While all of us can benefit from better communication, some small businesses have specific challenges that video teleconferencing (VTC) can help them overcome. You can examine some Cisco, Polycom, and Lifesize VTC case studies from Here is a quick list of indicators that your small businesses might want to consider adding a video conferencing system:
Reduce Your Expenses
If you're considering converting from a travel based meeting strategy to a virtual video conferencing based system, you've probably heard the dollars and cents breakdown of what you might save by limiting travel. But just for fun, let's go over it one more time. Let's say you have a company of about 200 people, and 20 of those people need to take a flight for a meeting (within the US) approximately once a month.
Example Small Business
A Video Conferencing Meeting Solution Would Save:
Where did we get this information? We just plopped in some numbers into a special calculator provided by Cisco. You can do your own calculations with the tool using their Cisco Business Advantage Calculator. Of course, the actual numbers will vary based on the cost of travel from location to location, and many other factors. These are generalized figures that are meant to just give you a general idea of potential savings you might see by reducing your air and auto travel for a year. And if the potential financial savings isn't incentive enough to travel less, long lines, delayed flights, full-body scans, and shaving cream restrictions might also be a motivator.
With potential government incentives for making your facility greener, businesses may soon have even more financial incentives to reduce their carbon footprint. VTC companies recognize the potential of their products to help reduce the carbon footprint for businesses of all sizes in the United States and beyond. That's why a number of our manfacturer partners have created tools to help illustrate the potential for greener business. In fact, you can do a little research on the energy you can save by using this handy Commuter Calculator created by Cisco. Lifesize also has a website with tools for helping you determine the impact of travel on the environment.
Lifesize has created a quick chart of CO2 emmisions by air travel from location to location. See a few examples below (and more here) :
|FROM||TO||ROUND TRIP CO2|
|New York||Los Angeles||2.46t|
|Miami||Rio de Janeiro||4.18t|
t = metric ton. By comparison, the average U.S. household has a carbon footprint of about 17 metric tons PER YEAR. Source : Lifesize
Keeping a broad reach across the country for your business is one way to find new opportunities and grow. But the cost of travel typically increases quickly with the addition of new office locations. If it makes sense to open a small office in a new location, video conferencing equipment is a smart investment for keeping new office locations in touch with home base while keeping travel expenses within budget.
If its time to step up to the big leagues, you might find it a necessity to integrate VTC into your network so that you can communicate and collaborate with larger businesses who have already taken the step.
Some companies that have taken the step to VTC can be seen in our case studies stories. Lifesize customers like Quincy Newspapers Inc., National Geographic Society, and Barnardo's share their experiences with VTC. Polycom customer's Georgetown University and Adobe Systems and more Cisco customers also share their stories.
More Benefits of VTC for Small Businesses
When to Fly
A video conferencing system cannot entirely replace the need for travel. There will still be times when a trip to a colleague or customer is necessary. Of course you are the best judge of when it's right to fly, but we have a few suggestions below just to illustrate the point:
Some people love VTC so much they video conference on the plane too.