All business communications that had to travel across long distance used to be done via phones and operators. Then, it became fax machines. Finally, cell phones became the big thing to everyone in the business world. And for a short while there, Blackberry's in particular rule those of us who carry a briefcase.
But a new challenger to their communication throne has arrived in the last several years, and increases in its technology, along with better bandwidth, makes it all the more likely to continue growing through this year. I am of course discussing VOIP, otherwise known as Video Over Internet Protocol, or Videoconferencing.
Is Videoconferencing right for your business? That can be a difficult question to answer, since it depends on a lot of variables. But let's go over the pros and cons of the item at hands.
The Pros of Videoconferencing
Videoconferencing when it works, can seem magical. After all, you're talking to someone thousands of miles away as if they were in the same room. You can finally see expressions on people's faces, and understand their emotions a lot better than a phone ever delivered. Did you ever try to be sarcastic on the phone, and have it come off the wrong way because the other end of the line could not judge your body language cues through audio-only? Video conferencing can easily solve that issue.
It's also perfect if something on your end of the line needs to be shown. This can be as beautiful as a skyline, or as simple as a couple of papers. What's important to note is that new technology has allowed screens to be shared as well. Which means that even if you're moving computer files or PowerPoints back and forth, you can be discussing those while side-by-side with the files themselves.
But not everything is perfect in the videoconferencing world.
The Cons of Videoconferencing.
Videoconferencing does its own fair share of weaknesses. Let's go over the most obvious one first – without a strong internet connection, videoconferencing is essentially impossible. Improperly timed audio, blurry frames, skipped motion, or even dropped calls are all possibilities, particularly when you're video conferencing on Wi-Fi. It's a much better idea to ensure you're on a wired connection.
In addition, because the other caller can see you, it increases the chance for you to mess something up that they can catch. Maybe it's an exclusive guest walking into your office, or a smirk you give when you say something – impossible to catch on the phone, but easy to spot when videoconferencing.
Should You Use Videoconferencing?
What's most important to remember is it's up to the situation. If you have a strong internet connection, and are confident in your abilities, then yes, you should!