Video Calling in the 90s
Take yourself back 20 years if you can.
Video conferencing had exploded onto the tech scene in the mid-nineties with the emergence of web cams, but lack or absence of an internet connection left the whole idea of video conferencing relatively moot. A nice idea, but no real infrastructure there to support it.
Hurtling into the new millennium, video conferencing applications began to make themselves known. I remember being filled with wonder at the prospect of being able to video call with friends and family across the world.
One that would allow me to start beaming my face out around the world. Within seconds I was met with a grainy picture of my friend. Like a Picasso their features were all present and correct, yet slightly rearranged.
Quitting the call. I was left unimpressed. However, I could see the potential.
Down through the years with the advent of camera phones I resolutely downloaded the application and tried again. However grainy images and poor sound sent me scampering back to the comfort and safety of a good old-fashioned audio call.
Following on from these experiences my faith in video calling was practically non-existent. When a friend suggested ‘Skyping’ I would actively discourage it, as I always felt that it was simply not good enough.
ISDM Solutions Reintroduces Me to Video
Fast forward to 2016 when I interviewed for ISDM Solutions.
I was greeted by the CEO who led me into a meeting room, A video conferencing system was stationed in the corner. The man who was to become my boss was based across the water in South East England, and it was important that he was brought into the meeting. Rory Brannigan (ISDM CEO) produced an iPhone and I assumed we would have a call over loudspeaker. Not ideal but perfectly acceptable to me.
Alas, he set the iPhone on the table and proceeded to tap the touch panel on the table between us. “I’ll just get Andy up on video” he informed me.
Panic flooded through me. No! I thought. How am I supposed to make a good impression in front of my would be boss with a video call? Nightmare scenarios flashed before my eyes of blocky imagery and mismatched audio. I was willing Rory to change his mind and pick up the iPhone. Video Conferencing? Is this man crazy? Come on let’s just do an audio call, you can trust an audio call.
Within seconds the image of my future boss was sat in front of us. Sitting in his home office 400 miles away. Spread across the 55 inches of the screen, the picture was crystal clear, the audio was perfect and the meeting was a great success.
I walked away from that initial meeting. My mind forever changed in relation to the power of video collaboration.
I have worked with people across England and the USA as part of my job over video. We share content and ideas, and it really feels that we have conquered the enemy of distance.
So often people move to places that they are not overly attracted to, owing to a great job opportunity. The great thing about ISDM Solutions is that for the most part you can live wherever you like.
I have had meetings with individuals in the USA, UK and beyond. We are all simultaneously working together, the meetings are useful and productive and we are not having to invest in cumbersome and expensive travel to get things done.
Video Collaboration Benefits Employees and Employers
Video for employees is highly beneficial.
It can increase job satisfaction and morale as they can choose where to work and enjoy a greater work/life balance.
Personal connections are improved as the ability to gauge reactions reduces the chance of misinterpretation and miscommunication.
Employers can reduce travel costs.
An Aberdeen Group survey found that video increases revenue, as approximately 20% of business to business video contacts moved to a sales funnel with an average deal size of £500,000 or more.
Hiring can also be streamlined as video allows for a more effective screening of candidates. This can also work in favour of the candidate as they can present themselves better via video.
General communication is greatly improved as body language makes up a significant amount of the conversation. Long distance relationships with customers, colleagues and partners can be better nurtured.
This year ISDM Solutions exhibited at the digital DNA event. If we didn’t see you there, we would invite you to come and chat with us and see how video collaboration can change your professional, as well as your personal, life.