Internal experts who possess specialised knowledge or drive thought leadership are a valuable asset to any business. These individuals help train employees and partners, guide customers through complex purchases and build the company’s reputation through media and event participation. Effectively deploying this group to best advantage is a perennial organisational challenge.
Expertise Goes Virtual
Videoconferencing is transforming the way people find and interact with experts by lowering the cost of access and improving productivity. For example, last October, NASA held a month-long virtual summit attended by hundreds of agency employees from all over the United States. Attendees enjoyed broad access to peers and senior leaders, participating in meetings and information exchanges while saving $750,000 (€574,316) in travel costs.
Travel cost savings are often cited as a business driver of videoconferencing, yet video can also inspire, engage and transform how businesses work.
Consider these use cases:
- An epidemiologist conducting research is no longer limited to local study participants. The ability to evaluate people via video opens up a global pool of candidates, helping researchers identify and respond to patterns and trends faster.
- Students can take courses from educators at leading universities worldwide (in some instances, for free ), providing access to a learning experience otherwise beyond their reach.
- The Red Cross depends on videoconferencing to manage the agency’s disaster response by establishing connections with people in the affected region. It also offers free videoconferencing centres to help disaster victims and military personnel connect with family and loved ones.
[ White Paper: Extending the Business Value of Videoconferencing with Microsoft Lync 2013 ]
Video Builds Creative Connections
While improvements in efficiency and productivity are part of the business case for videoconferencing, its real value often lies in connecting people for greater innovation. Expanding access to your company’s thought leaders should be evaluated based on how likely an interaction is to spark new business opportunities. Ask yourself whether an interaction is likely to:
- Produce a better product. Manufacturing companies can use videoconferencing to connect suppliers and plant managers with engineers and specialists when a product is defective, allowing them to identify whether the issue is created by a defective part or process error or pinpoint a flaw in the design.
- Benefit the expert. Product specialists may benefit from delivering new product training to salespeople who can share relevant customer information.
- Improve decision making. In a professional services company, consultants might partner with customer service in using the right incentives to persuade clients to renew or expand a client’s contract.
With improvements in collaboration technology, smart businesses are moving video beyond the boardroom and making it truly pervasive—connecting all employees, partners and suppliers. Solutions enabling videoconferencing from any device give a wide range of stakeholders’ one-click access to experts, building connections that are transforming how businesses operate on a daily basis.