particular challenge to video conferencing take- up. A large majority (63%) of companies’ hardware is three years old, with 83% of IT and operations professionals feeling that their current apparatus will not be fit for purpose in two years’ time. And 56% would go so far as to say their hardware is old and not fit for purpose currently. Video collaboration platforms that are hardware-based age quickly, aren’t always compatible with other systems and aren’t configured to adapt with changes in technology. On the other hand, software and cloud-based solutions can be easily kept up to date, work with multiple systems and are simple to set up. It’s therefore no surprise 87% believe video conferencing software will be used more as time goes on – but only 29% expect video conferencing hardware to be increasingly used in the future. This points to the limited functionality of video collaboration hardware as opposed to the flexibility available with software-based options.
  7. 7. only 51% of IT and operations professionals are satisfied with the interoperability of their existing video conferencing hardware Lack of Interoperability In a world of continuous technological improvement, businesses need to be confident the platforms they invest in will stand the test of time. Being able to connect with suppliers and clients who may or may not be using the same video conferencing solutions is a prerequisite to good business. Interoperability – the capacity for a solution to work cooperatively with different systems, platforms and technologies – is a must. Significantly, only 51% of IT and operations professionals are satisfied with the interoperability of their existing video conferencing hardware. Respondents to the study said difficulties in data sharing, lag time during calls and a lack of functionality with mobile devices were problems arising from video conferencing solutions with poor interoperability. Inadequate interoperability slows down business processes and creates communication barriers between employees, suppliers and clients. Solutions that actively enable communication, rather than impede it, are essential for organisational success.
  8. 8. 31 2 4 Employees prefer to use other solutions (55%) Employees find the technology difficult to use (53%) Users are dependent on IT for set up (34%) Lack of video conferencing experience among employees (26%) Hard-to-use Technology Four obstacles hindering the use of current video conferencing hardware are: In one way or another, all four show hard-to-use technology to be an issue. Faced with video conferencing solutions that don’t feel intuitive and straightforward, employees inevitably default to systems that are simpler, more familiar and that don’t require specialist IT support. Given the above, it comes as little surprise that two thirds (65%) of IT and operations decision makers are dissatisfied with the ease of set-up of their current video conferencing hardware. A similar amount (60%) are dissatisfied with the ease of use on offer to employees. Technology that’s hard to use becomes technology that isn’t used. This means poor ROI and diminished realisation of the benefits of video conferencing solutions.
  9. 9. The Blue Jeans study showed the top business objectives for the coming twelve months to be: 81% Improved cost control 68% Increased profitability 65% Enhanced efficiency Bridging the Gap Companies are gearing up for growth in the next year. The Blue Jeans Network study showed the top business objectives for the coming twelve months to be improved cost control (81%), increased profitability (68%) and enhanced efficiency (65%). It’s an opportune moment for companies to achieve real ROI on their video conferencing expenditure – to eliminate wastage arising from underused and ineffective solutions. With the right providers, organisations can tap into the hardware assets available to them, save costs through upcycling and enjoy all of the business benefits that come with video conferencing technology. Measurable improvements in productivity, operational efficiency and employee and client relationships are readily available to those willing to try a new approach. Instead of playing catch up – chasing after costly and finite software and hardware solutions – businesses must pursue long-lasting and prescient remedies. Companies will need solutions that are intuitive and user-friendly; solutions that harness cloud-based technology in order to reduce dependency on aging hardware; solutions that are designed with flexibility and interoperability in mind.
  10. 10. The BlueJeans Solution BlueJeans is a cloud-based video conferencing service that is frustration free, easy to use, and trusted by some of the biggest brands on the planet. To find out how your organisation can reap the full benefits of video conferencing, get in touch at www.bluejeans.com/contact

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