Video conferencing: Beyond the boardroom

May 15 2014, 10:50 IST
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Today’s video conferencing extends beyond the walls of the conference room. (Photo courtesy: Today’s video conferencing extends beyond the walls of the conference room. (Photo courtesy:
SummaryEnterprises can use it on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

better work-life balance.”

Minhaj Zia, managing director, Polycom India & SAARC, says, “In today’s world, it’s not just about video conferences in office environments; it’s about delivering the ability to meet face-to-face in any environment. This makeover is due in large part to the integration of video collaboration into day-to-day mission-critical business operations such as mobile inspection on the factory floor, crisis response centres in government or video-enabled kiosks in banking.”

According to him, companies globally and across the country are now seeing the value of video collaboration beyond simple travel savings, to include reducing time-to-market, increasing customer service, improving crisis management, and streamlining decision making.

Thanks to video conferencing, India’s leading farm co-operative body IFFCO has managed to meet its green IT targets, reduce carbon footprint while saving thousands in costs. IFFCO is a leading player in the fertiliser industry in India and works closely with the government to increase foodgrain production in the country, utilising 40,000 cooperative outlets and 158 farmers service centres in 29 states for the distribution of its products.

With a staff base of over 6,700 spread across five mega plants, 80 marketing offices, and the company’s corporate headquarters, effective communication and collaboration is a vital part of how IFFCO conducts its business, particularly for the efficient management of employee relations and the execution of vital HR functions, such as the company’s annual employee appraisals process. In the past, over 1,000 employees travelled to the company’s headquarters in New Delhi each year for their appraisals, which resulted in lost productivity and substantial travel and downtime costs. Looking for a way to streamline operations, IFFCO turned to high-definition video solutions from Polycom.

According to Mahesh Chandra Srivastava, systems manager for IFFCO, the company has achieved savings of over $200,000 in travel and lodging costs in six short months, equating to a 200% return on investment year-on-year. “The ROI has been phenomenal,” said Srivastava. The video collaboration system is now used in other areas of the company for strategic meetings among leaders, deliberations of plant officials with corporate headquarters, reviews of production targets, crisis communications and regular business meetings and training sessions, broadcasting live audio and video messages to all plants, in addition to hosting small press conferences with media over video.

CARE Ratings, India’s second largest credit rating agency, too is earning greater

improvements in productivity, efficiency, and customer-care since the implementation of video collaboration solutions. Employees have quickly adopted video

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