Industry Perspectives: Video Communications During A Crisis

[Editor's Note: Industry Perspectives is a regular feature in which vendors in the streaming media space explore issues and trends on which they can shed unique perspective. The articles reflect the opinions of the authors only, and we print them as a means of starting discussion.]

Executives agree that it is always important to effectively and consistently communicate with all of your employees worldwide. In times of crisis, though, it is vital. During a crisis, maintaining visibility and consistent interaction with employees can make the difference between the success and failure of a business. This includes responsibility assignment, situational debriefing, and vertical and horizontal employee communications—even in the face of extreme stress. Better-informed individuals are the building blocks of a motivated and well-performing team.

In today’s always-on environment, workers expect up-to-the-minute information that connects them, their companies, and their leaders to a shared vision. Yet, a disparate team and information overload make it more difficult than ever to deliver your message to everyone—even at the outer edges of your enterprise—in an engaging, timely, and intimate way. These challenges increasingly require direct communication from the top of the organization. There is no time for the slow flow of information or the twists and turns the message takes as it weaves its way through your organization.

A New Generation of Enterprise Communication Options
Most companies already have several forms of corporate communication systems in place. These can include email, intranets, instant messaging, video conferencing, blogs, podcasts, wikis, and online video. In challenging times, it is important that your message not only is delivered quickly to everyone, but also that it exudes authenticity and inspires confidence. However, in the face of shrinking budgets and resource constraints, leaders are often forced to choose between speed, reach, consistency, and quality of communications. The next generation of enterprise video on demand solutions for employees resolves all of these issues at 1/10th the cost of traditional approaches.

Large enterprises and small companies alike are struggling with this dilemma. Large companies may have the breadth of systems, but often can’t execute effectively because they lack control over communications scheduling; fear they might bring down the network; or are concerned about difficulty in reaching all remote employees. Smaller companies also struggle with limited bandwidth and may have additional scalability issues.

Traditional communications, like face-to-face meetings, certainly have the intimacy required in delicate situations. Leveraging the hierarchy of the organization, the message is disseminated telephone-style—often with a series of additional meetings—throughout the company. Although personal, these traditional communication methods may sacrifice the reach, consistency and speed required in crisis-mode.

On the other hand, high-speed communications, represented mostly by web communications like email, can get the message delivered quickly. But these first-generation methods lack the intimacy of more traditional communications. And in a sea of emails, vital messages can often get lost.

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