Imagine beginning a meeting with an international vendor before working hours on your mobile device from your kitchen table, continuing in voice-only mode during your commute, and finishing up in your corporate boardroom with access to presentation materials right at your fingertips? Today’s technology makes this timesaving scenario possible, and represents just one of the many conveniences of mobile video conferencing.
Tempted to deploy such a system in your own organization? That’s not surprising. From Facetime to Instagram, people incorporate mobile video into their everyday lives easily. Bringing this popular form of communication to the workplace increases productivity, gives workers more flexibility, and enables real-time collaboration from anywhere—at any time.
Several factors come into play before an organization can effectively implement mobile video conferencing. Business owners and IT directors should consider:
- • Will my employees readily embrace mobile video conferencing?
• What additional technology do I need to successfully deploy mobile video conferencing?
• What’s the best app to meet my organization’s needs?
Here’s what organizations need to know before engaging in mobile video conferencing.
Survey Says … Mobile Use on the Rise
Millennials and Gen-Xers thrive in a flexible environment with fluid work hours and increasing mobility, and smartphones and tablets help make this possible. Global tablet sales could top 375 million units in 2016, according to Forrester research, with one-third of those tablets purchased for business use. And of 1,100 small business owners surveyed by the Small Business Authority, 55 percent plan to use a tablet or other mobile device in the future, while 45 percent list a tablet as their next technology purchase.
A highly collaborative, mobile workforce thrives with technology that enables real-time, visual communication from anywhere in the world.
What You Need to Deploy Mobile Video Conferencing
With the growth of high-quality, low-cost mobile video conferencing technology, workers can collaborate remotely using only the devices they have on hand—their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. However, IT directors and chief information officers face some challenges when deploying secure, professional mobile video conferencing solutions. Security considerations, compatibility across platforms, and the quality of the user experience all influence an organization’s choice in mobile video conferencing apps.
Bandwidth and Security Considerations
Today’s workforce isn’t always tethered to their desks and your company’s secure, consistent Wi-Fi signal. For a seamless video conferencing experience without annoying buffering effects, ensure participants have access to a strong signal—either 4G or a secure wireless network.
Fortunately, bandwidth is fairly affordable, even in the quantities required for today’s robust video conferencing solutions. If your employees are using their own devices, ensure they have a data plan to accommodate video conferencing demands.
With workers signing in from their own homes, coffee houses, and on the road, it’s important to establish standards for Internet security. Discourage employees from signing on to public Wi-Fi networks. Consider providing mobile “hotspot” connections that let employees bring a wireless signal with them wherever they go, reducing security and bandwidth concerns. Consider also video conference solutions that offer encryption and other security measures as part of the package, which takes the burden off the conference participants to find a secure signal.
Inside your office, your IT staff might consider infrastructure upgrades to ensure network speed, reliability, and security to accommodate the video conferencing capabilities you need.
Compatibility and Scalability in Mobile Video Conferencing
A variety of options exist for mobile video conferencing, from Skype for Business to more robust platforms that transition easily from your employee’s breakfast table right into the boardroom. Consider the scalability of the system as your workforce grows.
Also evaluate the system’s user-friendliness. Most employees today are fairly tech-savvy, but an intuitive user experience is important for anyone on the go. An effective mobile video conferencing app should work on Windows, Android, and iOS platforms with little difference in user experience.
How Mobile Video Conferencing Increases Productivity
It may cost money upfront to deploy an effective, high definition, professional quality mobile video conferencing system. But business owners and technology professionals who evaluate not just the costs, but also the benefits, realize they can’t afford not to keep pace with the latest video conferencing technology.
From recruiting tech-savvy talent to collaborating with customers across the world, failure to deploy an effective video conferencing system represents lost opportunities. On the other hand, a high-quality system can help a business work more efficiently, expand its borders, and grow in size and revenue.