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Enterprise mobile video calls fill collaboration gaps

Mobile video conferencing can promote better meeting engagement. But enterprise users need to take steps to maintain an effective video collaboration session.

In today's world, mobile video calls are generally accepted by most consumers. The continued growth of applications...

such as YouTube Live, Facebook Live and Periscope reflect that trend. However, mobile video calls in enterprise communications are a bit more controversial.

Some industry observers can't imagine a Fortune 500 executive attending a meeting via a mobile device. It's one thing to pass around your phone at dinner so everyone can talk with grandma; it's another thing to picture a manufacturing CEO closing a deal for a new factory over mobile video.

Despite that perception, the need for mobile business video still exists. Whether a team member is out of the office for a week or you need to communicate with regular remote employees, that collaboration gap needs to be filled.

As a result, nearly all business video providers offer mobile applications. However, mobile video calls are a relatively new way to attend a business meeting, and proper protocols are still being established. The good news is mobile video can be a serious enterprise tool when used appropriately.

Mobile video conferencing promotes user engagement

In a perfect world, you would always lead a team video meeting from your office desktop with all of your materials available. When compared with desktop video, mobile video offers a compromised experience. However, mobile video calls can still offer better experiences than typical phone calls.

In video meetings, one person might call in over audio. Instead of seeing that person's face, you see an icon, while everyone else is sharing live video. That person can't participate as effectively as the rest of the team. Calling in over mobile video allows team members to be more engaged, even if their video isn't as well-framed or high-quality as other participants.

In this video, see how cloud-based video conferencing can streamline IT infrastructures and empower enterprise collaboration.

Here are some tips to optimize your enterprise mobile video call experience:

  • Turn the phone sideways for landscape mode. Your video will be shared on a landscape-oriented window in the meeting's user interface. Your video capture should match the output so it fits the screen properly. Also, you'll have a better view of the other attendees, who are sending you landscape-oriented images.
  • Don't hold the phone. A shaking, moving camera is distracting to other meeting participants. Rest your phone on something stable. Ideally, place it at eye level. Even if you rest your phone against something on a table, it's still better than holding it.
  • Use headphones. This is somewhat obvious. Regardless of your environment, plug in headphones to reduce feedback issues or background noise.
  • Adjust for latency. Mobile video attendees should assume their connection may have more latency than their typical desktop experience. This sometimes results in people talking over each other. Be aware of this potential issue so you can mitigate the effects.
    Don't expect CEOs to start closing billion-dollar deals over mobile video calls anytime soon.
  • Mute yourself. Remote attendees often forget to mute themselves because everything sounds fine from their end. For that reason, they have no way of knowing how much background noise they're transmitting. As a general rule, just assume you should mute yourself. When you need to contribute to the call, just unmute and talk, but remember to mute again when you're done.
  • Pull over. No one wants to watch you get into a car accident. It's distracting to the other meeting attendees. Try not to schedule meetings during travel times. But, at the very least, pull your car over to the side of the road so you can join the meeting.

Despite these simple best practices, don't expect CEOs to start closing billion-dollar deals over mobile video calls anytime soon. But, in many cases, mobile video does offer a better way to communicate than traditional phone calls.

If you're attending a meeting via mobile video, you should realize you're in a less controlled environment. Be aware of potential audio or video distractions coming from your end.

Next Steps

When considering mobile UC, ask vendors these 10 questions.

Calculate network capacity for mobile video deployments.

Explore the pros and cons of enterprise mobile video conferencing.

This was last published in January 2017

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