Building Stronger Teams with Video Conferencing

Video conferencing has been a proven technology for years, but was traditionally limited to executive desktops and conference rooms. With today’s democratization of video – thanks to significant advances in quality, reliability and ease of use – knowledge workers are taking advantage of video at their desktops and on their mobile devices. They’re collaborating face-to-face, sharing documents, making faster decisions and improving productivity.

Thanks to enterprise-grade video conferencing, companies are building stronger teams every day. In this blog, I’ll talk about how and why our customers are improving their corporate culture and building stronger teams. I hope reading this blog is enough to convince you to give video conferencing a try. You can try Avaya Scopia for free by clicking here.

Of course with so much opportunity, there are new entrants to the market all the time. The choices can be overwhelming. Last year, I blogged on the different types of video conferencing: Not All Video Conferencing Is Created Equal. I encourage you to read that post for some input on the right solution for your organization.

Driving Adoption
Video conferencing brings people together, and businesses around the globe are discovering new applications for video. In many cases those applications are dramatically changing the way organizations do business – take HR, for example. Video is changing the way companies interact with job candidates. It expands the interview pool for companies looking to hire, and it helps employees collaborate effectively regardless of location. Today, Scopia customers are interviewing new candidates (and even recording and playing those interviews back for hiring managers) and conducting corporate training sessions via video. Video is also used very effectively for mentoring, succession planning, morale boosting, team building, and executive coaching.

Scopia customers are also increasing the frequency of video meetings as they discover the many benefits. Meeting by video frees up time so that participants can have richer and more frequent meetings without surrendering precious time to travel. It helps people collect and exchange information, meet on-the-fly, and enables faster, better decision making. It enhances work-life balance and can save companies money.

Successfully implementing a video solution that achieves these types of results takes careful planning. It’s important to choose an enterprise-grade solution that features HD video and audio, content-sharing, meeting moderation, streaming and recording, chat capabilities, etc. And… it has to be easy to use! Many promising technologies have languished expensively in IT closets because users never embraced them. That is why ease of use needs to be near the top of your list when evaluating solutions.

Easy-to-use means your video solution is intuitive, always on, provides simple, one-click-to-join capabilities, delivers a rich collaborative experience, and doesn’t entail complex licensing or require involvement from your IT team to set up or run a meeting. The Scopia portfolio offers all of this and has for years. Radvision Scopia was a well-kept secret, but thanks to the Avaya acquisition, our brand is quickly gaining traction. People simply have to try it to believe it.

Seeing Is Believing
I’ve seen firsthand since joining Avaya how Scopia video conferencing can bring teams closer together. Since the acquisition closed last June, we’ve attended new-hire training sessions, companywide meetings, and weekly team calls – all via video.

Before Avaya acquired Radvision, video wasn’t a core part of the company’s culture. Now, it’s integral to our formal and informal communication strategy. In fact, since I joined Avaya, I’ve seen teams come together around the globe to create fun and motivational messages using Scopia technology. Some of these are for external consumption, e.g. the recent Tips for a Successful Video Conference. While others are merely to spread some holiday cheer among colleagues – our Americas marketing team has gotten creative with song and dance a number of times, putting smiles on our faces!

Our customers are reaping the benefits as well. One law firm reduced its partner review cycle in half by conducting the meetings over video. Another company achieved a zero-footprint growth strategy for its contact center by hiring all home-based employees connected via video. The opportunities to conduct business more efficiently, be more agile, and collaborate more effectively are endless when your company adopts video conferencing as part of its culture.

Simplifying Video for Everyone
How does Scopia video entice even technophobes to make video part of their daily work lives? With one-click simplicity. It doesn’t matter where you’re calling in from – whether you’re inside an organization or outside of it – or what device you’re using to join the call. Scopia video conferencing takes the guesswork out by automatically detecting the device and network being for each participant. It then leverages the built-in audio and video components on that device, or in the case of a laptop or PC, leverages the optimal connected peripherals like webcams, speakerphones, etc.

