Telecommunication and its role in success

Video conferencing is one of a companies most powerful tools when communicating with different divisions or plants that are located across borders or even in different buildings. While videoconferencing is nothing new, it is an always evolving market. Previously, Skype was one of the largest video conference players until the company Cisco stepped in with their total office packages which includes WiFi, telephone, and video conferencing. Regardless of which service provider you decide to go with, teleconferencing is critical to a business by reducing the need to travel in order to bring people, ideas, and technology together.

As mentioned before, the idea of talking to a hologram or a person over some futuristic technology (as seen in the Jetsons) has been around since I was a child. However; today these dreams have become a reality by bringing people face-to-face even though they are separated by thousands of miles over an audio and video channel feed. While e-mail chains are an adequate form of communication, it can often fall short due to the following benefits of video conferencing:

  • Live connection and conversation is needed in real time
  • Traveling to a location for a meeting proves to be too costly
  • Traveling over borders is not possible for certain parties (Visa free travel is a luxury many countries do not experience when entering countries such as the USA)
  • Non-verbal or visual queues are important to decipher how another party reacts to your comments or business proposals.
  • Non-verbal communication is necessary due to hearing loss

Some of the things to keep in mind when communicating to another branch location via video conferences include:

Signal latency: Latency refers to the time required to transmit the signal from your internet address to the recipient. If not properly monitored the listeners may accidentally interrupt the speaker causing at least an interruption, but if taken in correctly, and in many cultures, can come off as rude or that you do not trust the person speaking.

Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the medium in which the data is transported between the receiver and the sender. Many countries may experience lower bandwidth speeds resulting in low resolution video, audio stutter, high latency, and frustration at each end due to the inability to communicate naturally. Other countries may also have data limits in which their internet only supports the first ‘x’ amount of video time. When working with poorer or disconnected countries before to check with their IT department if that will be a limiting factor.

Eye Contact: The main reason video conferencing is popular is due to the feeling of a natural conversation, you can see the person speak, react, and ask questions allowing you to take in the visual queues that help people communicate non-verbally. Just as in normal discussions, keep in mind where the camera is located because if it is in an odd or inconvenient spot, it may appear to your viewers as though you are talking to a wall. Therefore, it is always important to be conscious of where the camera is and attempt to make eye-contact with the camera lens to give your viewers a more personal interaction. We realize this is difficult to always be aware of especially in a high stakes business meeting, so as a result companies are placing the video camera above or under the television giving the appearance that the viewers are talking in the general direction.

Recording: The final benefit of teleconferencing I will leave you with is the fact that these can often be recorded and replayed in order to catalog the details of the business transaction. In many businesses these recordings can hold as a verbal agreement between two parties. In other situations, such as technical talks between two cross-functional teams at the same company, they can serve as product or production details which will help other teams learn and share the knowledge with their co-workers.

The benefits of telecommunication are endless and can impact, education, government, law, medicine, health, society, and entertainment.

Properly configured conference room

When we are involved in designing or setting up a conference room, several factors need to be addressed in order to improve the appearance of the speaking and listening party. For large conferences there is generally a large oval or oblong table with multiple microphones at each chair so each member on the panel or committee is able to clearly voice their opinion or thoughts with the receiver. Additionally, windows are always an added bonus to be included in a work place. Our studies show that people are less drowsy in the morning when they are exposed to natural sunlight. So we have worked with a specific window contractor to design the windows for each of our conference rooms so that the employees can benefit from the natural light, and still concentrate on their meeting. Commonly, blinds are installed as well in the event that confidential information is being shared and access needs to be limited. Lastly, the layout of the video conference table needs to properly include each of the parties involved to keep the flow of the meeting as close to natural conversation as possible. If there are limited microphones, blurry camera images, or not enough viewing angle to see everyone present, the room needs to be redesigned by our office contractors to help improve the efficiency of the meeting taking place.

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Communicating Internationally

Our customers continually ask about our name, why is it global telecommunications, when you are really just connecting the same company throughout their specific locations.

We provide consulting advice to companies in need, to boost the following areas of business:

  1. Cross-functional communication
  2. Top down responsibility
  3. Individual Goal and growth plans
  4. Team / Department Goal and growth plans
  5. Healthy competition
  6. Teamwork between business divisions.

We have helped business located in the following regions to become successful when it comes to providing unique customer solutions, whether the customer is another branch in the company or if it is a multi-million dollar contract that drives revenue. We find that the differences between an external and internal customer are treated differently at companies who have poor communication. The first step we try to solve is by including the company as its biggest customer. Locations that we have helped serve:

  • United States / Canada
  • Australia
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East
  • Atlantic Drilling Platforms

 


If you are interested in learning what we can do to help fully integrate your business into the modern era please contact us. We work to create a unique business solution for each of our customers.

