Video conferencing has become a pretty common term lately. To many, it still evokes images of obtuse, expensive communications systems, housed in a dedicated room with large flat screens.

In reality, an upsurge in conferencing within the fields of tech and the IT department of every major and minor company has been long overdue. For years now, free voice-over IP services have helped families put together calls over continental distances, aiding couples in long-distance relationships and helping friends stay in touch years after they’ve walked their own separate paths.

While these free services do just fine for the casual user, serious business endeavors have been pining for more effective solutions. With the advent of popular cloud computing, integrating the cloud with conference calling has offered a whole new realm of possibilities for business owners, for SMEs and large corporations alike.

First and foremost, the biggest selling point for these services has been that key conversations – especially face-to-face ones – would become obsolete as companies switched to a modern, cheaper, and digital alternative in the form of premium high-definition picture.

But the thing is, that’s not entirely true, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meetings are important – truly, truly important – and they can’t simply be replaced by video. In fact, researchers sought to test the efficacy of how conferencing would hold up against seeing each other in person.

They discovered that in discussions of key importance, such as during the discussion of top line products, when promoting a senior staff member to a key position in company management, or when speaking to long-time and important clients, meeting face-to-face becomes a matter of formality and respect. Replacing that with the as of yet new medium of HD video calling can be seen as a snub.

The Importance of Meeting in Person

While it’s an amazing technology, it’s not yet at a stage where it can undermine the usefulness of a true face-to-face conversation where it counts. But the question is, then: where does the conversation count?

Experts say that conferences are important in beginning a relationship. Thus, businesses are attempting to integrate both the physical and the digital by using technology to establish a relationship through preliminary gatherings, with a true physical meeting upon the evaluation of the potential of a profitable relationship.

The key, then, is in understanding that the relationship between conference technology and the traditional face-to-face isn’t as simple as a dichotomy. While conferencing does help eliminate meeting costs, most significantly the cost of travel, that’s not the primary strength of implementing conferencing video for IT departments. Premium services like Blue Jeans allow businesses to utilize calling technology on a social basis by building a collaborative and inclusive relationship between employees, departments, customers, clients and other businesses alike.

However, while projects can be worked on through video calls, research suggests that the most effective way of coming to important decisions is by doing so in person. This, however, can further be aided through conference technology.

While execs make decisions that affect the entirety of the company, they can preserve inclusivity and transparency by making such meetings public to other employees through online conferencing. The people who have the most say in a project can meet in person, while streaming their discussion to the computer of every department member involved in a project or decision.

This brings together the best of the digital and the physical worlds. However, there’s more to the future and present of conference technology than just meeting augmentation. These have the potential for something else that may be just as disruptive as predictive analysis in the world of IT.

Video Calls and Social Collaboration

Social collaboration sounds like a new industry buzzword, ready to be overused and killed by any app marketer touting the very next in business management and productivity, but it’s much more than just that. According to TechTarget, it simply refers to a project is being worked on by two or more people. However, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Social collaboration is all about utilizing the engagement that social media produces and emulating it in a way that builds a strong workforce relationship through an intranet. Like the internet, an intranet is a digital network exclusive to a business and those under its employ. Outsiders can’t get in legitimately, and it’s meant to be a dashboard for employees to work on and manage their projects together.

Basically, like a social network, every employee gets a profile and access to the content creation system of the intranet. Through it, they can begin, work on and track projects and invite others to work on them. It’s very useful for publishing houses and IT firms alike; from writers to marketers, any task-based company (i.e. all of them) can establish a simple and interactive way to make sense of how the company is doing through social collaboration.

The key to social collab, however, is communication. What better way to collaborate than through a cloud-based HD cooperative call? From file-sharing to project showcases, modern-day conferencing technology integrates perfectly into a social collab platform for your business.

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