Video Conferencing For Dummies

There's a reason that so many companies want their employees in the office - rich collaboration. But finding great talent means having to look in far away locations. To ensure collaboration doesn't suffer, these same companies turn to video conferencing. If you aren't sure what video conferencing is or want to know how to get the most out of it, this video conferencing for dummies guide just for you. You'll learn the basics of video conferencing why its important for businesses and the software aspects that make it work.

Video Conferencing 101

Technology has advanced to the point that companies are no longer restricted to finding employees locally. Video conferencing has basically opened up the world of employee talent to businesses. Remote workers use to be restricted to email, chat, and phone for collaboration. This often led to less remote working. However, with all the improvements in video conferencing, the tide has turned.

How does video conferencing work and how does it improve communication? To get started with video conferencing, you need a camera that can stream video. Most computers and nearly all laptops come with built-in cameras. You use to have to install special software for the camera to stream. That's no longer necessary. Whatever app you're using, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, etc., it is aware of the camera and takes care of all the behind the scenes technical stuff.

To start a video conference call, you need to be in a specific app (like those mentioned above). Then you'll often click a camera button to start video conferencing. This will connect your camera and audio. People on the other side can now see and hear.  Most communications software will include chat, file sharing, and whiteboards, which all greatly enhance the experience.

If you're communicating by email or phone, the overall quality of the communication experience is not as rich as it is with video. With email, for example, you can't see any visual cues. Sometimes you both start talking at the same time because you can't see that the other person is about to respond. Seeing someone adds lots of visual cues that aren't there in email or phone conversations.

James Bigelow and Amy Poremba, two researchers from the University of Iowa, who wrote a paper on the shortcomings of auditory modality that was published in Science Daily, sum up the benefits of video communication, "As it turns out, there is merit to the Chinese proverb 'I hear, and I forget; I see, and I remember."

Like any technology, video conferencing can have issues. Two of the most common are no camera or no audio. Reconnecting through the communications software will usually solve these problems. But if not, there are lots of video conferencing troubleshooting guides available on the Internet that can help.

Software Required For Video Conferencing

As mentioned in the previous section, most communications software will recognize your camera. There isn't anything you need to do. Video conferencing has become more of a feature rather than something you need to install separately.

For example, if you're running a call center and want to use video conferencing, check that the call center software has this feature. If not, you can usually find a stand-alone video conferencing app. This solution probably won't provide a seamless integration with your call center communications software but it will allow your reps to use video conferencing.

Many cloud communications providers include video conferencing as a primary component of their offering. This inclusion means you'll get the best video conferencing integration with your call center software. This has a few advantages:

  • Integration with the communication software's CRM
  • Integration with the call manager
  • Easily switch from voice to video calls
  • Recording and archiving of video calls into your communications software

As you can see, an all-in-one communications solution provides the largest number of benefits. The main reason is because all of the apps are designed to play well together. Video conferencing is just one of those apps but it is an important one if you are wanting to enhance your overall communication.

Collaboration is key to the success of any business. Easily collaborate from anywhere on any device using the most integrated video and audio conferencing with HD quality and instant screen sharing. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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