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Drawbacks of the Future
Psychological. You may need to train people to change the way they think about meetings and make them aware that this new technology provides the same benefits as most face-to-face gatherings.
For some top-level discussions and sensitive negotiations, live interaction remains critical. And, of course, some customers will insist on being able to look you in the eye during a business deal. Sometimes, people just want the human touch and a handshake.
Technological. There are still flaws. Like cell phones, the effectiveness can sometimes be spotty and disconcerting. Monitors often have split screens and new users might be distracted by their own image. Delayed audio can make conversations seem awkward and frame speeds can produce images that look robotic and jerky.
As a result, more and more companies are focusing on video technology. Once relegated to the boardrooms of the Fortune 500, lower price tags and improved technology are bringing the web cam into smaller businesses.
If you want to trim your company's travel budget, boost productivity or improve staff communication, zoom in on videoconferencing. Here are five considerations you can put a price tag on.
1. Travel costs. Include airfare, hotels, car rentals, taxis, meals and entertainment. Then, factor in the cost of unproductive time, including hours spent scheduling and preparing. You get the picture. The savings can be enormous.
2. Strategic gains. Video meetings can help you accelerate the development of new products and the time it takes to bring them to market. Technology lets you gather the right people, make prompt decisions, resolve problems quickly, increase response time and perform joint research — all at a moment's notice.
Whatever your needs, it's worth looking at this technology and discussing it with your staff, technology advisors and customers. You may find yourself sharpening the resolution of your business dealings and putting your company on fast forward — at a fraction of the cost you pay now.