What are the Problems Associated with Traditional Video Collaboration?
Let us understand the key root problems in conventional video conferencing on account of which it does not meet the senior management expectations and they have to perforce invest their time in travel from HO to nerve centers and vice versa in spite of having video conferencing at all key offices/manufacturing plants/projects
A- Low immersiveness of video meeting- Immersiveness of video meeting is defined as how close is the experience of meeting over video to the experience of meeting face to face
B- Extreme low ease of usage along with multiple user limitations
A) Why conventional video conferences have low immersiveness?
1- As it is tedious to focus the camera manually alternately on the speaker and alternately on the complete group the camera typically shows a completely zoomed out view of participants. So In a two-location meeting, distant participants appear smaller than one tenth of their actual size and appear as postcard size heads. Further In multi-location meetings, members of your teams appear further significantly smaller making them appear now as talking stamp size heads. This makes you feel as if your team members are thousands of miles away( You on the earth and they on the moon).
2- Poor eye contact which makes you unconsciously uncomfortable , induces doubts , reduces trust and makes you feel as if the far site participants are not talking to you.
3- Poor quality video in point to point calls which further worsens if you share content or do multipoint video calls. This is on account of insufficient and poor quality MPLS bandwidth used for video meetings in spite of the fact that business quality bandwidth in city locations in India now costs less than INR 2500 per Mbps per location per month. Instead of providing 3 to 4 Mbps bandwidth for business quality video along with content a bandwidth of 384 Kbps to one Mbps is being provide for senior management meetings. Old network cabling and infrastructure also decreases the video quality. In some cases older non high definition codec's are being used which are nothing but a torture for any user on account of which audio teleconferencing is a better option.
4- Video of the participants is not only poor quality but also dark and gloomy as if the participants on the far site are sitting in a semi dark room ,that practically hides the language of their eyes and the face. All this is happening not on account of the fact that there is insufficient lighting at the far site meeting room but for the fact that architects did not seek professional help to optimize lighting for business quality video meetings in your conference rooms. It may be in fact over lit!
5- Poor audio quality on account of low intelligibility ,hiss , echo and lack of directional effect leaves end users straining to understand the far speakers and also to identify the current far site speaker with his/her hand and lip movements only.
6- Apart from seeing and talking to the distant participants, no serious work can be accomplished by the users on account of multiple challenges in sharing the content of their desktops, explaining from a whiteboard or from documents which is very much easy in face to face meetings! Also shared content is further not readable especially for senior management participants on account of suboptimal room layout and small content display monitors.
B) Extreme low ease of usage and multiple user limitations -How easy it is to use without getting IT and admin support? What can users accomplish themselves?
1- Users are unable to join a meeting without IT assistance. It appears to them as difficult as rocket science.
2- How easily end users can connect to multiple locations on demand?
3- How easily users can get everyone on the same page in the video meeting?
4- Scheduling and connecting multiple locations across the organization together in a single call over multiple networks involving some participants on audio requires days of planning and organizing.
On account of these limitations the highest immersiveness that you can get in conventional video conferencing solutions is just 5 to 10% which is not acceptable to the senior management who are used to excellence in every aspect of their work ,making them travel frequently.
This low immersiveness is also responsible for significant reduction in the productivity of middle management teams who do not have the option of travelling frequently.