In the course of digitalization and globalization, collaboration is also becoming more digital. The benefits of the Digital Workplace are numerous, but most importantly, the physical presence of employees at the workplace or customer site is often no longer necessary or has become much more agile. This makes it all the more important to ensure new opportunities for exchange in the digital enterprise as well. Meanwhile, many vendors are filling this gap with a diverse range of telephony, conferencing and collaboration solutions.
We summarize the possibilities, advantages and requirements of modern online meetings and how you can find your way through this jungle of offerings.
KEEPING PACE WITH THE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Companies that continue to cling to old and analog structures are tomorrow’s losers. This is because their employees, who increasingly belong to the generation of digital natives, have their own completely new ideas about an optimal working environment. Digital natives have the opportunity to break away from the old structures and views – because they know what is possible. Companies should definitely keep pace with this digital transformation, because in the meantime, not only is much technically possible – digitalization is also no longer a major hurdle financially. While smart online meetings were very expensive until a few years ago, they are now affordable for every workplace and boardroom.
POSSIBILITIES AND ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE MEETINGS
The financial aspect is not only crucial for the purchase of the solution, but also represents a fundamental advantage of online meetings. This reduces both travel costs and travel time, including the organizational effort required for travel planning. This is true for meetings with customers, but also for companies with multiple locations and international teams. In addition, the space requirements for large conference rooms are reduced in the individual locations/offices. Another valuable cost savings or space that can be put to good use elsewhere.
Modern online meetings also enable closer and more personal collaboration with colleagues at other locations, as well as with customers. In the best case, you can even shorten coordination processes and decision-making paths. In short: Online meetings increase the productivity of your company!
Online meetings revolutionize your business communication
WHAT REQUIREMENTS MUST ONLINE MEETINGS MEET?
To enable companies to exploit all these opportunities, online meetings must be optimally integrated into the corporate structure, its technical equipment and work processes and made usable for employees.
- In order to be of any benefit at all compared to classic telephone conversations and not rather to impair or complicate communication, the transmission quality (video and audio) must be flawless – and this also applies to conferences with several participants.
- For seamless and smooth collaboration as well as communication, screen sharing and co-browsing must be absolutely possible, because a shared view is often worth a thousand words…
- In order for all employees to enjoy the opportunity with Online Meeting, it is imperative to have an intuitive and straightforward UX design. A digital service that costs more time and patience than the analog alternative is highly unlikely to be adopted and integrated into the work process.
- Last but not least, an online meeting, especially in the context of the digital workplace where BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) plays a major role in the equipment, must necessarily be compatible with a wide variety of hardware from all manufacturers, with various operating systems and also be applicable on mobile devices (tablets and smartphones).
YOU CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES
Online meeting solutions range from all-inclusive, yet affordable, to free basic offerings that can be quite sufficient for smaller businesses: GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, Join.me, Google Hangouts Meet, Appear.in, Zoom Meeting, Intermedia, BlueJeans, Lifesize Cloud by Logitech, ClickMeeting, fuze, Slack, … It’s hard to keep track in this jungle!
Our personal favorite is Microsoft Teams, which replaces Skype for Business. And in fact, MS Teams is the easiest solution for many companies if they work with Microsoft Office anyway: Teams is already included in many Office 365 subscriptions. This means that Microsoft Office applications such as e.g. SharePoint Online, OneNote, Word, Excel or PowerPoint can also be used in collaboration mode within teams without any problems. As a result, Teams combines messaging (e.g., Outlook, instant messaging, and WhatsApp), video conferencing, phone calls, and collaborative work on documents into a single easy-to-use and uncluttered application across a wide range of devices. Channels and group chats simplify communication within different teams, groups, locations or even project groups – even across language barriers. This is because automatic translations can be offered as subtitles in the online meeting mode. You can learn more about the benefits of Microsoft Teams here or by contacting us.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to implement modern online meetings in your company. We support you in evaluating the right hardware or software solution, accompany your employees to an optimized way of working, and take responsibility for the operation of the new solution.