Bring Your Organization Together With Telepresence Services

The benefits of video conferencing and telepresence have been known for years. Companies know the advantage of allowing more people, and in remote locations, to attend the same meetings or training sessions. Schools use telepresence to save costs while bringing top professors to a vastly greater number of students than was ever possible before. Medical specialists are able to attend to patients on the other side of the planet.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), for example, uses a telepresence room to connect to ships at sea. This allows for live communication with ships crew and remotely operated vehicles. According to (NOAA) physical scientist Adam Skarke, “… if we’re going somewhere we’ve never been before, we don’t know what we’re going to find. We don’t have enough bunks to bring an expert for everything we find." When an expert in a certain field is needed, he or she can go to the telepresence room to assist in the operation. This video feed is also made available to the public.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), has adopted telepresence on an enormous scale. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal: "Some 300 sessions a day can take place among the 20,000 scientists affiliated with CERN, though they work in institutes scattered around the globe."

As telepresence services have matured, businesses that were once reluctant to adopt the technology are now embracing it. Telepresence is not only getting more affordable, it is also becoming more immersive by adding features for better collaboration. Direct 2-way HD video and audio communication is now becoming standard, letting participants feel they are in a real face-to-face meeting with no video choppiness or time delays. Endpoint devices can be anything from smart phones, tablets or desktop computers, up to large room setups with multiple screens. People who not in the office can attend meetings from almost anywhere.


 


 

Telepresence Has the Potential to Cut Millions of Tons of CO2

This past century has seen emerging communications markets skip an entire generation of technology infrastructure, namely, the wired telephone system. Large portions of the population in countries like India and China now have cell phones in areas that never had traditional landlines. 

If these countries build a transportation infrastructure based on the model in the United States, the emissions could have a major impact on the climate. However, if they choose to skip a generation of infrastructure, emissions growth will be far more manageable. In an effort to do this very thing, China has been investing heavily in modern mass transit, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). They have surpassed the United States in both these areas and yet Americans cling to the outdated model. 

Can we achieve a similar critical dematerialization of communications through telepresence as an effective substitute for much repetitive business travel? We need to do it, and we now have the technology to do it. So my best guess is—to coin a phrase—‘yes we can’.

Paul Dickinson, as CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), used these words to rally his troops behind the telepresence revolution. As part of their ‘yes we can’ attitude the CDP conducted a comprehensive study examining the environmental and economic benefits of using telepresence in the short term, and after long-term, large-scale adoption of this technology. 

The CDP study piggybacked on the Smart 2020 Report that forecasts an emissions savings of 7.8 billion tons of CO2 by 2020 through the smart integration of ICT in the workplace, and personal space. In an effort to better quantify the environmental and financial impact of telepresence, the CDP collected data from 15 of the Global 500 companies that have already upgraded to the telepresence model. 

The CDP concluded that telepresence could avoid millions of tons of CO2. A single business with four telepresence rooms can reduce CO2 emissions by the equivalent of 400 passenger vehicles in the span of five years, 2,271 metric tons. Implementing telepresence throughout the US has the potential to reduce emissions by almost a million metric tons per year. 

Besides the environmental benefits, the CDP study also concluded that deployment of telepresence in businesses with annual revenues of more than $1 billion could see an economy wide financial benefit of $3.5 billion by 2020 and this is in the US alone. 


Basic Setup for a Video Conference: Consideration of Lighting to Presentation Materials

The era of the telepresence meetings has become better than ever now, and we here at Batipi feel our Vidyo service has progressed that even further. Using state-of-the-art technology, we let you do telepresence meetings in amazing clarity to a point where it feels like everyone is in the room together. And while there may be a new protocol developing in what you wear and how you present yourself, how do you basically set up a room so it's presentable during a video conference meeting?

If it's an important business meeting, you may have to set up your room as meticulously as a director would framing a shot for a movie.

Lighting Considerations

When you're about to have a group video conference, how the room looks will make a huge impression on those viewing you. Private point-to-point video conferencing can sometimes be more casual if you know the other business associate well. But a group video conference for an important business deal has to show an impressive setting. That means gearing up the room with the best possible lighting.

While natural lighting might work in some cases, it's best to close all shades on surrounding windows. This prevents the sun from shining in unexpectedly and overpowering the lighting for the camera. Normal office lighting will keep your lighting consistent so those viewing can see you and your employees clearly at all times.

Consideration of Color on Clothing

With the acceptability of more casual clothing in some video conferences, it's still worth going with business casual to be safe. However, as part of the room setup, you have to pay more attention to the color of your clothes. Overly bright colors might not translate well on the camera. The same goes with camera contrast on deep black and white colors.

It's best to go with colors that are more neutral so they don't look distracting to those viewing you on a monitor.

Dealing with Sounds

Nothing is more annoying during a video conference than a sound in the background that distracts from hearing everyone properly. Make sure there isn't any construction sounds or music playing during your important video conference. Also, ask your employees not to tap their fingers or shuffle papers during the conference that the microphone might pick up.

