Date: August 28, 2011
To: Pat Caring, Chairperson of the Board of Directors
From: Sharie Evans, Director of Communications
Subject: Video Conferencing and our Expanding Business
Video conferencing is becoming the norm for business communication. Our technology systems are advanced and our need for communication is great. As we expand our business, we become aware of the need to improve our communications systems. We have all used tele-conferencing for communicating when immediate access to a particular person(s) is needed but have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to see and speak at the same time to that individual? Instead of trying to explain a complicated ...view middle of the document...
Video conferencing will help us to erase or at least significantly reduce the effect travel has on our environment (The Top 5, 2010). The capability of having our associates work from home on a part-time basis would also be advantageous. The geographic locations of our associates and our offices would no longer be considered a disadvantage. We would be able to maintain, and possibly improve the level of quality in our work performance.
Our offices are widespread across Canada. Video conferencing would enable us to communicate easier with associates in all our offices. Short notice meetings can be arranged with greater ease and less cost (21st Century, 2011), decisions can be made faster, and projects can be completed sooner. These are all factors that will help maintain a competitive advantage (The Top 5, 2010), which is paramount to our business. Video conferencing would enable us to visualize each other’s work with the use of whiteboards for drawings or formulae, showing spreadsheets or other such documents necessary to assist explaining and prevent misunderstandings when necessary (eHow.com, 2011). It will improve our ability to communicate effectively with our partners, fellow associates, and our customers. Our ‘one to one relationship’ we have with our customers will be unspoiled even if they aren’t physically in the same room as us.
To Rent or To Own
There are two different ways of incorporating video conferencing into our business. One option is to invest in the equipment and the required staff to adapt the system into our work environment. The advantages are significant regarding privacy and the high level of confidentiality that would be upheld because of owning the equipment and the network needed to run the system. It would be for internal use only and the costs would be well known and constant. The disadvantages to owning our own equipment and network are; the initial capital expenditure required for start-up, the expense of the skilled technicians needed at each end point to ensure a high level of up time, and the possibility of the technology being underutilized and not used to its fullest potential.
The other option for utilizing video conferencing is to “rent” the service from an outside third party who specializes in such technologies. One of the advantages of this method is no capital expenditure required. We simply call a reputable ‘room broker’ to book a room and show up for our scheduled meeting time (TKO, 2011). The significant advantages to renting the service are; support is readily available the entire duration of the meeting, the equipment will always have the newest of technologies and the most recent upgrades, and no infrastructure, personnel or training issues for our company to deal with. The disadvantages of renting are the low level of...