by: Suriati Afifi
When companies have to buy something, it has to be approved by management. With the cost of air travel going up, it is only right to justify the use of video conferencing since it is more affordable to do so in the long term.
How do you justify that? Most companies use numbers as their basis in making a decision so if you look at the expense report and notice that a huge chunk is spent on traveling, they will realize that they can cut cost here and use the money saved somewhere else.
But doesn’t video conferencing equipment cost a lot of money and isn’t the system very complex? For a time but this has changed. This is because vendors no longer use ISDN lines and they have now shifted to IP networks. This is the same system used by the Internet thus making it easy to integrate with other systems.
For those who are concerned about how much it costs, the price of video conferencing equipment has gone down through the years making it more affordable for businesses.
A decade ago, a video conferencing system costs $75,000 or even more. Nowadays, you can find one for less than $10,000. Other accessories like a webcam will cost you less than thousand.
As a result, it is no wonder that a consumer report has shown that there was a 22% increase in sales of the equipment in 2006 versus 2005. So although you may need a lot so this can be installed in each office, in the long term it doesn’t because you already have the system in place which is not affected by the price of oil in the world market.
Another way to justify the need for this technology is to do a study by interviewing those who have gone on business trips in the past and ask how well it went. Previous reports have shown that traveling takes a toll on your body due to fatigue and stress. By the time they get to where they are going, their mind is not focused with what needs to be done thus decreasing their productivity.
You can also argue the other benefits of video conferencing like the ability to increase the sales and product development cycles, improve the quality of communications, better delivery of training and coaching to the other offices as well an improvement in the quality of the work after a staff meeting.
There have also been other improvements both in audio and video quality so you get to communicate with the other party in real time. But the best part about such systems is that they are user friendly since most of the systems currently available are menu driven so you don’t need to study a manual inside out and no special expertise is needed.
When management has approved your request, it is time to go out shopping for the right system. Ideally, you should get one that has an audio and video channel but the latest is the kind that allows multi-media communications. This allows the user to send and receive data in a dual stream IP environment.
Do I need to say more to help you justify the need for video conferencing systems? Maybe not so do your research and use the system to your potential.