Presenting Information

During a video conference, you'll likely be presenting materials that show information your business associates want to know. We recommend to use a built-in feature that will share your screen with remote participants, as it is too difficult for remote viewers to see your "in-room" presentation materials.  As well, have all the materials ready to present during the meeting so there won't be wasted time finding what you need.

A final part of your setup should involve a plan to move the camera around the room during the meeting to provide variety. Just like in a movie, a video conference can look overly static with the camera staying in one place the entire time.

With these things in mind, visit us or read our blog to see what Vidyo can do in making your video conferences truly satisfying business experiences.

Are Video Calls Changing the Etiquette and Protocol of the Business Meeting?

Video calls are becoming so sophisticated now that the need for physical meetings in companies has been nearly eliminated from the vocabulary. Here at Batipi, we offer hosted teleconferencing services that allows you to confer with anyone around the world thanks to our cloud infrastructure & Vidyo technology. In fact, you can hold meetings while on the go and teleconference on your smartphone or tablet in perfect clarity.

But while you're still physically seen through our video call service, what should you ultimately wear when talking with an important business associate? And should the setting where you hold your teleconference be in a conservative location? There might be acceptance now of being seen in places unimaginable a few years ago.

What Should You Wear During a Video Call?

There may be a tendency to want to dress more casually, depending on the work environment of a particular company. What happens, though, if you hold an important business meeting on Vidyo and those associates are wearing suits? It's probably a good idea to at least dress up a little so you're not caught wearing t-shirts and shorts during an important business deal.

Regardless, you should obviously look into the style of that other company and see what their general clothing choices are before making a decision.

As far as the differences between the genders, Radvision found in studies that women are more apt to dress in business attire than men. Males who get away with shorts in teleconferencing should take heed.

What's the Best Location for a Video Call?

It might seem incomprehensible that 10% of employees polled in the above Radvision study say that the bathroom is an acceptable place to be seen during a teleconference. While that might show that the acceptance of comfort has hit a high point in the video meeting format, should that really become the standard?                                                   

A better setting might be teleconferencing by a pool that was deemed acceptable by 35% of those studied. In fact, a relaxed pool setting could possibly help in closing a business deal to show that business doesn't have to be so buttoned down. The good news about video calls is any kind of setting can ultimately be altered by merely moving to a certain location in the room or setting up a particular backdrop.

Even if the bathroom ultimately becomes an acceptable part of video call protocol, it's unlikely someone will show a certain amenity in that bathroom as part of their physical background.


 

Video Conferencing: A Good Way to Keep Your Meeting from Having a Giant Footprint

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Leaving a large footprint wouldn't be a bad thing if you were Robert Wadlow, the Giant of Illinois. When you're 8' 11.1" tall with a foot that's 17 inches long and a shoe size of 37AA, it's kind of expected.  Just ask the world's tallest living man and the man who currently holds the record for having the largest foot. They'll tell you.

But as everyone knows, the footprints humans leave behind and the ones businesses leave behind are two different things. Both may leave impressions on the Earth, but only one will vanish without leaving a trace. The other can leave traces that will last a lifetime. Because of that, many businesses today are looking for ways they can make their footprints smaller; and one of the ways they're finding is with video conferencing.

Video conferencing is exactly what it sounds like - holding a conference via video options with attendees being in various locations instead of face-to-face in one place. Many businesses are finding that using this method for some of their meetings not only saves them money, but makes them more eco-friendly as well. How? Well, let's take a look and see.

Fewer Carbon Emissions

According to one study, a conference can be responsible for creating more than a ton of carbon dioxide per attendee. How? Between the fossil fuel used to fly the plane that brought the attendee, the fossil fuel used for the attendee to get to and from the airport and around town, and the fossil fuel used to create the electricity for the attendee's hotel room - let's just say it all adds up quickly. Obviously, with a video conference, the need for so much travel is eliminated. The result? The meeting's footprint begins to shrink. 

Less Waste for the Landfill

According to some statistics, the paper making industry around the world uses about 4 billion trees each year with every person in the United States using 749 lbs of it. A lot of that paper eventually winds up in landfills. Traditional conferences are often a part of that scene. Papers get printed and used for a bit and then get thrown away at the end or when the attendee gets home. A video conference eliminates some of those paper needs, meaning less trash for the landfill and a need for a few less trees to be cut. The result? The meeting's footprint shrinks even more. 

More Involvement with Green

Eco-friendly factors like fewer carbon emissions and less waste may be the biggest and most direct green advantages to video conferencing, but they aren't the only ones. Less travel and fewer printouts also mean less money being spent overall on the conference. How is that green? Well, less money spent on a conference means more money available for making the company greener. Efforts here could offset the conference's remaining footprint even more. The result? A footprint that so small, you might need a magnifying glass to see it.

 

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