In fact, Scopia Mobile is incredibly intuitive. If you ask me, no one makes video conferencing easier than we do. My kids can use it – and so can others according to this YouTube video. When you click on the link to join a call, you automatically download the appropriate application for your device–and you’re in.

All this means that when you deploy Scopia video conferencing in your organization, there is every chance it will quickly go viral. No need to set up training – with our solution, there’s no complex licensing, no searching through app stores for the right download, no confusion on how to share your desktop or an individual application. And Scopia video is secure – you always know who is on a call, and whether anyone new joins or someone drops off.

It’s That Easy
Some might say Scopia video conferencing is a revolutionary approach to video conferencing, but we’ve been doing this since 2007 with Scopia Desktop. And now, with Scopia Mobile, we’ve extended the same ease-of-use to mobile users. Thanks to technologies like Scopia video conferencing, I forget that I haven’t met my colleagues in-person… I’ve spent so many hours on video with some of them, it’s hard to believe we haven’t been in the same room at the same time. We feel like we know each other well after so many video interactions.

If you don’t believe me and haven’t tried Scopia yet, I encourage you to test it out – simply click here and sign up.

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3 CX Stats That May Change How You Think About Digital Transformation

Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, automation, big data, and the Internet of Things have made digital transformation an absolute necessity for organizations. With people, processes, services and things more dynamically connected than ever, companies are feeling relentless pressure to digitize, simplify, and integrate their organizational structures to remain competitive.

But there’s a big hole in the fabric of most digital transformation (DX) plans: the customer experience (CX). The problem isn’t that companies fail to understand the importance of the CX in relation to digital transformation. Rather, most fail to understand their customers well enough to envision a truly customer-centric, digitally-transformed environment. Just consider that 55% of companies cite “evolving customer behaviors and preferences” as their primary driver of digital change. Yet, the number one challenge facing executives today is understanding customer behavior and impact.

A massive part of digital transformation involves building a CX strategy, and yet customer centricity remains a top challenge for most. In fact, I encourage you to be your own customer within your organization. Walk in your customers’ shoes, contact your organization as your customers would. What was your web experience? Was the expert knowledgeable during a chat conversation? How well did the mobile app work for you? Did you have a connected experience? Given your experience, how brand-loyal would you be to your organization?

Here are three statistics that will get you rethinking your CX strategy in relation to digital transformation:

  1. 52% of companies don’t share customer intelligence outside of the contact center. In other words, over half of companies are limiting the customer journey to the contact center even though it naturally takes place across multiple key areas of business (i.e., sales, marketing, HR, billing). Businesses must ensure customers are placed with the right resource at the right time, whether it’s in a contact center or non-contact center environment. The key is being able to openly share customer data across all teams, processes and customer touchpoints.
  2. 60% of digital analytics investments will be spent on customer journey analytics by 2018. Customer journey analytics—the process of measuring the end-to-end customer journey across the entire organization—is critical in today’s smart, digital world. Companies are rapidly investing in this area to identify opportunities for process improvement, digitization, automation and, ultimately, competitive differentiation.
  3. 60% of customers change their contact channel depending on where they are and what they’re doing. This means organizations must focus less on service and more on contextual and situational awareness. Businesses must work to create a seamless experience—regardless of device, channel, location or time—supported by customer, business and situational context captured across all touchpoints.

The CX should influence every company’s digital transformation story. For more tips, insights, and impactful statistics check out our eBook, Fundamentals of Digital Transformation. Let me know what you think. We look forward to hearing from you.

3 Key Steps to Starting Your Company-wide Digital Transformation

Stats show that 80% of companies identify “digital transformation” as their top strategic priority—but only 5% feel they’ve mastered it. Why the gap? Achieving a digital experience to a point of competitive differentiation requires organizational alignment. Digital transformation represents a crucial paradigm shift across the entire organization, yet research suggests only a fraction of companies currently implement an enterprise-wide digital strategy. To successfully digitize, all lines of business (LOB) must be aligned and move in concert towards digital innovation. This involves communication and collaboration among key stakeholders, especially senior executives, across every business unit—even ones you wouldn’t typically include.

