Norwegian company Tandberg has expanded its Profile Series with new videoconferencing hardware unveiled last week. As some shareholders resist Cisco's offer to purchase the company for $3 billion, this adds fuel to the argument that Tandberg is more than able to generate strong returns as an independent company.
What caught my interest was the new entry-level Profile 42-inch which is a system targeted at small and medium businesses. According to the press release, a selling point of the Profile 42-inch is its ease of setup and use, coupled with its support for full HD-resolution video in a point-to-point call. The other new products would be the Profile 65-inch and the Profile 65-inch Dual video collaboration systems, which are positioned to serve larger groups in meeting rooms, board rooms or even auditoriums.
So why would an SMB want to consider using videoconferencing? Without going into specific systems or vendor offerings, I list out some arguments for videoconferencing below.
Regular followers of this blog would no doubt have noticed that I am a staunch advocate of using multiple monitorsfor enhanced productivity. Bill Gates is known to use three monitors at work. But what does videoconferencing have to do with using multiple monitors, you ask?
The key here has to do with productivity. A lot more nuances and unspoken intentions can be communicated visually than with a voice-only system. Video can result in clearer communications and limit the potential for misunderstandings. At the end of the day, this translates to higher overall productivity.
Like the use of multiple monitors though, the greater productivity resulting from the use of videoconferencing has to be experienced to be appreciated -- so give it a try today.
In scenarios where face-to-face meetings are necessary, videoconferencing allows the parties involved to meet without incurring travel expenses. Be it from halfway across the world, from a different state, or just on the other side of town, the reduction in travel quickly stacks up to more time spent on actual work.
And of course, cutting down on travel is always good when you're concerned about reducing your carbon footprint.
Compared with a large corporation with deep pockets for travel reimbursement, an SMB often finds itself with far fewer resources that it can bring into play. Videoconferencing is one of those technologies that brings a multiplier effect to the table for SMBs.
Assuming judicious investment in the right solution, small and medium businesses with multiple offices can now afford to "meet" where it might have been totally out of question in the past. Second- or third-stage interviews, briefings from vendors or suppliers, more regular meetings with remote staffers - these are now options now options to SMBs open to videoconferencing.