EncorePro_510It’s early Monday morning and you get a call from your small business customer that they would like to meet that afternoon to review the plans you sent over. You suggest a video conference since their office is well over an hour away by car. With today’s video conferencing apps for desktop and even mobile devices –  standalone or part of a Unified Communications platform – it will be easy to conduct the virtual meeting. In fact, you’ll even be able to conference in the head of sales who is traveling and will be at the airport and have about an hour between flights to participate using his smartphone.

Such is the nature of meetings today. You can be hundreds of miles from your team members or customers and still meet to accomplish most anything, although there are some times when it’s absolutely essential to meet face to face. In fact, considering the impromptu nature of many meetings, some of them happen in the most unlikely of places. We asked Plantronics customers and associates “where is the least professional place you’ve ever taken a conference call.” Not surprising, 20.5% indicated they took a call in a coffee shop and another 11.3% were on a plane. However just to show you really can be anywhere and have a meeting, other answers we received included:

  • 9.6% sporting event
  • 9.1% working out
  • 8.4% party
  • 6.9% concert

While it may be convenient to hold an audio or video conference  wherever you are, there can be communication challenges. For starters, you may have to contend with background noise interfering with clear communications. And there can be connectivity issues, especially if you are conducting a softphone call or a video conference over a wireless network.

In Plantronics The Better Meetings Blueprint, we advise that there are several technology considerations for today’s web enabled meetings. They include:

Mobility: Among your small business team, the desire to use preferred personal mobile devices and apps known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Bring Your Own App (BYOA) is growing. Support your mobile users with a mobile strategy that outlines which mobile devices you support, what apps are needed for virtual meetings and how to provision security – set access privileges for your corporate data, for example – for each supported device.

Sound: Mobile users can’t be certain about the noise in their environment; yet good sound quality is paramount to a successful meeting, especially when all users are not present in one room. Noise-cancelling headsets can enable audio clarity among mobile users. Poor acoustics in a conference room also can be offset by noise-cancelling speakerphones.

Network capacity: Without a reliable connection – especially high-speed bandwidth to accommodate HD video and audio – you can’t be certain about the productivity of your small business meeting. Ensure that your connection is reliable with minimal latency to maximize uptime across all video endpoints, conference bridges and firewalls. Advise remote users about best Wi-Fi practices to ensure they have the sufficient upload and download speeds to accommodate the demands of a web or video conferencing tool.

Security: Make sure to have strict security protocols in place for data transmission and for accessing your small business information stored in the cloud.

Find out more about Plantronics noise-cancelling headsets for your small business desktop and mobile devices to ensure successful meetings wherever you are at: http://www.plantronics.com/us/compatibility-guide/.