Put simply, digital transformation is more than just digitizing your infrastructure before your competitors do. Yes, it’s about serving the growing number of digital consumers faster and better. But, more importantly, it requires a shift in organizational mindset and redefinition of business processes. The starting point for any digital transformation initiative should be a clear understanding among all business leaders (not just IT) about the nature, direction and projected outcomes of the transformation.

What does the discovery process look like? It can be summed up in three key steps:

  1. Situational Assessment: Executives across every LOB need to weigh in and agree on business drivers and expectations. Insights derived from this assessment should be used to map out short- and long-term business goals and key digital strategies to ensure organizational alignment.
  2. Opportunity Prioritization: Identify target applications and technology architectures, then determine how these new solutions will affect existing technologies and align with core needs (i.e., operational savings, CX improvements). In parallel, use this time to identify, analyze and prioritize gaps between existing and planned processes.
  3. Roadmap Creation: A detailed roadmap helps you finalize digitization plans before implementation. It should outline phasing strategy sequences, risk mitigation plans, and project feasibility reports that define the timeline, dependencies, costs (and return) and controls of each digital initiative. Consider this your digital transformation playbook.

Digital transformation is the foundation of how organizations will succeed or fail. Check out our eBook, Fundamentals of Digital Transformation, to learn more about this discovery process—the first of a five-step plan for creating a foolproof digital transformation strategy. Let me know what you think. We are here to help and happy to discuss.

When it Comes to Your Customer Experience: Ditch Legacy, Go Digital!

The future of business, indeed the future of customer experience, is life as we know it—here and NOW. Organizational success right now, however, depends on one thing: digital transformation.

Digital transformation can mean many things, but includes a fundamental idea—applying digital technologies to all aspects of life. For consumers, they use their smart devices, laptops, tablets, and favorite apps to make it through the day. For organizations, this means figuring out how to leverage existing digital technologies (apps, processes, procedures) and resources (essentially the talent of your employees) within your business strategically to serve consumers on their terms at any moment—all the time. And to do so better than your competition. Digital transformation also means looking at your existing business applications, mobile apps, processes, procedures, and talent through a different lens.

A successful digital transformation requires a shift in organizational behavior and cultural mindset. It means creating a strategic road map that outlines implementation and ongoing process improvement. It requires executive buy-in, sponsorship, and steady leadership. Perhaps most daunting of all, it means companies working to truly know and understand their customers. It means enterprise leaders having a firm grip on the big data that infuses their organizations.

The reality of a smart, digital world is clear. Advanced technologies like IoT and virtual reality are no longer science fiction, but fact. So much so that in just three short years, it’s expected that 100 million consumers will be shopping in virtual reality, and up to 20 billion objects will be Internet-enabled. Meanwhile, automation and data analytics have evolved from luxuries to enterprise necessities. Driven by this rapid pace of digital change, analysts predict that 65% of children today will grow up to work in roles that don’t yet exist.

Companies need to successfully digitize to remain agile, integrated and future-proof enough to support this future of everything. The good news is that 80% currently identify “digital transformation” as their top strategic priority. The bad news? These same companies are seriously struggling to migrate from their existing aged processes and legacy systems and architecture. Consider industries like government, where 71% of federal IT decision makers still use old operating systems to run important applications. How can they go digital without having the latest platforms in place to support a digital environment?

Organizations can’t re-imagine operations, re-engineer critical processes, or align key business areas the way they need to while relying on antiquated technologies. But creating a migration path is easier said than done. We have said it before and we will say it again, it’s about more than just the technology.

Sounds challenging, but it’s not impossible. Our ebook, The Fundamentals of Digital Transformation, can help organizations get started. Take a look to learn more about the top challenges of taking legacy experiences into the digital world, as well as the five key steps organizations can take to minimize disruption and boost adoption of new digital capabilities. Let me know what you think. We are here and happy to discuss.