Enable Better Collaboration with Reliable Videoconferencing
Collaborating in a virtual environment shouldn’t be hard or require technical aptitude. In a word, it should be simple. After all, technology should help you work smarter, not harder. In the last year, how we work has changed dramatically, but collaboration remains a pillar of any successful team. Collaboration and videoconferencing make a perfect pair.
A reliable platform, with all the features you need, is critical to your team’s ability to work together seamlessly. If you’re unhappy with the free system you’re using now, or want to replace an unreliable one, here’s exactly what you should seek out in a videoconferencing solution.
What Makes a Videoconferencing System Reliable?
When you think about reliability, it includes many components. First, it needs to be easy to use, otherwise, your employees won’t give it credence. Your IT team shouldn’t have to spend hours configuring it and training your staff. That’s not reliable; it’s fickle. You should be able to start and join meetings in seconds.
The second aspect of reliability relates to the platform’s uptime. No software is perfect, and scheduled outages are expected for upgrades. However, erratic availability is a huge red flag. Since videoconferencing became a hot commodity to transition to remote work, new products flooded the market. While it’s not technically difficult to develop videoconferencing software, assuring reliability is.
That’s because systems that are robust and consistent go through lots of testing, including how they handle spikes in use. When the demand for the product is high, this can cause systems to fail, and that’s not going to bode well for collaboration.
What’s the magic number on reliability? It’s the “five nines” that make the difference, which stands for 99.999 percent uptime. With this level of reliability, the average downtime per year is only 5.26 minutes!
How can providers offer such impressive uptime? Intermedia does it by architecting clouds specifically for reliability, performance, and data protection. You may think all clouds are the same, but they aren’t. Their configuration and build are the critical foundation of steady, dependable service.
Collaboration and Videoconferencing: Must-Have Features and Best Practices
Once you determine that a platform has the reliability factor; it’s time to consider how videoconferencing can support collaboration. There are some must-have features to look for, as well as best practices you can provide to your team.
What Features Do You Need to Foster Collaboration?
Your videoconferencing solution is going to be a vital tool for virtual collaboration. Constant communication is necessary for distributed teams. Much of the time, having a video chat can resolve challenges fast and allow you to work together in real-time on documents. Some say videoconferencing is the new email!
To ensure participation and engagement on video calls that lead to healthy collaboration, look for these key features.
- Screen sharing and annotation: These are fundamental functions. With screen share, you can look at a document together, demonstrate how to use an application, or review a presentation. Screen annotation allows participants to make notes in real-time during your meeting. In minutes, you can make decisions on projects and keep moving forward.
- VoIP: Your videoconferencing system should use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) because it’s seamless and doesn’t require calling in from a separate phone. It’s more reliable, too.
- Multiple webcam support: If meetings involve more than a handful of people, you’ll need a platform that enables this. Without this feature, some participants may be left in the dark.
- Security: If you want your team to collaborate with confidence, your videoconferencing system must be secure. Concerns about hacks or others illegally accessing the system can keep users from adopting the platform. Talk to providers about security and then relay that to your team, so they’ll have peace of mind.
Collaboration on Video Calls Best Practices
To ensure that everyone on the call gets the most out of it, consider these best practices:
- Work on how you look with the right camera angles, lighting, and background. Check out our post on how to look great on a video call.
- Use a quality headset that keeps audio crisp and clear.
- Offer all attendees the opportunity to talk and give input.
- Send out an agenda before the meeting to keep things on track.
- Ask questions to spur conversation and ideation if the group gets stumped on a problem.
- Be respectful and courteous to teammates even in times of frustration.