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What Is Video Conferencing?

The modern workplace consists of geographically dispersed colleagues and teams eager to optimize their day-to-day interactions. This is vital in a corporate world that depends on teamwork and collaboration to make the next big whatever a reality. For some companies, that means adopting collaboration solutions like video conferencing. Video conferencing is a subset of web calling technology, a collaboration solution that enables users to place calls via an internet browser, desktop, mobile, or video device. Users can transmit live video during a video conference to provide much-needed visual interactions with colleagues, benefitting users at all levels of an organization and across all departments.

What are the benefits of video conferencing solutions?

Why are we turning to video conferencing software? Look around your office. Are the colleagues you work with most often sitting next to you? Or are they working in a different city, or even a different time zone? Chances are pretty high that the answer is the latter, creating challenges in workplace communication and collaboration.

Video conferencing benefits include improved team collaboration and idea sharing that enable workers to communicate as if they were together in person, even if they’re not. The ease of scheduling a video conference means teams can easily meet on virtually any schedule regardless of location. With teams dispersed in various locations, sharing face time with one another humanizes communication and forms bonds.

Adding a visual component to meetings with video conferencing leads to increased team engagement both during and after meetings. Video enables users to see non-verbal cues that can be missing from audio-only calls and provides enlightening insights into conversations. Because you can join a video call from anywhere on just about any device, companies can dramatically reduce travel costs and training budgets.

How can I use video conferencing at work?

On an average workday, you can use video conferencing to collaborate with your colleagues in a number of ways:

  • Weekly status meeting
  • Project kick-off
  • New employee training
  • Quick brainstorming session
  • Customer sales pitch
  • Product concept review
  • Managerial 1:1 meeting
  • Connect remote classrooms

What are the components of a video conferencing system?

Depending on your office setup, the components of a video conferencing system can be relatively easy to come by, which is one of the reason video calls have become so ubiquitous. The first component of a modern video conferencing system is software. Scheduling and initiating any video calls is done within the software via the desktop, mobile or video device. Your web conferencing solution might have video capabilities for enterprise collaboration users, as well. Some offices have dedicated video conference rooms with high-definition cameras and video screens that are specially designed to track and frame speakers during meetings and presentations. You also need a secure, fast internet connection.

However, you don’t even need to have a special meeting room or complex set up to use video conferencing in your workplace. Video conferencing services are designed to work with desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, as well as standalone webcams and microphones and room set ups, to bring people together in the same virtual rooms. Many smartphones with built-in cameras have a native video calling app installed – think iPhone’s FaceTime. This is music to the ears of the 3.9 million U.S. workers who telecommute at least part-time, according to a 2017 study.

Make communication more human

Adding video conferencing to your everyday meetings can elevate your team’s deliverables while helping trim operational budgets and costs. In a time of increasingly distributed organizations, bringing people together with a shared video experience can help them create bonds and add a human element to communications.

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Learn more about Cisco products and solutions related to video conferencing.