The way most business conduct business today is a lot different than it was only 10-years back. Now we have many businesses with remote users working from home and remote office locations and they can work together like they were in the same building with VoIP and video collaboration tools. It wasn’t too long ago that working from home was limited to a phone and a basic internet connection and no real day-to-day interaction with co-workers besides an email or phone call.
Today we have many options to consider. VoIP phones have brought multi-location organizations together that are managed under one roof. Collaboration tools like WebEx has been around for a while as has GoToMeeting and most people in business have experienced both of these collaboration platforms in the past. Both have been continuously improved upon by their makers with new bells and whistles over time and now we have some new kids on the block penetrating the market with their offerings.
Microsoft made the acquisition of Skype a number of years back and paid a lot of money and many people wondered why at the time… Now Microsoft has used the Skype VoIP platform to fully developed their collaboration platform built around Skype for Business including PBX, video conferencing, and full collaboration capabilities that I use almost every day. Something to consider if you are looking at a new phone system and especially if you have a workforce that is spread around.
The funny thing is many Office 365 email users already have Skype for Business and they’re not taking advantage of the technology for one reason or another. It maybe that they are not familiar how to use it or they think it’s not a real business productivity and collaboration tool. Well it really is a great platform and something to consider. Check it out if you haven’t already especially if you already have it included in your Office 365 subscription plan.
Now the newest platform to come along is Amazon Chime…. The service looks like a nice offering and like others it will bring you face-to-face with people that are either down the hall or on the other side of the world. Chime will provide screen sharing from any of the participants and has all the features most businesses need. It will even call you to the meeting… Pretty cool stuff out there today so check it out.
Video collaboration really works well for anyone doing business outside your geographic region. You can get online with a client, vendor, or co-worker and meet up, review documents, view a presentation or just chat. You can get a lot of work accomplished without the expense of travel and the speed of the process could be a great thing if you have a time sensitive action item.
All you need is a low-cost camera with a microphone and today a smartphone will handle it with ease. Most laptops and tablets are ready to go too so give it a try and let me know what you think…
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