 

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Australia to Asia Communication Gap

Language barriers between departments working for the same goal, cost companies millions of dollars, if not more per year. The latest example we had was with the same window company from the previous post. This company is working towards the exact same goal! And yet, the different departments that are separated by a border are inadvertently working against each other. This company was delayed by over 6 months because the window sashes were deemed incompatible with the assembly equipment in Asia. However, with the same equipment were able to be produced in Australia. The main problem? Communication.

This was a simple case of using phrases and not having them translate from English to Mandarin. The product engineers located in Melbourne, consistently used the phrase “too right” which to them meant definitely. However; when translated the translator heard the phrase as “to the right” in which case the equipment was set up orthogonal to the actual plane they were working on. This was discovered almost immediately, when the global product manager in Melbourne went to visit the production facilities in Asia.

Right and wrong don’t matter. Solving problems does.

The point of this story isn’t to criticize this company, which wishes to remain anonymous, but rather to bring to light how a simple miscommunication can cost companies massive sums of money, and arguably more importantly, time.

In the light of this realization the CEO of this company reached out to us, and requested us to restructure their teams in a way that will maximize the communication between the different branches, and promote competition, assign responsibility, and tools to dial in on the problems at hand.

The way these window contractors are set up after our reorganization, allows for the product engineers to draft product drawings and share them online with their Asian counter parts. They then hold bi-weekly meetings to iron out any kinks that either side can envision, or what is more likely, both business parties will agree on product changes that were over looked in the design phase. They are currently in the process of improving their prototyping equipment to precisely match the equipment that is used at their production site. The estimated cost is roughly the same as their previous 6 month delay, but will pay for itself as the team better learns to communicate with each other across borders, and across business units.

When both teams know what a parts specific roll is, it’s much easier to understand the purpose.

Further actions that are in development include the integration of the sales and marketing force with the design team in Australia. Currently, marketing is conducted solely from Germany, and are facing similar problems to the Asian plant. Upper management and the L2 level and above, is discussing how to reorganize to hold their employees in marketing accountable for the products that they say will sell and drive revenue. Similar techniques are being adopted to increase communication as well as drive a friendly competitive nature within the business in increase the relationship ties between each of the respective units. In the past, they saw a whole lot of finger pointing when it came to addressing quality complaints from customers. After the reorganization of the team and the implementation of bi-weekly meetings each business unit finds that it is easier to solve the problems by better understanding the design limitations of the products.

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Dialing in on the problems

The largest problem I see international companies struggle with is the fact that there is poor communication between different divisions in the company. This means that marketing tries to sell products that R&D cannot develop, or makes promises to develop products significantly sooner than possible. Cross-functional teams can consist between departments such as Human Resources, Production, Operations, Finance, Marketing, Research and Development, and IT. In a well run company all of these aspects work together in order to better themselves and their fellow coworkers.

Guide your team to success.

The cross-functional teams we structure our business partners with always serve to be self sustaining and self directed teams with important milestones, tasks, and responsibilities. Each department will be called upon for specific input and expertise in order to organically grow business. The benefit of assigning a task to a team which consists of multiple different backgrounds is the elevated level of creativity and out of the box thinking that a group unfamiliar with the problem may have. The largest success we have witnessed was at a window contractor company, when one of the IT members suggested that the window be made with sound proof insulation inside the frame instead of outside of it. This type of thinking was lacking from our product engineers and within a month that idea was a complete slam dunk for the company and the entire team.

When we at Global Telecom set up and practice something that our competitors do not. We restructure companies to create and value cross-functional interactions which include competitive, cooperative, and team building. While many other companies think that competition between departments create negative energy, we find the opposite. We find that healthy competition promotes communication between departments with much higher success than any other technique available.

Dialing into the deeper problems that many companies lack is that there is not a clear decision making tree. This means that when a customer calls, and a solution is proposed, no one (or in many cases too many people answer that call) is directly responsible for the outcome. We at Global Telecom, believe that upper management is responsible for coaching, mentoring, and guiding their team to success. Leaders need to be responsible for directing team members across departments such as IT, Marketing, and Production (to name a few), to complete tasks that are value added.

Conclusion:

  • Dial a code: How does your team communicate with each other and across departments. Who are you going to call?!
  • Know who is responsible for each goal
  • Communicate goals top down
  • Healthy competition never hurt.

 

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Welcome

Welcome to Global Telecommunications. We are in the process of remodeling our website to provide our readers and viewers with an easier to follow and more informative layout.

Please be patient, as this process is estimated to take until June 9, 2017.

Thank you!

-Global Telecom Team

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