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Video collaboration and business continuity


Video collaboration and business continuity

by Michael Tomkins, Chief Technology Officer


Business continuity means minimizing disruption and keeping your business running smoothly in the face of adversity.


Disaster can strike at any time, and this has been made abundantly clear with the globally devastating and ongoing effects of the COVID-19 outbreak that began in Wuhan China.


While China has begun lifting some of their ‘lockdown’ restrictions, the ramifications are being felt around the globe. The worst health crisis in years has brought about fear and uncertainty for businesses from North America to Asia that depend on trade in the affected region.


What a global epidemic means for the economy

The virus has caused businesses to review corporate travel policies. It has forced organizations to shut down offices, and mandate remote working for employees, and in doing so, has placed an enormous strain on IT infrastructure and systems. Many countries are reassessing their economic forecasts, as hundreds of firms warn of disruptions to their supply chains and a decline in consumer demand.


While this blanket of gloom hovers over global economics, it brings to light the fact that video and voice communication technologies have never been more crucial to an organization’s ability to continue its operations.


Video communication could save businesses from decline in a crisis

Unified communication and collaboration (UCC) is a growing and important factor in the sustainability of many businesses. During this global crisis, it has almost overnight become the only way to achieve continuity and productivity.


If an organization’s UCC platform is well set up, with the correct monitoring and troubleshooting processes in place, then the end result will be minimal disruption and the means to deliver close to the same level of service to clients.


There is no doubt that video collaboration and tele-conferencing specifically, can play a big role in mitigating operational impact in unforeseen circumstances. Video conferencing is a way of being there for your clients when you can’t be there physically.


Video conferencing solutions enable the leaders of an organisation to communicate with colleagues and clients in any part of the world - in high definition, real-time video feeds. They enable continued collaboration and bring together, creating possibilities that may not be feasibly achieved otherwise.


Communication needs to be as rich and flawless as possible. When negotiating and making crucial decisions, leaders and decision-makers need to engage on almost the same level as if they were face-to-face. They need to get a feel for how others are responding emotionally as well as intellectually. Assessing micro-expressions and judging the nuances of body language are imperative.


While video conferencing solutions are proving to be the most functional way to communicate between parties, they also enhance a company’s image by showing a commitment to forward planning and the adoption of technology.


Moving forward

The advent of this latest crisis is serious, there is no question. But it has encouraged many businesses to double down on their investments in video conferencing and UC solutions.


Potentially, businesses can slow down any losses by saving money on transport costs and investing travelling time in other areas.


Video conferencing and collaboration tools are helping companies stay afloat during the mass disruption. Usage of Cisco’s collaboration platform, Webex, has surged. Microsoft has seen a 775% increase in use of its cloud services. Zoom’s stock price is soaring.


Conducting a meeting from the comfort of your own office or home may not necessarily be ‘better’ than a face-to-face meeting, but it minimises disruption when disaster strikes, ensures continuity - and demonstrates problem-solving skills to clients and potential investors.


Video conferencing technology is more affordable than it was in the past, and many platforms are currently offering free or extended solutions to help people stay connected. It makes good business sense to integrate video collaboration and communication solutions as a part of everyday business and a means to save time and money. But as businesses worldwide are discovering, having video conferencing in place as part of a business continuity strategy is vital.


One thing that has been proven by the current health crisis is that the fundamental basis of the most essential business systems is the ability to communicate.


As UC ecosystems become more complex and the demand for a seamless user experience increases, the need for high up-time, fast problem resolution and proactive problem resolution has never been more critical.

Webinar: Keep the modern workforce connected

Unified Communications has always been an important part of companies' digital transformation efforts due to its ability to enable rich virtual collaboration and communication. But with COVID-19, we've reached a break-through point.

Join Bill Haskins, Sr. Analyst & Partner, Unified Communications at Wainhouse Research, and John Ruthven, CEO at IR discuss UC challenges companies are experiencing due to the COVOID-19 crisis.

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