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02:15 PM
David Luff, Global Bank & Finance Practice Leader, Tandberg (Lysaker, Norway)
David Luff, Global Bank & Finance Practice Leader, Tandberg (Lysaker, Norway)
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In an Increasingly Global World, Insurers Who Leverage Telepresence and Videoconferencing's Capabilities Put Themselves Ahead of the Curve

The continued evolution of virtual communication has made telepresence and videoconferencing feasible as an integrated part of a firm's unified communications, driving more efficient and cost-effective operations.

David Luff, TandbergInsurers are finding more and more ways to utilize telepresence and videoconferencing technologies in their organizations for tasks that include marketing programs, training, customer service and claims activities. Telepresence and videoconferencing can save time, money and even help manage head count, while giving insurers, agents, customers and partners a more immediate and personal, face-to-face experience than would be possible with phone or e-mail.

Today, most insurers aren't using videoconferencing as a strategic technology. Why? It's due to a knowledge deficiency on what's changed to move videoconferencing from an "island technology" to a technology used strategically throughout the organization and as an integral part of unified communications.

Telepresence allows executives to meet face to face for improved communication as well as clear and effective responses. Desktop video is deployed to provide high-touch services to customers and distributors where remote experts are available for personalized consultations. As projects and workflows increasingly require global teamwork, videoconferencing is used to remove physical boundaries and improve communication between dispersed teams to complete work more quickly and avoid expensive rework. Finally, insurers are using wireless video to leverage skilled appraisers for collision repair estimates by bringing the problem to the expert rather than having to bring the expert to the problem.

A critical factor in maximizing enterprisewide adoption of telepresence and videoconferencing technology is active engagement at the executive level. Equally important is creating a consistent, high-quality user experience that removes complexity and puts the user in control. While training should not be overlooked, if access to even the most advanced features is not intuitive, user adoption will suffer. The ability to easily connect with whomever is necessary has become a strong requirement, making standards-based, multivendor interoperability a critical success criterion. Expectations that systems perform flawlessly every time make effective management of the total solution essential.

The promise of anytime, anywhere, visually enabled collaboration will become increasingly real in the near future. Integration with collaboration tools, availability on a wide variety of devices and continued evolution of standards-based protocols will drive videoconferencing adoption beyond conference rooms.

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