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An inside look Into IVCi's video conferencing environment
IVCi Uses Video!
IVCi is a leading integrator and provider of unified communications (UC) solutions. We are a growing company with headquarters on Long Island and satellite offices expanding across the Unites States. IVCi has been providing custom UC solutions for over 16 years to customers ranging from fortune 50 corporations to government and health care organizations.
Video use is pervasive throughout IVCi, with approximately 100 calls occurring on a typical day. Calls can take place in a variety of formats, including between a mobile user and several participants in a conference room setting, from conference room to conference room, or among thirty remote users at once. Video helps our local and remote employees stay connected, and is so much a part of how we function as a team that video has become the primary means of communication.
Establishing the use of video within IVCi
Video is now used consistently throughout the organization, but at first its use required a change in the company culture; some workers were simply more familiar with picking up a phone or traveling to meet in person. IVCi's management let employees know why an investment in video was made, and why they should use it; video can increase productivity, enhance collaboration, reduce business travel, and decrease the company's carbon footprint. This approach has helped ensure that video conferencing is engrained in the company culture, and as a result the technology is widely utilized internally today.
IVCi's executives not only require employees to use video whenever possible, they use it themselves on a regular basis. In fact, since IVCi has embraced the very technology we offer, we have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel costs alone. Video allows our executives and employees to remain connected and productive, no matter where they may be located.
How IVCi's employees use video
The Following are some of the ways individuals and departments within IVCi use video on a regular basis:
CEO: IVCi's CEO uses video as an efficient way to communicate with his entire staff. For example, he records a quarterly video message containing updates about the company and sends it out via email to all employees. The video message is then archived and made available to be played back on demand. Some members of the CEO's executive team work remotely the majority of the time, so video allows him to connect with them for scheduled and ad-hoc meetings. In addition, the CEO can easily meet face-to-face from his desktop system with clients and manufacturers. Video allows the CEO to reduce his travel schedule and spend more time at the office and with his family.
President: The president of IVCi commutes to Long Island headquarters from Westchester County, and if there is bad weather it can add hours to the commute. Under these circumstances he works from his home office - video allows him to stay close to the business. Any meeting he had scheduled can still occur, which helps to maintain business continuity. He stays connected with members of his sales management team who are located throughout the country, including those he needs to communicate with at the IVCi headquarters location. Video allows the president to meet with others as if he were there in person; he can easily provide support, guidance, and coaching on businesses matters when needed. The president said that he uses video to stay connected because "video is pervasive at this point. I don't see any reason why I wouldn't choose video over audio-only meetings. In my experience, video has replaced audio-only calls for those that have it. Video gives the complete picture. I can tell by someone's body language things I may not have been able to detect using audio alone."
Sales team: The IVCi sales team engages in regular video meetings; often these meetings are as a group to give and receive updates on projects, share industry related information, and provide sales forecasting with management. The sales team also uses video with other departments to receive technical or other project related support. Additionally, the sales team uses video to meet with customers during an installation, reducing the in-person meetings that can consume so much travel time for clients. Video is especially useful to the sales team for these types of face-to-face meetings according to one member because "it provides the visual cues that let us know more about what the other party is thinking or feeling, and that information is simply not readily available with audio-only calls."
Marketing: Like the sales department, the marketing department uses video to stay in constant contact with remote members of the IVCi team, and discuss marketing campaigns and other marketing programs with the sales team. In addition to these internal meetings, marketing uses video to keep in close touch with the manufacturers with whom IVCi partners - these manufacturers use their own technology to conduct video meetings of all kinds, including marketing discussions with IVCi.
Product support/engineering: IVCi's product support and engineering (PSE) team is a vital part of the organization, providing technical expertise to our sales and project management teams. The dispersed sales team can easily access PSE over video at our headquarters, and receive the advanced technical support that is often required to ensure a successful installation. Using video for a technical discussion helps participants communicate more effectively, says the VP of engineering. According to him, he chooses video to discuss important technical issues because, "it has become second nature to me. Calls are more productive for me when on video, and unlike audio-only meetings I can give participants my full attention."
Finance and order management: These departments are involved in supply chain management and order processing; they use video to get all resources allocated properly and efficiently. The VP of the finance department often uses video when she needs to discuss any important item with a remote party. She says she does so because it "makes the discussion more personal. Some topics are too important to be discussed over audio, and video enables more intimate, face-to-face conversations."
Human resources: IVCi 's HR department uses video as an efficient way of informing employees about new and changing company policies and procedures; it allows HR to deliver a consistent message to many employees simultaneously. Video can also be used to assist HR with the beginning stages of the recruiting process, giving HR managers a better first look at candidates to narrow down the screening process. In this way only the most qualified candidates are brought to headquarters for the next round of interviews.
Audio visual (AV) department: In addition to regular project management meetings that are held over video, the AV department uses video to check in on projects that are being implemented across the country. AV uses a video robot that walks (rolls) around and delivers live video feed back to the project manager at headquarters. This is a truly unique and effective way of checking the progress at a job site without actually "being there."
We hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into video conferencing at IVCi. As we have grown we have stayed efficient and productive with visual collaboration tools, and we are only expanding its use as we enter new markets and bring on new customers.