Companies Drop Email in Favor of Direct Communication Tools

According to CBC News, Italian sports car maker Ferrari delivered an eyebrow raising directive to their employees earlier this month: Sending the same email to more than three in-house recipients is no longer allowed. In the message sent to its employees, Ferrari cited time wastage and inefficiency as the impetus behind the new order. It stated:

The injudicious sending of emails with dozens of recipients often on subjects with no relevance to most of the latter is one of the main causes of time wastage and inefficiency in the average working day in business.

Simply stated, the email regulation encourages employees to talk more and write less

Ferrari is not the only company to recognize the importance of direct communication and restructure the workplace to facilitate it. Atos, a global technology firm, announced a zero email initiative in 2011 with plans to phase out email--and adopt replacement tools such as video conferencing--completely by 2014. Atos chief executive, Thierry Breton, had estimated that barely 10% of the 200 internal emails employees received per day were useful. In fact, Breton likened email to "pollution" in an otherwise productive day. 

Less typing means more talking!

Less typing means more talking!

In a March 2013 update on the changes, The Connected Business reported ongoing and significant success. Since 2011, Atos employees have trimmed email and adopted more cloud-based collaboration tools that facilitate real-time communication. The IT firm expects to see complete obsoletion of internal emails by the end of 2013, with the eventual goal of zero emails--internal and external--in 2014.

The move away from email and toward more collaborative communication technology started much earlier. Consider a study published by Wainhouse Research in 2005, The Business Case for Video Conferencing. In this study, authors Andrew W. Davis and Ira M. Weinstein stated that although email had at one time been an important technological development and served its users well, by 2005, it had become so day-to-day that it was bothersome. Everyone used email for everything, whether it was of value or not. The study suggests, even eight years ago, that a natural evolution was nudging us away from email toward more advanced real-time communication technology.

The authors of the Wainhouse study reported what we, Atos, and Ferrari know now: that real-time communication like video conferencing, cuts email clutter, increases productivity, improves problem solving, and adds purpose to our interactions. The trend will only continue. Are you on board with the right tools?

Video Conferencing: Guaranteed to Save You Time and Money!!!

“I want a driveway so long you couldn’t see the end of it even if you were 26.1 miles into running a marathon on it. But why would you run? That’s why my clone will have invented teleportation.
”  ― Jarod KintzThis Book Has No Title

Networking with a variety of companies is said to be diverse, but meetings, interviews, and conferences in various locations and at different times can become very overwhelming. For a moment you may just need to close your eyes and imagine how convenient the future would be for the business  professional; entrepreneur, or the small business owner, to show up in a timely manner to  all relevant business functions; a startup event, a workshop, or a private monthly meeting, through teleporting.

Presently, we are not in the future. But video conferencing can get you set up in a meeting with colleagues, and other business associates, in a professional fashion. As pretentious as teleportation may sound right now; telepresence  allows  communication by simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions. Depending on the provider of this telecommunication service, video conferencing is available at anytime in a high definition video resolution.  Moreover, you can know expect immersive communication similar to your experiences during an in-person meeting. Guaranteed is less travel, as well as creating and maintaining competitive advantages; once investing in video conferencing. The business must disperse at some point, as it expands, and also increase its productivity. There is really no need to depend on non verbal visual cues through phone, e-mail, instant messaging (IM), or other work applications; you and the participant(s) in the meeting are focused now more on the conversation because you can be seen and heard.

So while scientists continue to work on breaking down the technical side of teleportation, we have communication tools available today that can put us in more then one place at one time.  Phone and email may not be a substitute for business travel requirements, however, video conferencing now offers are true alternative to in person meetings.  A best practice that could allow you to run your business more lean and improve communication internally and with clients. 

Communication Considerations for Video Conferencing Remotely

Video conferencing has opened up a world of possibilities for people working together across different time zones and geographic locations. Holding video conferences reduces the need for expensive business travel, which alone can justify the investment with setting up dedicated telepresence rooms at branch offices.  The technology of video conferencing is more user-friendly than ever before, allowing participants to connect from their desktop or mobile device. 

User adoption should be one of the key strategies when deploying video conferencing as a tool

Ok so the technology makes sense, however, it's another story successfully deploying this tool to a workforce.  Many participants report uncertainty in terms of the communication protocol.  Amazingly enough, some users have never used video conferencing to-date, so there is a level of comfort required before they fully embrace this new technology.

Having an effective, productive video conference involves several factors such as cultural differences, time zone considerations and the use of point-to-point versus multipoint conferencing. People from different countries and regions have varying verbal communication styles even when all are speaking the same language. Some may consider interrupting acceptable because it indicates involvement and enthusiasm. Others may find it noticeably rude. Although video conferencing is an excellent option when face-to-face meetings are not possible, these communication style differences still do not go away.

