October 18, 2019
How to Kill a Video Collaboration Pilot
Keep away from these easily avoidable mistakes to ensure that your video project won’t just survive — it will thrive.
Most organizations that invest in a new video collaboration system are looking for a way to connect teams in different offices, enable remote work and bring a level of personalization and collaboration to their users that simply isn’t possible with voice-only communication. But if you’re interested in not achieving any of those benefits, then this is the guide for you!
Obviously, I’m joking. But the serious truth is that many organizations really do make a number of easily avoidable mistakes that thwart their video collaboration initiatives and prevent them from getting maximum value out of their investments. By recognizing these missteps, business and IT leaders can avoid them and set their own video collaboration environments up for success.
Here are five surefire ways to tank a video collaboration effort:
Deploy Clunky Hardware
Many of today’s software-based video collaboration solutions allow organizations to select and deploy whatever cameras, video displays and other hardware they want. That’s great, but if an organization opts for extremely basic equipment — which may perform poorly and be difficult to use — those choices can kill a video pilot before it has even had a chance to get off the ground. If you don’t deploy the right hardware to support videoconferencing, end users will be frustrated, and many will simply not employ the solution.
Skip Call-Back Features
Audio is, arguably, the most important component of a video collaboration system. (If you can’t hear what people are saying, it really doesn’t matter how clearly you can see their faces.) One way to ensure crisp audio is to opt for the call-back feature offered by most video collaboration vendors. With this feature, users can have the system call their phones, ensuring that the connection happens through a public switched telephone network, which typically produces clearer sound than audio connections through the IT network. Call-back features also create a frictionless experience for users, as they automatically sync users’ video and audio, and also prevent employees from having to enter long access codes to join a meeting. But because this feature costs extra, many organizations skip it. That’s a mistake.
Treat Every Conference Room the Same
Smaller conference rooms need wide-angle cameras because users will likely be sitting close to the lens. Larger rooms, on the other hand, may require cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom to automatically follow the action. These larger rooms may also require more microphones, along with noise-canceling technology. Putting the wrong tools in the wrong rooms will lead to a subpar user experience.
Fail to Align Policy with Technology
There’s little point in supporting video collaboration for users who already work face to face each day. If a company doesn’t already have a policy in place to encourage remote work, the deployment of a video system provides a prime opportunity to adopt one. Remote work can improve employee satisfaction (and even productivity) and can also provide a powerful incentive for workers to quickly become expert users of a video collaboration system.
Don’t Get Company Leaders on Board
This is a big one. I’ve seen companies spend large sums on video collaboration systems, only to hold video meetings where executives dial in on audio alone (perhaps due to uncombed hair or the fact that they haven’t yet changed out of their pajamas). Often, these same leaders will spend an entire day traveling to meet with someone in person, and yet they aren’t spending the few minutes necessary to prepare for a video call. When this happens, employees throughout the organization get the message that video collaboration isn’t important, and that they don’t need to use it. If you’re looking to kill your video collaboration initiative, there’s no faster way.