The last release of Connect Xf 3.18, launched the new Video calling and Multi party video conferencing facility (in Beta currently), from right within the browser. This allows the user to simply dial a colleague from the roster and have a audio/video chat with him/her and also add multiple people into the call to have an audio video conference with them. To join the call, a person only needs access to a browser and a web camera (easily available on most devices today).
More details about the Audio video chat feature can be seen here.
We did a little study internally within Mithi and with a customer from the manufacturing industry, both of whom are using this feature to improve their operations. This note captures some experiences of how the two organisations are leveraging Connect Xf’s new Audio Video call/conferencing facility to increase productivity
At Sharada Industries
More productive and cost effective Operational reviews.
Earlier Sharada Industries managers and C level people would have per-scheduled travel itenaries to visit and conduct reviews of the various plants located across India. Working this way caused them to either travel too much for impromptu/unscheduled meetings or postpone some important face to face reviews to the next planned trip, possibly leading to delayed decisions. By switching many of their review activities to using Baya’s video conferencing facility, the Sharada management can now schedule any number of virtual meetings as required, allowing them to take quicker business decisions without having to wait for the next trip or spend time and money on an urgent trip.
Getting technical expertise from across plants together with a click
Typically in such industries, it is common to have experts in different areas of the production spread across plants or may be concentrated in the HO. While the plants are staffed with operators to handle production from a set production system/assembly line, any major breakdown in the process, may need expert intervention. In the earlier days, experts would travel “urgently” to consult on such breakdowns. But now Sharada uses the video conferencing, gets the technical experts from various locations on the call and uses the web camera to demonstrate the problem situation. Using this the experts are quickly able to suggest fixes and guide the operators to make the fix, resuming the process quickly and efficiently.
Reduced Travel, More Effective Meetings for the sales team
Mithi has a geographically distributed sales network and used to sync up over a conference call earlier for weekly reviews. By shifting to using the multi party video conferencing facility, the sales team now meets “virtually” by simply signing into Baya at a scheduled time and connecting into the call from within the browser. Besides being able to see and hear each other, the system also allows them to exchange information over text chat and mail, making the video meeting more effective. Result is cost savings from reduced travel and more effective coordination of work. The unproductive time spent in waiting, driving or traveling can now be put to better use.
Work from home (or anywhere) without loss of productivity
Employees on leave or having commitments at home that keeps them from travelling to office, can now login from home and be fully in sync via Baya with email, calendar, chat. They can even attend meetings (face to face) via the video conferencing feature. For a larger group meeting, the team simply projects the display on a large screen and can involve multiple employees who are not physically present. This has provided immense flexibility to employees to cater to their home commitments, while still being able to engage with the team at work if required.
Greater flexibility with Virtual Face to Face meetings with customers
Most customers and partners would like a face to face before making important buying / selling decisions, but are hard pressed for time. Mithi converts many such meetings to scheduled video meetings. This gives the team a flexibility in organising and scheduling / rescheduling the meetings.
Baya allows the creator of the meetings to loop people into a video meeting by sending them a time bound invitation via email. This allows the team to bring in all the people necessary to resolve / discuss an issue at hand at anytime during the meeting.
Saving time and costs with Virtual Job interviews
The typical process at Mithi used to be to test a candidate using online testing mechanisms and then conduct multiple face to face interviews. For remote candidates, we would first have multiple interview rounds over phone and then invite the candidate over for the final interview to our office. By switching to using Video calls for all interviews, the HR team has an additional level of comfort since they have now seen the candidate and also the candidate gets to see the team (as they go through multiple interview rounds), without needing to travel at all. The system is more efficient, saves cost of travel and allows the team to opt to have another few rounds if needed at mutually convenient schedules without having to deal with the logistics of arranging for travel and stay.
So, how could you use the video conferencing feature in Baya to make things better at your workplace?