A guest post from Peter Lurie, Polycom Consulting Engineer and regular author on the Polycom Techie blog:
Last week, I posed a question to several of my peers:
If two companies are in a negotiation, with each of the participants in separate locations (all over the world) is there a benefit to one side if they're all participating with voice & video where the other side is using audio only? Does the side that has video have an advantage in the negotiations just because they're using video?
Inherently, I knew the answer was yes, there's an advantage to the team on video. But I couldn't really vocalise why.
After some discussion, we came up with three reasons:
1) The team with video capabilities has better audio quality
As great as Polycom speakerphones and desk phones are, intercompany communications will traverse the narrow band public phone networks reducing the audio quality. The video-capable teams can hear the voice inflections of their own team better, especially if they're using their non-native languages or have different dialects. (Learn more about Polycom Audio.)
2) The team with video capabilities has non-verbal communication between their team members
On video, we can see who's paying attention or not. We can wave to get someone's attention. We can shake our heads yes or no tell the video team that they're on the right path (or not). It's much more effective to gesture than sending an instant message (IM) to your associate because an IM interrupts the speaker's train of thought or speech. There is a perceptive pause. It's a more natural human reaction to read your own team's body language and see their active engagement in the discussion.
3) Conversations are more natural
Teams on video know who is talking because they see each other talking. This is more like you're in the room together. You don't ask, "Was that Joe who said that?", “Who is on the call?” or "Who was talking?" There is no need for a roll call or a "Sue, are you there?" Those people on video have a definite advantage, whether talking or in silence.
In the future, when you're in a negotiation and collaborating only using your telephone, remember that your partners, your customers, or your opposition may have the upper hand, because they're video-enabled.
Want to learn more about how Polycom unifies voice and video participants into one call? See the Universal Collaboration capabilities of the RealPresence Collaboration Servers.
Do you agree? Disagree? Think audio is the same as video? Leave a comment, sharing your thoughts.