Last week saw our new video phones being rolled out across our offices in an attempt to improve collaboration between staff. Because of our adoption of virtual desktops for the whole business, being able to effectively use video within a virtual machine isn’t fully supported, so upgrading our phones made more sense.
The phones themselves are the latest Polycom models which plug into the hosted voice platform we have been using since our inception. Video is automatically enabled for any internal call and means it is always used, without any interaction needed from the employee.
One of the challenges we have found as a fast growing multisite business is the interaction between new staff across offices, and I am hoping technology like this will only help forge closer working relationships. I am taking one home this weekend, and if successful on my abysmal home internet line, will see more staff being able to interact more when not in the office.
I have always found with technology it has to be intuitive to be adopted – as we found when we built our video wall which is a permanent video conferencing setup between our two offices. When video conferencing is in a meeting room, it rarely gets used, but set it up as a permanent ‘window’ into the other office and it is constantly looked at, smiles are made and interaction happens.
Time will tell if it has been an expensive exercise with a technology that has stalled before to get off the ground. My hope is that in the next few months if I suggest we go back to the old system, without video, that the staff refuse to do so.