One of my challenges as Senior Director of Avaya Product Marketing for Team Engagement is managing my remote team of distributed product experts. About a third of my team is local and the rest is scattered across geographies and time zones. I use video meetings extensively to manage my team. Everybody talks about video saving the time and cost of travel, which it certainly does, but using video provides other benefits. With video meetings, you can meet more often, given video’s cost effectiveness, and it enables smarter decision making.
The face-to-face interaction of video creates a better team environment. It enhances collaboration, improves productivity, strengthens our relationships, and speeds getting things done. Video adds a non-verbal dimension to communication that clarifies and amplifies meaning, expresses emotion, and, quite frankly, tells what someone is really thinking—good or bad—and their level of engagement. We all get a deeper understanding of each other through visual cues and body language.
My team members can join video meetings using the Avaya Equinox™ Experience from their desktops, laptops, or mobiles. Even while on the go, they get the benefits of being face to face as if we are all in the same room. Screen and content sharing, recording, text chat, moderation, controlling cameras and mics are a few of the capabilities available. As the team becomes more collaborative and effective, job satisfaction for everyone (including myself) also increases.
Let me give you a few specific examples where video has really helped:
Product Launches: During a product launch, we need to keep track of a large, complex cross-functional team spread across many offices and wide geographic areas. The team needs to coordinate developing product messaging and creating a wide range of deliverables from presentations to videos to web pages. Using HD video meetings with content sharing has enabled us to produce integrated launches quickly and effectively.
Define and Coordinate Projects: When we’re not doing a major launch, we’re working on other projects and always looking for ways to accelerate timelines. Projects naturally become more complex when the team is dispersed and when we need to work with creative agencies and other vendors. HD video and document sharing simplifies coordination and communication within the project team. It’s also great for staring someone down when reviewing deliverables and schedules.
Escalations: If a project runs into problems, we meet via video to escalate issues to executive management quickly. Timely problem escalation and resolution helps keep projects on time and within budget.
Content Development: Video helps us develop more effective marketing content. Team members can gather and review web content, videos, and presentations. With simple connectivity through a browser, it’s easy for outside agencies to join our meetings. As we proof materials, we use annotation to highlight changes onscreen. When developing sales presentations, everyone can view the proposed presentation simultaneously. The group can also record the session for later review.
Brainstorming: We use numerous brainstorming sessions to define the target personas for new offerings, marketing messages, elevator pitches, competitive rebuttals and more. During these highly interactive brainstorming sessions, you can watch expressions when ideas are pitched and immediately see feedback that someone might not be willing to speak aloud.
Feedback on Messages and Campaigns: Marketing can’t be done in a vacuum, and we use video for real-time feedback from customers, partners and analysts about messages, content, and entire campaigns. Text chat provides a “back channel” for the team to exchange private comments regarding any reactions or to come up with new questions on the spot.
Personally Connecting: Meetings are just better with video. With the ability to see each other instead of just talking over the phone, we get a deeper understanding of each other through visual cues, dress, body language, surroundings, even the stuff in our home or business offices. With the simplicity and low cost of video today, we also use it for frequent virtual “hallway conversations” instead of every meeting being a formal session, all of which enables more personal connections.
I know many of you work just like we do. Meeting after meeting, virtual, mobile, and in-person. It’s not just about the quantity of meetings we all participate in, but the quality of the experience that drives productivity and engagement. When you have a moment, check out Avaya Equinox™ Meetings Online, our new solution offering video meeting rooms in the cloud. Our partners are offering free 30-day trials. Give it a shot and see what video can do for your business.
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