Our workspace imitates the world around us, like art imitates life. No wonder then, as the world gets smaller, boundaries in the workspace also decrease. The first such boundary to break is that of distance. While it is imperative to have productive interactions, it is no longer necessary to make extensive plans for bringing busy colleagues at the same location. And this is possible with the advent of real-time collaboration technology. Web Meetings enables audio-video interactions with a range of features like desktop sharing, whiteboards, polls, assessments – to name just a few.
The benefits are manifold. For smaller organizations, it is a boon that can enable them to find a global reach and makes their business international. For bigger enterprises, it increases inter-organizational communication and builds knowledge within its structure. It is also a great learning platform. The greatest tangible benefit is that of savings – travel costs as well as inter-organizational costs from lesser phone calls, meetings and the like.
While the benefits are clear, let’s face it – Business is about numbers. The return on investment (ROI) for any business case is necessary and a clear ROI also spells the support and approval of management! So we tried to analyze the ROI for our own organization, and the results were simply amazing. Here are our ROI computations –
Some points worth noting in the calculation above –
- We haven’t considered off-shore travel time and cost savings which would exponentially increase the ROI
- Couple of subjective factors were also not considered while doing the calculations, such as a) not all of the time saved would be used productively, and b) there would be some productivity gain due to intangible benefits like increase in customer satisfaction, effective communication etc. So while one factor would decrease benefits accrued, second would compensate it by increasing productivity benefits.
Leaving the very evident ROI aside, the intangible returns or the soft benefits for us are that of increased collaboration and faster access to our customers. It is now easier for knowledge within the organization to be shared. Expert views and interactions can also be easily made available across geographical boundaries. This leads to enhanced productivity for all the stakeholders. Training and support can be provided quickly and much more effectively leading to increased customer satisfaction.
The returns are thus are quite substantial, and the ROIs are only expected to increase as web meetings further embed in our organizational processes.
We recommend you look into your needs, future prospects and user profile – and go ahead and choose the best solution for you. You would not have to wait long for the competitive advantages to kick in!