Almost as good as being there

Feb 03 2014, 01:43 IST
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SummaryAs the workforce becomes more mobile and distributed, leaders are recognising the benefits and the growing impact...

As the workforce becomes more mobile and distributed, leaders are recognising the benefits and the growing impact of video as a key part of business collaboration. In fact, video is becoming more pervasive. Case in point is today’s desktop, laptop and mobile devices: it’s not about having a camera or not, it’s about whether it has one or more cameras!

Video collaboration can improve communications, relationships and productivity by helping people meet face-to-face over distances. According to Cisco, among the major players in this field, video collaboration can improve decision-making by reducing communications delay; it can build trust and understanding across time zones within cross-functional and diverse teams; it can reduce employee travel, real-estate costs and environmental impact; it can encourage information sharing and knowledge building with employees, partners and customers.

Of late, there have been various cases of major IT services providers getting benefited from high quality video collaboration. For instance, iGATE—the consulting and outsourcing services company—while looking to create a better delivery model since most of the process delivery employees were spread across multiple geographies and not physically close to customers, has decided to deploy a video conferencing solution to enable efficient communication. “By deploying a high-definition video conferencing solution, we have been able to facilitate effective communication between sales, production, finance, IT, HR and administration teams across various locations. This has helped improve our collaboration capability many times over and also meet our business objectives,” said Chella Namasivayam, CIO, iGATE.

Similarly, Persistent Systems— the technology company specialising in software product development services—which already used video-conferencing extensively, realised that the need of the hour was a single collaboration platform that could facilitate communication in multiple ways and enable continued conversations and follows-ups for knowledge sharing. It chose to deploy Cisco Quad which combines the power of social networking with unified communications, business information and content management systems. “Using the Cisco Quad we have been able to improve our collaboration capabilities many times over. A comprehensive platform for communication that allows merging disparate collaboration platforms, the Cisco Quad has helped us reduce collaboration platform infrastructure cost by 30%,” said Manjiri Ranade, AVP, Operations, Persistent Systems.

Likewise, KPIT Cummins—the end-to-end product design, engineering and IT services company —when realising that a large percentage of employees were either on travel or at customer sites so physical infrastructure (workstations, PCs etc) was not being fully used and that there was an urgent need to ensure better

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