I "grew up" in the IT world working on Lucent G3si PBX technology, with ATM and Frame Relay circuits, and I even purchased a Montage M8000 MCU and a slew of Picturetel Concorde 4500 video systems way "back in the day". Back then, I heard repeatedly that video was just a "nice to have", that the telephone was good enough and I tended to agree... in 1996.
When I think of how the world has changed in 15 years, I am stunned. Aren't you? It is natural for us to embrace what we know, to stay within the confines of comfortable communications systems. It is also a fact, that we must move on at some point.
My AHA moment came when I began to use video every day, for meetings with customers as well as with internal team meetings. I realized that how I looked and sounded were not really substantially different from meetings "in the office/face to face" except that they were a lot cheaper and less time intrusive on my video system. No travel time, costs.. ability to work from my desk, with all of my stuff. It was like injecting 2-3 hours of additional time into every day.
I had to figure out how to share data and screens effectively.. (I used webex and now Cisco Jabber religiously)
I had to have decent lighting.. (problem solved with an $8 extra lamp for my desk.. bought at Target)
I learned how to do multipoint meetings using my MeetMe conference bridge.. adhoc, internal & external.. awesome.
Audio works great as long as I didn't go too far across the room. Not a big problem.
Others' audio and video weren't perfect.. but seeing their smiles, smirks, and eyebrows "raise" added a huge dimension to my remote relationships.
I turned OFF the PIP showing my self view. This changed everything as I could now focus solely on the people on the video screen.
I still like my telephone. There is something about holding the handset, or putting on the headset and checking voicemail that makes me feel comfortable. I have however moved into the 21st century and I LOVE my video capabilities and collaboration connections. I do plenty of telephone calls these days and will for years I'm sure.. but in each one, I find myself thinking..
I would really like to SEE what they think about what I just said.
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