Have you even been on a conference call and wondered

  • “Did they really understand what I just said?”
  • “Are the listening to the call, or are they distracted doing another task?”
  • “Did they completely disagree with what I just said?”

These have been ongoing issues when using a simple audio only bridge for communication.  Based on a 4 year old study, the findings still hold true.  People remember 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and a huge 70% of what they see and hear. After all, with 30% of the brain’s cortex being devoted to the sense of vision, the vast majority of communication can tend to be non-verbal.

Where do I start with Video Conferencing?

Almost daily I am asked by clients “What is the hottest new thing in Video Conferencing?”; and the answer to that question varies widely.  I will start discussions with potential clients by asking a few simple core questions:

  1. What are you trying to accomplish with a Video solution?
  2. What types of co-workers are you trying to empower with the technology?
  3. What level of collaboration are you seeking?

Very often I will find that clients are attempting to gain additional productivity from the co-workers, by enabling them with these advanced tools.  When the co-workers are enabled with video technology (desktop, room based, or Immersive) it can make the interaction much more personal than a simple audio call.  Coworkers can “see” the teams live on video, and pick up on those all too important visual cues.  Some co-workers may need simple desktop video communications, while other require full room integration.  The advances in Video technology have made empowering these teams on any device, including the mobile tablet environment, blend them together in multiparty video calls, and collaborate on documents seamless.

My goal in any of these discovery sessions is to help the client identify a need or a problem that can be addressed by introducing Video Conferencing.  Once that is accomplished, we can tackle the issue with  a fully integrated Video solutions.

Why we’ve seen Video Conferencing fail?

Now we know that people absorb 70% of what they see and hear, and we’ve identified the opportunity that video conferencing can bring, how do we make the solution successful?  The answer to this is a much more simplistic one:  Make it part of your daily use and culture.  All too often I’ll have the same conversations with clients around video use.

  1. It seems too complicated to use
  2. The room isn’t setup well for video
  3. And the ever popular: I hate seeing myself on video

Video conferencing has moved light years ahead of the old ISDN based solutions where we needed an AV person onsite to setup a simple point to point call.  In future posts we’ll examine how truly simple the system are, but if you can place a phone call or type an email address, you can make a video call.   The issue of a poorly setup room can be addressed in any number of methods.

  • If there’s too much glass, we add blackout shades.
  •  If the lighting is poor, we modify it with lighting solutions.
  • If the room is too large, we add larger displays and proper audio sources to address the issue


The final problem is always the hardest too address.  Let’s face it, we all don’t look like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie, but video conferencing is all about the visual collaboration amongst the teams, not about how well you look on camera.  Would you go into a conference room with your team and hide your face while presenting?  Probably not – so just look at Video Conferencing as the extension of that face-to-face meeting.  After all, using video conferencing lends us the advantage of wearing a suit and tie for the camera, while having on jogging shorts and bunny slippers in the comfort of our own home office!

So remember – it’s all about visual communications!  The body-language can speak volumes to the eyes without ever saying a word.  Let CDW help you to discover the use cases where Video Conferencing can bring solutions to your everyday problems.

22 thoughts on “The Case for Video Conferencing – The Eyes Have IT!

    • Thank you for the comments. I’m just getting started on this topic as this is the Year of Video according to the industry. Lots to come in 2013

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  • Mike Roger says:

    Good article. Success of Web-video conferencing depends upon the type of software’s or tools one uses during his video conferencing. I would recommend using quality web-video conferencing tools such as WebEx, gomeetnow, gotomeeting etc. or deploying on premise web – video conferencing appliance such as RHUB appliances in order to have good web-video conferencing experience.

  • Just finished a call talking about floor scrubbers, don’t think the other guys had a clue what I was talking about would have been much easier if we had video calling.

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