The upside of COVID-19: More efficiently run businesses

Read time 2min 50sec

Choosing the right video conferencing tools and embracing all their features could see businesses emerging from lockdown more efficient than before. 

This is according to Google Cloud distributor Digicloud Africa, which is set to present a session on optimal video conferencing use at an upcoming ITWeb webinar series.

Gregory MacLennan, CEO of Digicloud Africa, says that while many local businesses had been working towards digital transformation for some time, COVID-19 and the lockdown has driven them to use and optimise their digital tools very suddenly. “Those who selected the right tools and used them well not only managed business continuity efficiently, but actually improved the way in which they communicated and operated across the business,” he says.

Pepkor, a major retail client, recently discovered that optimal use of Google Meet allowed the company to gather over 200 partners from across Africa in a single, secure and interactive meeting for the first time, improving on operating efficiencies. 

“Never before had they been able to hold discussions with stakeholders from across the country in a single, meaningful meeting. Google Meet, which is currently free to anyone until the end of September, allowed them to securely connect and interact – even across poor connections.”

Webinar: Managing remote workers and how COVID-19 is accelerating the future of work

With work from home now the new normal for many companies, there is no doubt the COVID-19 crisis has sped up the evolution of work. To reserve a spot for this webinar, sponsored by Digicloud Africa, click here.

“The lockdown is expected to permanently change the way businesses operate, with those who have selected the right digital tools opting to continue benefiting from the efficiencies and cost savings they offer.”

However, many businesses are still struggling to choose the right tools, says MacLennan. “Because of the speed at which businesses had to move to digital collaboration tools and video conferencing, many just adopted the first one they heard of, and kept using it.” Many encountered challenges such as complex logons, the need for each participant to download an app, a lack of security, and a lack of useful business features.

“Businesses should focus on selecting the solution that delivers everything they need – looking at features such as how many people can participate in a meeting, whether it is encrypted or not, whether meetings can be recorded, how participants can engage during a meeting, how easy it is to use, and how the solution handles poor connections – for example, does it drop video first for enhanced audio, or does it simply allow the poor quality video feed to stall and drop?”

Effective use tools such as video conferencing could also require a change in mindset and careful planning of procedures – for example, organisations might opt to schedule short, regular meetings and outline standard video meeting protocols to get the most out of meetings and support overall productivity.

During a webinar series to be run by ITWeb on 7, 8 and 9 July 2020 on ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on Digital Transformation’, Digicloud Africa will present a case study by a leading retail group on how video conferencing improved their business, as well as a talk by Google Cloud Architect Sizwe Mabanga on selecting and utilising solutions. There is also a panel discussion on common remote work challenges. 

For more information on this webinar series, and to reserve a spot, click here.

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