Video Conferencing Solutions
South Africa is Becoming More Reliant on Video Conferencing Solutions
With its re-admission into the global market, South Africa experienced an unprecedented need to become more competitive. It is frequently claimed that “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good” and, while the weak rand has made overseas trips and imported goods more expensive, the proverb holds true in that the ailing currency has also made South African exports more attractive. Nevertheless, price alone is seldom an adequate incentive to commit to a trade agreement and the face-to-face negotiation has long been regarded as the best means to ensure appending that often elusive but vital signature to a contract.
Until relatively recently, the combined annual expenditure by South African businesses on overseas air travel and hotel accommodation amounted to billions of rands and made a serious dent in their profit margins. In addition, the constant travelling meant that key personnel were often absent from their home offices for prolonged periods and, in many cases, were forced to leave some of their core responsibilities unattended until their return.
Thankfully, video conferencing solutions have since made this previously unavoidable erosion of company budgets and available personnel largely unnecessary. Today, a busy executive can sit in the comfort of their own office, within easy reach of whatever data they may require, whilst interacting, apparently face-to-face, with multiple colleagues and clients in a shared virtual boardroom. The technology has meant that, with a little planning, a crucial business meeting can now be conducted over vast distances and between participants in differing time zones for no more than the cost of their local broadband connection.
Taking the basic facilities of popular VoIP applications such as Skype aimed at the home user, to a whole new level, leading developers such as Yealink, Lifesize, Polycom™, and Starleaf offer a wide range of advanced equipment and technologies designed to create a fully collaborative communications environment for the business world that overcomes the barriers set by the traditional boardroom gathering.
For business purposes, modern video conferencing solutions are required to unify voice and visual communication with facilities for data transmission and other features. To do so, they make use of a wide selection of specialised equipment and accessories that includes Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) phones and desk IP phones, plug-and-play, high-definition video cameras capable of integrating with sophisticated, cloud-based system control software, and high-resolution monitors designed to support simultaneous display of all those participating in the conference call. Other facilities may permit additional activities, such as text-based chat and calendar integration.
No two businesses are identical and so having the choice between a personal workstation and a fully collaborative boardroom system means that the technology is also affordable to small and medium-sized businesses and not just to the giant corporates. It makes sense, however, to first submit to an expert needs assessment before settling on a given video conferencing solution. One thing is certain; whichever system you may choose, it will pay for itself in no time.
To evaluate your needs and to meet them with a system employing state-of-the-art communications equipment from industry-leading manufacturers, the sensible move is to consult one of South Africa’s own experts at Elite Technologies.