Tip: act the same way you would during a face-to-face meeting while participating in a video conference

Probably best not to try this.

From the clothes you wear, being attentive to participants, and normal pleasantries conveyed in a meeting are also considerations for meeting online during a video conference. 

 

 

Invest in your peripheral equipment for a better experience

Equipment is another factor to consider when setting up video conferencing sessions. Participants in different geographic locations may have different operating systems and installed software that affects the sound and images of a video conference. A manager organizing such a conference can work with these issues ahead of time by issuing an emailed memo to all participants detailing which hardware or software they will need.

Projecting clear audio is paramount for a successful video conference.  Participants can be connected from home offices, cafes, or from their office workstation in an open work area.  In these scenarios, back ground noise may be a distraction to your meeting.  Using a USB headset can eliminate these distractions, plus it keeps your attention focused on the meeting.  Other options such as, echo-cancelling desktop microphones work extremely well, without having to wear a headset and looking like the pilot in your meeting.

Tip: use the active speaker layout

Active speaker layout presents the person speaking in the larger center window frame

Voice activated display is a feature that can be used throughout a group meeting.  This layout option will display the active speaker in a larger center window frame.  Again, it will help to keep the attention on the speaker at hand.   

 

 

Most importantly, include all staff in the primary reasons to implement video conferencing as a tool in your company.  If the technology will be saving your business x amount of dollars, be sure to let them know this and keep them updated as more efficiencies are discovered.  Keeping all engaged will help encourage more usage, which means less travel expenditures, and less time typing emails!


How Telepresence Services Can Help You

With all the changes in technology today, it is now easier to reach out to people around the world without the cost and time constraints of travel. Instead, you can easily see and hear someone who is on the other side of the world in an instant with the help of a telepresence service. Learning when telepresence can save you time and money will allow you to choose if it is the right step to meet your needs.

Business Meetings

Whether you are meeting with an important client or it is a company meeting with employees in different locations, it isn't always easy to coordinate the meeting. If some of the meeting members are dispersed throughout the city or even around the globe, someone will have to spend the time and money traveling to another location. Holding the meeting with a telepresence service for those who are farther away can provide you with the chance to reach out without requiring the travel.

Online Education

More colleges are offering online options for people who want to attend school, from elementary school all the way up to college programs, even graduate schools. A telepresence service can help you set up online classes where the students attend virtually instead of coming into class. This can be a great way to provide students with the flexibility they desire without sacrificing the critical interactions between students and professors.

Business Conferences and Presentations

Similar to business meetings, conferences and presentations often used to mean travel for at least some of the attendees. This travel was often paid for or reimbursed by the business, leading to increased costs. In addition, those who had to travel missed time from work, which can lead to lower levels of productivity. When these employees are allowed to use a telepresence service to attend these conferences and presentations, it saves the business money, allows the employee to continue working before and after the event, and increases productivity.

A telepresence service can be a great way for you to reach out effortlessly to those you couldn't previously reach. Whether you wish to use this technology for business meetings, business conferences or online classes, it creates the ability for everyone to be right in the room, regardless of their actual location.

 

VidyoMobile: The Must-Have App for Your Mobile Workforce

"Connectivity is like oxygen for today's mobile workers. The improved ability to work anywhere as long as they are connected appears to be driving higher productivity. This reinforces the need for IT departments to provide services that ensure high quality, safe and affordable global connectivity for their employees," -- MarketWired.

The new mobility required of today's workforce demands new strategies for properly equipping those workers.

Picture the following scenario. Your primary client just offered you the largest contract your business has ever seen -- providing you can deliver his or her request quickly. It's the opportunity of a lifetime, and passing it up is unthinkable.

You've got the staff and the expertise to fulfill this request, but unfortunately, they're currently scattered across the globe. Perhaps your best IT folks are in the office, but half of your marketing department is at a leading industry conference in Mumbai, your Research and Development head is working from home, and your go-to employee from Accounting is on vacation.

Your key players all have different mobile devices, and you need them on a video conference call in an hour, or the deal disintegrates. What do you do?

Do you have a solution?

With the free VidyoMobile app installed on your workers' devices, you're all set. Whether Andriod or iOS based, VidyoMobile allows your scattered employees to digitally meet face to face at a moment's notice.

Because VidyoMobile can connect via Wifi, 3G, or 4G, your team can assemble despite the fact that they each may have to access wireless connectivity using different protocols. Your now quickly assembled team will enjoy the seamless integration with your Vidyo subscription services delivered by Batipi.

Don't let that once-in-a-lifetime contract elude you due to inability to quickly and efficiently assemble your team, regardless of their physical location or mobile device.

To get started using the VidyoMobile feature with your account, have users download the respective application for iOS and Android, from their mobile or tablet device.  Each user will require their account login details, such as, the portal url, along with the username and password.  Contact us for more detailed instructions.

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