Best Practices for Rolling Out Your New Video Conferencing Solution
Bring on the Newness
So you’ve made the decision to deploy a new video collaboration (VC) strategy; congrats! This is an exciting time for your business and your employees. Video communication has been around for quite some time, but has seen a huge upswing in adoption over the past year or two across all areas of organizations – from the largest enterprises to brand new startups and even small businesses. Cloud technology is making video conferencing solutions more cost effective, versatile, and feature-rich, along with being easier to deploy, scale, and manage. It is no wonder that more companies than ever are making the decision to invest in this technology.
Making a change like this is a big step in bringing your employees closer together and increasing efficiency, but it’s no easy task. Along with new ways of working comes new systems to learn and understand. Technology is an amazing tool but, if unfamiliar it can be intimidating to new users. This is especially true if they haven’t been provided with the proper resources to understand why and how it should be used. Luckily there a number of steps you can take to ensure your new investment is used and enjoyed. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can make this transition as smooth as possible for everyone across your organization.
Decision & Strategy
The continuous advancements in video technology have naturally increased solutions and vendors in the market. This is great for giving decision makers flexibility and keeping costs low, but doesn’t make it any easier to decide on and implement a solution for your business. This is why it is extremely important to identify what you need in a collaboration platform. Depending on your business, your needs will vary based on what it is you sell or what service you provide. There is no video solution on the market that will fit the needs of every business, so identifying the main components of your solution is a must. This way, when you begin the implementation process you can inform your user community, providing a clear picture of why you chose the solution you did and some focused reasons on how it should be used. This will do wonders for adoption down the road.
The strategic goals for video conferencing are plentiful, which is why it is good practice to choose a few areas of focus and communicate them leading up to and during implementation. I suggest starting off with three main areas of focus.
Possible areas of focus could be:
- Improve internal communication and user experience
- Connect your remote team members through portable devices
- Provide customers with an interesting and engaging way to learn about your product or service over video
The same goes for the features of the VC platform you’ve chosen. While a solution might have tons of features, it is a good idea to focus on the ones that are most important to your business at first. In doing so you can avoid people feeling overwhelmed by the resources and time the take away from their regular workload to learn everything about the platform. Focus on a few things at first and let other uses grow organically over time rather than trying to do too much on day one.
Communication & Resources
Proper communication is often an area that doesn’t receive enough attention when rolling out new technology. With the work needed in the actual rollout itself it is no wonder that ample time is not spent here, but doing so will make a huge difference when the time comes for implementation.
Before preparing your communication plan you should prepare resources that will assist your team in learning about your VC solution. This can come in many forms. A share drive with written or video documentation works. In-room and virtual trainings are great if you have the resources for them. An internal company web page explaining your vision for the VC solution is a great option for most. Here you should provide your reasons for choosing the platform, what you hope to get out of it, a frequently asked questions page with some more detailed info, and links to more information and support. The point is to have a place where users can get info that will help them understand and be as comfortable as possible with using the technology.
Once you’ve prepared your resources you can begin communicating your rollout. I suggest a company-wide announcement two to three months ahead of your implementation date, including an exact date of when you plan to launch your solution with links to your previously prepared resources. This will provide ample time for employees to review the info, prepare, and ask any questions. From here you can provide a few supplemental reminders leading up to launch. This type of communication often unearths some feedback on particular items you might not have thought of previously and gives you time to address issues before rollout.
When you provide proper communication and resources ahead of implementation, employees feel included in what you are trying to accomplish and will be more comfortable with the technology when the time comes to use it. Any friction or resistance to change, (which is common when adding or changing technologies), will be greatly reduced and many of your users will be grateful.
Rollout, Usage, Adoption
Now that you’re prepped, it’s time for the rollout! Keep in mind a successful VC implementation does not end at its rollout. Making sure your employees stay engaged and want to use the platform is extremely important. Along with the initial resources you provided for launch it is a great idea to follow up with some creative ideas that can make using your platform more fun and not just another part of the job. Some suggestions are: encouraging employees to do calls in interesting locations rather than just the desk or conference room, wearing a funny hat the next time the start their video to get a laugh out of others on the call, or having some interesting props in conference room that might start up conversation that is different from the same old small talk. Be open and flexible to the way your business does work and try to break out of the “same-old” ways of conferencing. The idea is to show the reasons communicating in this way is not only more efficient than traditional communication – it’s more fun!
Lastly, providing a place where users can submit feedback during the initial rollout is crucial. Again, your implementation is not complete after you launch your new service. It is a good idea to keep the pulse of how employees are using the platform as time passes so you can look ahead and adjust. Analytics solutions are a good idea to measure how much usage the service is getting and who is using it most. Another good approach is offering an annual survey to your employees asking what they might like or not like and any suggestions they have for improvement. Engage with the people who love the service. You might find that users have started using the tool in ways you hadn’t thought of. This will help to grow and evolve your platform as time passes and technology improves.
Implementing a new video collaboration technology can be a tough task but with the proper planning, resources, and follow up in place, you can and will have as good a rollout as possible and a platform that your users will enjoy using.
To discuss opportunities regarding your organization’s VC platform, with one of our video conferencing experts, contact us at Videonor.