Video pays off in the enterprise

As costs come down and the technology improves, video is finally spurring easy and effective collaboration. (Plus -- 5 tips for building video culture in your organization.)

Man in suit videoconferencing on tablet

Thanks to falling costs and rising quality of service, a growing number of organizations are finally turning video into a standard tool for enterprise communication. Though widely touted for years, the technology previously had limited appeal -- mostly in global organizations able to foot the bill for expensive, room-based videoconferencing or telepresence systems.

The advent of professional-grade, user-friendly video products for the desktop, along with new SaaS-based video offerings, has been a game changer for small and midsized organizations, which had previously passed on the technology, experts say, due to budgetary constraints or because they lacked IT employees able to handle the complex systems.

"As videoconferencing platforms become optimized for self-service, it's bringing down the barriers related to the cost and difficulty of implementing the technology," says Nick Barber, an analyst with Forrester Research. "It's far easier to scale and deploy videoconferencing when you don't need to buy, install and manage extra hardware."

The medium has become a preferred way of communicating at the Dutch firm Cimpress, with employees logging over 2,000 internal video calls daily, according to Nick Parece, lead VoIP engineer for the company, which specializes in mass customization of products such as printed material, signage and promotional items.

Cimpress replaced traditional IP phones in conference rooms with Cisco video systems while delivering video capabilities on employee desktops and mobile devices via Cisco's DX series for the desktop.

Now, rather than picking up the phone or shooting off a quick email, Cimpress employees have one communications device that lets them interact with co-workers down the hall or across the world through either audio or face-to-face video. The latter, says Parece, has quickly become the medium of choice across the enterprise. "Video is the engine that allows us to collaborate and innovate -- it's become an important part of how the company interacts," Parece says.

Read on for details on how Cimpress and other organizations are tapping the power of video to reduce travel expenses, increase productivity, improve employee collaboration, help make executives more relatable, help attract and retain millennials and more.

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