In the first two posts in this series, we explored how CIOs over-indexing on in-room video conferencing systems creates a costly use-case mismatch and further explored the ways that video conferencing can prevent successful collaboration. In this post, we’ll highlight ways to enhance collaboration for both onsite and remote meeting attendees by integrating video conferencing and in-room content sharing to leverage what each does best. The result is a cohesive, collaborative experience for all attendees, as well as better resource stewardship for organizations.
Video conferencing is a wonderful tool for connecting remote employees to in-room meetings, but it falls short in enabling them to collaborate. Conversely, in-room content sharing systems make collaboration much easier for onsite attendees, but due to a lack of integration and interoperability, remote attendees can’t take full advantage of the in-room system’s robust collaboration features.
Video conferencing raises barriers to participation
When video conferencing is used for in-room content sharing, everyone loses. In-room and remote employees alike find fluid collaboration difficult and frustrating. But many organizations tolerate these limitations simply to accommodate remote attendance.
What they need is a way to enable meaningful participation for remote attendees without hamstringing in-person meetings with video conferencing’s very limited content-sharing abilities. To set every meeting-goer up for success, integrating in-room content-sharing’s robustness with video conferencing’s convenience is an ideal solution.
Combining the two gives remote attendees a much closer approximation of the in-room experience that onsite attendees benefit from, particularly the benefit of robust content sharing that enables deeper understanding and more meaningful discussions.
This is particularly important, since remote employees run a high risk of disengagement and often feel detached in meetings.
With content-sharing capabilities no longer restricted to video conferencing’s low-performing feature set, both remote and in-room attendees can benefit from in-room wireless content sharing’s robust capabilities, such as high-resolution images, ultra-high-definition 4K video, and simultaneous sharing. By giving content the resources it needs to perform — both onsite and remotely — content is able to take center stage, just as it does in in-person meetings. The room content can be streamed out via video conferencing to remote participants, and remote participants are in turn bridged into the in-room system, where their audio and video is treated as another source of content on the in-room display.
This primes the meeting for effective collaboration by putting everyone on the same page. Rather than spending an inordinate amount of time just getting things to “work,” teams reclaim that time for ideation, coordination, and real work.
A huge advantage of integrating the two technologies comes in the form of more meaningful participation from remote employees. Meetings are hubs of valuable intellectual capital, and technology that makes it difficult for remote employees to contribute is technology that leaves great ideas unspoken. How many remote employees might have organization-changing ideas that are abandoned due to frustration?
The way you integrate in-room content sharing with video conferencing will depend on the systems you use. For a brief example of how Mersive will integrate with video conferencing services, take a look at our What’s New page.
Big benefits for both individuals and organizations
Making meetings better experiences for all has immediate and long-term benefits, both for meeting-goers and for organizations’ bottom lines.
- Easier collaboration means more engagement, innovation, and productivity: As reported earlier, Nielsen research discovered that collaboration doubles productivity and leads to greater innovation. This on its own is a good reason to optimize remote meetings. Yet another benefit comes in the form of better engagement by remote attendees. With high barriers to participation removed, remote employees are more likely to be engaged — and ultimately retained.
- Meetings start quicker and are more efficient: Meetings are no longer riddled with the frustrating limitations of video conferencing for content sharing and the artificial stops and starts that low-performing, presentation-style sharing creates. Recall that the majority (51 percent) of video conferencing meetings experience an average delay of 9 minutes. Smart integration with content-sharing systems combined with a standardized workflow to start meetings can greatly reduce that delay and give teams their time back.
- Content sharing is less expensive and higher quality: Rather than each user streaming content out to the cloud and having it make an expensive round trip back to the room, video conferencing and in-room content sharing integration enables organizations to stream only one “user” — the room itself — as a feed to remote participants. This freeing of resources, as well as the reliance on in-room wireless collaboration rather than video conferencing for content sharing, means that high-resolution, high-quality content can flourish. Plus, the overall cost of content sharing goes way down, and the “double join” curse that haunts our meetings and drives up their cost is lifted.
Better results with the best of both worlds
Integrating video conferencing and in-room content sharing not only saves time and cost, but also can positively affect employee retention, participation, and satisfaction. Meetings are more than just gatherings of people cooperating. Meetings are tangible imprints of an organization’s culture, and they make a deep impression on employees.
With the ongoing normalization of remote work, it’s vital that organizations develop reliable, easy ways to connect their remote workforces to the mothership — but currently, many do so at the expense of robust collaboration. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Integrating in-room content-sharing platforms and video conferencing isn’t difficult, and it carries a less expensive total cost of ownership than using video conferencing as a solo technology, as well as more reliable security. Plus, it creates a much better user experience, especially for remote attendees, who can now benefit from the same content that their colleagues in the room are working with.
The benefits of integrating in-room content sharing and video conferencing are compelling and dramatic enough for us to say that integration should become the industry standard for meetings with remote attendees. In the next and final post in this series, we will introduce you to an approach that we hope will go a long way toward making that happen — and that makes integration even easier to accomplish.