Video Conferencing for
The SMB Guide to
Defining the SMB
Aberdeen looked at 62 companies using video
conferencing that were under $250 million in
annual revenue and under 1,000 employees.
These companies were then split into a top half,
labeled Leaders and a bottom half, labeled
Followers, based on their performance.
The Performance of SMB Videoconferencing
To define value, Aberdeen focused on two key
metrics: Travel Reduction and ROI. Leaders saw
significant travel reductions and paid back their
investment. Followers had done neither.
Change in Travel -16% NONE
Return on Investment
from Video Investment
Questions and Assumptions for Today’s
Video Conferencing has traditionally been used
to provide executive communications and
corporate communications in large enterprises.
Desktop and Mobile Video Drive Business
PC-based video conferencing within
corporate campus 88% 41%
PC-based video conferencing outside
the corporate campus 74% 38%
Mobile smartphones for video
conferencing 38% 24%
Tablets 22% 14%
Leaders were more likely to adopt both the PC and
mobile devices as videoconferencing endpoints.
And the Future Will Be Increasingly Mobile
Over the next 12 months, Leaders plan to
implement both tablets and smartphones as video
endpoints much faster than Followers.
Tablets 39% 18%
Mobile smartphones for video
conferencing 29% 16%
Getting Business Value from Video
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
So, How Did They Do It?
What did Leaders do that Followers failed to do?
How did Leaders reduce travel and achieve ROI?
Was it the approach, the processes, the people, or
Why SMBs Adopted Video
Unsurprisingly, the top two pressures to adopt
Need to reduce travel costs (64%)
Employees lose too much time for corporate
However, the third pressure was a key
differentiator between Leaders and Followers.
Focus on Revenue
Leaders were two-and-a-half times as likely as
Followers to believe that it was an imperative to
make revenue-producing activities more engaging.
This meant using video at the point of sale or as a
demonstration tool during a complex sales cycle.
By aligning video to sales, video conferencing
became exponentially more valuable.
Technology vs. Culture: Which Reigns Supreme?
In comparing these strategies, Leaders were more
likely to focus on supporting multiple form factors!
Biggest Challenges for Video Adoption
For Leaders, corporate culture was still a big issue.
For Followers, the challenge was that the company
had not fundamentally bought into the value
SMB Leaders SMB Followers
Corporate culture is not conducive to
a video experience 47% 31%
Perception of poor video and/or audio
quality from solutions 43% 42%
No budget for video collaboration
equipment 30% 58%
Videoconferencing Policies and Value
SMB organizations de-emphasize formalized
policies to a greater extent than their larger
Even so, Leaders were more focused on
bandwidth prioritization and a formal technology
roadmap than SMB Followers.
What DIDN’T Work?
By the same token, Leaders were a third less likely to
have a proactive reduction of corporate travel
budget after purchasing videoconferencing. Leaders
let travel reduction occur in an organic and business-
Leaders were also less likely to have a standard
deployment for desktop and PC video collaboration. In
the SMB, each employee is a special snowflake when
it comes to using video.
Although executive champions and initial training
courses on video usage were important, Leaders
were more likely to be concerned about the
ongoing support structure as well.
What Leaders Were NOT Tracking
Amazingly, Leaders were significantly LESS likely to
track QoS and to have a specific trouble-ticketing
system for video problems.
Although these are quite important at the enterprise
level, SMBs lack the time and resources to commit to
this level of granular monitoring. Instead, their focus
was on finding technologies that worked consistently
within their IT environment.
SMBs take the Ron Popeil Approach to Video
SMBs focus on
finding and installing
within their IT
Leaders were also over four times more likely to
have formal SLAs for video services!
Quality and Standards Matter as Well
Because video is likely to be used in high-leverage
situations in Leader environments, a majority of
Leaders had high definition and standards-based
This made video more realistic from the end-user’s
perspective and provided more B2B
communications opportunities for contacting
partners, suppliers, and sales opportunities.
Data Sharing, Ease of Use, and B2B: Three
Key Traits for Videoconferencing Value
Desktop sharing within video
collaboration 74% 54%
Ability to switch screens from video to
data 68% 48%
Video dialing based on IP address or
device 68% 30%
Business-to-business (B2B) video
collaboration capabilities 48% 30%
Video conferencing through soft client 46% 16%
Recommendations for SMB Video Users
Focus on the business tasks where video can
Let business lead the way in terms of technology and
Mobility and the proliferation of form factors are a
Travel reduction should follow business use cases
Training and ongoing support are important
So are managed services and SLAs
Treat Video as the new phone for best results
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