With the shift towards video integrations, is there still a place for the telephone in conference room technology enhancements? Let’s explore!

Is the teleconference still relevant for business?

Telephone technology has changed the way we speak to one another, near and far. VoIP combined with SaaS (software as a service) has given us the ability to speak to our colleagues across time zones and country codes at low-to-no cost. Phone calls are no longer just 1-to-1; they are 1-to-many. The hardware (phones) now supports the capability with a simple “Conference” button. There are now companies that manage conference lines. Tools like Skype can easily bring multiple parties together with options in how to communicate. This shows that teleconferencing is alive and well, but for how long?

Should we all be on video?

Video conferencing has added a sensory layer to communication. Video gives more context to discussions with the ability to see body language and emotion. At the same time, clear conversation over the telephone can also give the necessary context. This would make video an option rather than a requirement in communication.
The shift in conference room technology has promoted video integration. Wireless presentations allow team members to connect across multiple platforms, including video, and devices to share ideas. They have allowed companies to become global villages, where team members can speak, see and hear each other from remote locations. However, there is the possibility for technical difficulties. While video may seem like the best option, the phone still has a role in communication, even as a back-up resource.
Sometimes, the face-to-face can prove to be more effective than just the audio to build understanding and support. However, face-to-face with video can take more time than a telephone conversation in coordinating schedules, resources and equipment. With teleconferencing, it’s usually just a phone and maybe a dedicated conference line. One really has to determine the need for video and how it will benefit the discussion.

The happy medium!

Video is trending across all media. It’s essential for some industries, but not so much for others. While your IT team should support the request and use of video, it should also be mindful of its effectiveness to the company. Your company should also evaluate existing phone usage across the business, especially for meetings that involve remote and external resources. If you find that video is a “nice to have” option, perhaps more resources should be available to support teleconferencing with phones, VoIP, conference lines, Skype, etc.
As it stands, video conferencing is emerging and holds a strong place in business. They serve a purpose based on time and need. Video may represent stronger face-to-face interactions from remote locations. There’s a benefit in promoting active communication. Choose wisely how you want to engage with your teams and partners.

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