As remote working and the technologies that support it remain a key aspect of modern work, communication is still very much at the heart of business. However, for many large, global organizations with employees located all around the world, maintaining effective internal communications with workers can be a real challenge.
In previous years, when corporate messaging needed to be delivered, regional managers would have to travel to HQ. These team members were then briefed and expected to take this information back to base, relay it to their colleagues and put the processes into practice. However, often, by the time managers got back to their offices, they had forgotten or misinterpreted aspects of the information. Different employees would therefore hear different information, leading to misunderstandings and a lack of unified messaging across the business.
With many companies leveraging the power of video to overcome this barrier, employees are being empowered to communicate more effectively. However, at the same time, there are some hurdles that organizations will need to overcome before fully embracing and benefiting from this communications technology. So, what advantages can video communications offer organizations and what do businesses need to keep in mind in order to fully leverage this tool?
The benefits of video
Video has been democratized — meaning pricey production crews are no longer required to create compelling content. Instead, employee-generated video is becoming increasingly popular, offering an authentic and personal view of the workplace and allowing C-level team members to create genuine, face-to-face relationships with their teams.
Often driven by younger generations, who are used to connecting with family and friends in this visual way, video is a powerful tool when it comes to recruiting and retaining a new generation of employees, by showing that the company uses the latest technologies. By next year, 54% of the global workforce will be millennials. Used to following cooking instructions on YouTube or streaming videos on Netflix, this generation expects visual modes of learning as standard.
Video also allows for open and engaging communication across the organization. As well as making sure millennial employees are satisfied, video helps with diversity and inclusion, making sure everyone feels involved in the company culture and management decisions.
Live and on-demand digital video can provide a powerful, appealing and easy-to-consume method for C-level communications to be delivered to a large audience. Employees can also be easily trained, onboarded and informed in a unified way. This means every member of the team hears the same information at the same time, no matter where they are based.
Video can also help companies remove ‘us vs them’ mentalities, where C-level staff are disconnected from their employees and the culture is not collaborative. Instead of relying on impersonal and dated communication methods such as email or noticeboards, video can ensure the receiver is fully absorbed in the content. Video also offers C-level executives the level of face-to-face interaction associated with personal meetings, but without the logistical or time constraints. For many brands this has meant launching ‘video newsletters’ or ‘virtual town hall’ updates via video livestream.
In recent years, video conferencing technologies such as Microsoft Teams, Stream and Zoom have entered the market, becoming commonly-used enterprise tools in business, retail and almost every industry imaginable. Allowing globally dispersed teams and remote workers to connect and communicate easily with their colleagues, all at the press of a button, has dramatically driven the adoption of collaboration and communication by some of the largest and most well-known companies all across the world.
Barriers to video
Given these benefits, it’s easy to wonder why every company isn’t using video as a means of regular communication with teams?
One of the most common barriers to adopting video is the potential network strains that come with it.. From an IT-perspective, video is very bandwidth intensive and many corporate networks simply cannot support a large number of participants, especially if this workforce is dispersed. In the past, many large organizations with a globally distributed workforce were unable to take full advantage of video as a global communications tool. Existing wide area networks (WAN) were already overloaded and hardware-based solutions for increasing bandwidth were expensive and required years to deploy.
This technical challenge of rolling out video at scale also brings cost implications, as bandwidth can be particularly expensive. At the same time, other vital business functions and applications can be interrupted by this process, meaning the continuity of business is affected in a negative way.
Businesses need to be able to share high-quality video securely and at scale, regardless of the size of their workforces or the quality of their existing physical network infrastructure. When it comes to live or on-demand video, whether it’s small or enterprise-wide live events, delivery optimization is vital to ensuring collaboration tools work effectively and in a user-friendly manner.
Ensuring the video is high enough quality to be engaging without requiring a costly infrastructure revamp is essential for helping organizations keep on top of their game. Without this, employees may struggle to take in important messages, and the meaning behind the words is lost. So, what is the solution?
Delivering video securely and at scale
In the digital age, every company is a content company, meaning every business needs to learn how to tell its story uniquely and effectively. Video is a powerful medium for enabling this, as it allows personal communication to happen in situations where this otherwise would not be possible. At the same time, however, many workers see being on video as daunting or outside of their core competency, meaning it can be difficult to get right.
Newer solutions, however, offer a secure and practical alternative that can deliver video at scale without infrastructure overhaul. An SD ECDN (software-defined enterprise content delivery network), for example, can distribute video content simultaneously to thousands of participants, and because this information is often highly confidential, SD ECDNs offer highly secured and encrypted options.
Thanks to the proliferation of Microsoft Teams and Stream, Zoom and other video communications applications, video has dramatically driven the adoption of collaboration and open communication – building empathy and connection globally by some of the largest companies in the world. As such, giving every member of the team access to this essential tool should be a top business priority both now and in the future.