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How do I make my video conferencing system easy to use?

Enterprises that want a video system that is easy for employees to use should prioritize training and support. Expert Jon Arnold explains what aspects to focus on.

Presuming you have already considered end-user needs before choosing a video conferencing system vendor, you have...

already identified specific use cases and how comfortable employees will be with this technology. Ease of use is a critical factor in driving mainstream adoption of video and it varies from vendor to vendor.

Even after taking all this into account, IT can still perform other tasks once a video conferencing system has been deployed. Most importantly, basic training is needed to educate employees -- not just how to use video technology, but how to engage with it. Today's video conferencing systems can be as easy to use as a traditional telephone; and while employees should not require much training, a little will go a long way. The perception of legacy video's complexity is still with us, and initial training can quickly change that.

Another aspect of training will be to help employees get the most value from video. Not everyone is comfortable being on camera, but showing how video can make for a richer communications experience can help employees overcome their concerns. To do this, training should focus on identifying the use cases where video is most effective. Not every call or meeting requires video, and the key is for employees to see how flexible video can be. Once this is addressed, employees will see how easy ad hoc collaboration is and how video can be used in new ways.

To ensure video is used on a regular basis, IT must also provide on-demand support to manage problems as they happen. Since the video conferencing system will be new for many employees, many issues will be basic. Without proper support, you risk losing employees' interest in continuing with video. Your video vendor should be able to provide troubleshooting resources, and making these easily accessible to end users should be a key part of your video deployment plan.

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Next Steps

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Evaluating video conferencing services

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How do you make your video conferencing system easy for employees to use?
I think one of the keys to making it easy to use is to make it unobtrusive. Seamless integration with existing systems, such as scheduling (meetings and rooms) will go a long way towards adoption. Another thing is to make sure that your network can provide the bandwidth required for flawless streaming of video and audio. That takes a bit of work and coordination, but will really pay off when it goes live.
Training and support are certainly very important, and I’m glad that the article mentioned training about how to overcome their concerns about being on camera. We’ve had a fairly extensive conferencing system in place for a couple of years now, and I think it certainly would have helped had we provided training to prepare people for using the cameras.