As the economy continues to sputter, companies of all sizes are looking for ways to cut costs, but no one wants to look cheap doing so. When it comes to travel, which can run up fairly sizeable budgets for some companies, one elegant way to curtail expenses is to embrace telepresence. Here's why.
Telepresence is not your father’s videoconferencing. We’re talking about sophisticated technology that employs Internet connections and large flat-screen displays to bring together people in different locations in realistic face-to-face interactions. Unlike Skype or the videoconferencing applications of the 1990s, telepresence delivers clear images and sound to make participants in meetings, conferences and seminars feel like they are in the same room. That means no broken connections, sinister-looking grainy pictures, and crackly audio that doesn’t sync to the video.
Telepresence is gaining traction as companies look for alternatives to cut travel budgets. As the technology gets popular, it opens up new opportunities for MSPs. Delivered to customers through a hardware-as-a-service (HAAS) model, telepresence complements nicely the work MSPs do in providing remote IT services to customers.
There are many scenarios in which the MSP can use the technology for communication with the customer. Let’s say instead of doing weekly or monthly telephone calls with your customers, you could sit in front of a large flat screen, with the customer doing the same at the other end? Rather than using the phone to review reports itemizing the work you do for the customer, which can come across as somewhat abstract for non-technical people, you could actually demonstrate the systems to the customer and how the reports are generated.
Beyond the MSP/customer relationship, telepresence has myriad applications in a business environment, including executive meetings, customer calls, planning meetings between sales and marketing staffs, and day-to-day exchanges between multiple departments. MSPs should promote the technology as another way to increase value for the customer, by not only cutting travel but also replacing telephone communications in instances when the face-to-face component is sure to enhance interaction.
The New VuImproving the telepresence value proposition for customers is a new offering by VU Telepresence, a Zenith Infotech sister company. Cost and complexity have always been road blocks when considering telepresence. Cost of the equipment as well as the bandwidth requirements. Vu redefines telepresence by offering easy-to-use features across low bandwidth environments. It is easy to install and operate Vu without IT intervention. Vu uses state-of-the-art technology reducing bandwidth requirements while maintaining quality and connectivity even on noisy networks.
FINALLY, a solution has been developed that makes video collaboration flexible and affordable, transforming Vu TelePresence into the ultimate source of competitive advantage, democratizing telepresence across your organization. The convenience of HD quality conferencing with eye contact, life-like images, and distortion free sound are some of our strengths. Vu Telepresence is a low-cost, high-value alternative delivered through a HAAS model. MSPs will have the option of setting up VU TelePoints in their buildings and bill customers to use them.
Telepresence reduces travel and operations costs for the customer, while giving MSPs another way of diversifying their offerings and enhancing the value they deliver to customers. Why VU? Here are 15 good reasons. Not to mention the pricing will shock you! Any MSP looking to do more for customers should consider this technology.
Maurice Saluan is VP-Channel Management for Zenith Infotech as well as seasoned sales veteran in the managed service arena. Guest blog entries such as this one are contributed on a monthly basis as part of MSPmentor's 2010 Platinum sponsorship. Find all of Saluan’s blog entries here.