So why is online collaboration overtaking traditional audio?
Last week in my post “Three ways you’re losing the benefits of online collaboration” I ignored audio conferencing. Let me plug that gap and explain why.
The biggest benefit highlighted last week for online video collaboration was saving money and time from reduced travel. To the same point, traditional multipoint audio conferencing is starting to look expensive, especially if you need any services such as call recording or managed entry. However, if you haven’t personally experienced the pain of multi-point audio conferencing you might enjoy the video at the end of this post.
Don’t get me wrong, audio is still great for 1:1 conversations in most situations. Though if you’re thinking about relationship building there’s no substitute for being able to see the other person.
Some will argue that audio is better and more reliable for roving mobile participants. Not only is widespread Wi-Fi and 4G coverage reducing this advantage, but seriously, ask yourself – are you really adding value by dialling-in from the airport, hotel lobby or corridor and staying on mute for most of the call?
On the subject of excuses, it’s true that audio presents a lower technology barrier for users – we all know how to use a phone. However, is it really acceptable these days to be the office Luddite and not to have some competence with your organisation’s online collaboration tool such as Lync or Webex? No one really admits to to this but there’s a real and largely hidden competence issue preventing organisations becoming truly productive in the area of online collaboration.
So personally, I think there’s no going back. Collaboration is becoming increasingly dynamic. Meeting colleagues, and creating, annotating or updating documents in real time.
We’re all programmed ultimately for face to face contact and a picture is worth a thousand words. Online collaboration done well can be as effective and as engaging as a face to face meeting.
Feel free to add your own experiences and observations as comments on this blog.
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A Conference Call in Real Life from Tripp and Tyler