• Wednesday , 22 September 2021

AV News interview with Jim Fitto at Maverick AV Solutions UK – a leading distributor of workplace solutions.

UCN • Which VC solutions are the most reliable?

Most video conferencing solutions make it simple and easy to connect online with co-workers, friends, or family, for online video calls and online meetings. The advances in cloud technology means that reliable video conferencing has become accessible and affordable and can easily serve the ever-changing modern workplace.

UCN • Which solutions do users find the easiest to use?

The modern platform provides an easy-to-use experience for anyone who works remotely or has remote team members and allows for simple, easy setup meetings or regular meetings in your personal meeting room, whether through a one touch join meeting room panel or one click through to a browser.

UCN • Which solutions offer the widest range of capabilities?

Microsoft Teams and Google Meet form part of a wider workplace ecosystem and are dedicated to improving and reimagining the employee experience in a hybrid workplace and bring virtual meetings to life.
UCN • Which solutions represent the best values to the employer?

As with all software services, pricing and packages are important and they do vary widely. Many services are scalable depending on the number of hosts and attendees you need. In other words, do some evaluation of how video conferencing best fits into your organisation’s culture and workflows. As a an example, a service that could be priced per host instead of per-user tend to do better for webinars.

UCN • What are you recommending to customers about user adoption and training?

It is no surprise that the pandemic has accelerated and, in some cases, forced the multi generation workforce to adopt video conferencing in the workplace. Video conferencing lets people meet face to face from anywhere. In other words, it’s a new form of the in-person meeting. Video conferencing today is much easier to set up a meeting too and therefore adoption is much greater even amongst those non-technical users.

UCN • What support is available to remote users outside traditional office environments?

Given how rapidly many businesses have shifted from office work to remote work, it’s understandable that well-being has been a big focus on keeping people working and productive. Video conferencing has helped this transition between remote work and office work easier with anyone able to quickly schedule, start, and manage meetings, whether in the office or at home. Other employee experience platforms can help too such as MS Viva, Workday etc.

UCN • What security measures can be deployed by remote workers and are they effective?

Good cyber security practices and data encryption can help keep out unwanted attendees and protect your employees and secure your data. Some other practical measures could include passwords for all meetings, chairperson to join in first, lock calls after everyone joins, limit file sharing in the chat, prevent recordings of events or a set up alerts to identify which attendee has started recording.

UCN • What level of data is available to maintain the confidence that remote / hybrid working practices are truly productive?

Exactly how a remote/hybrid team needs to communicate will vary depending on its size, the nature of the roles in the team and the specific type of hybrid working being undertaken. Hybrid working should focus on the work done, ensure you measure (and celebrate) outputs and achievements rather than time spent on tasks. And don’t forget about wellbeing! There’s plenty of research that shows happy and healthy workforces are more productive and perform better!

UCN • How to you balance the need for productivity with the requirement for the employee to maintain a work/life balance?

Make sure they are having enough time away from work responsibilities, such as setting boundaries for answering work emails and encouraging people to take their annual leave. Managers need to set an example here and be seen to take breaks. Employees might want to consider going outside for short walks and eating away from their computers on lunch breaks to allow time to relax.

UCN • How do you suggest customers approach Integrating remote technologies?

5G will certainly change the way the workforce interacts with the tools they use every day. Real time applications, such as voice and video, are sensitive to disruptions. 5G will prevent these disruptions by enabling users to stay on the same cellular network throughout the journey. 5G will be instrumental in transforming the digital experience by allowing for deeper levels of collaboration and productivity.

UCN • Is it time for the ‘smart city’ concept to be realised to support the work anywhere ideal?

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we perceive work. Digital cities are becoming a reality as we speak. It has been proven that despite being remote from the office you can still be productive and connected. The advent of 5G technology is expected to accelerate smart city technology into the mainstream and how we work in the future.

UCN • Some developers are pointing to XR technologies as a key to facilitating universal collaboration – what do you think?

 

With video conferencing platforms, it is easier than ever to organise and attend events, classes, meetings or conferences in an effective way. Immersing ourselves even further in simulations by wearing a VR device it is possible to transport oneself to a virtual space to provide a powerful and unforgettable experience.

UCN • What should customers consider when designing the hybrid workflow?

With so much disruption from the pandemic, people’s expectations around work, how they fulfil their role, work/life balance will have changed dramatically. This is an ideal time for employers to think more creatively about effective ways of working, and harness more agile and flexible working practices to meet individuals’ changing expectations.

UCN • We have had collaborative technology for more than 20 years and yet it has taken a pandemic to bring it to the forefront. Why?

Video conferencing bandwidth and hardware has come a long way. It used to be a huge investment for companies with so many small companies not being able to afford it. It was also very difficult to set up, integrating to other video conferencing systems was poor so it was often neglected, and adoption was low. Today, in many ways its more about the cultural mindset shift than technical. We live in a more connected world and its here to stay.

UCN • The pandemic has wreaked havoc on the travel and hospitality sectors – on the other hand. The cost and environmental benefits are legion. Have attitudes in the business world changed enough to support a universal move to collaborative technology?

Yes. Thanks to digital advances and ever-improving connectivity, today’s workers are no longer tied to a place. Business leaders now recognise remote working does not necessarily mean loss in productivity. Human-to-human connections still matter. It’s finding that balance.

UCN • How important is it that collaborative sections are integrated with basic office applications such as spreadsheets, word processors. And drawing tools or is it better to use best in class and rely on the user to deal with the integration?

Video conferencing platform is one of your company’s most important business communications tools. A feature-rich video smart meeting conferencing solution can empower your teams to be productive no matter where they are located. By allowing Team members to interact almost as if they were in the same room and also present office applications or share their screens is imperative.

 

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