Virtual Classroom, as the name implies is a virtual setup that allows participants to communicate & collaborate eliminating time and space difference. Virtual classroom is a technological platform composed of set of computers, network infrastructure, equipments like camera, microphone and interactive software. Immensely popular in education industry for remote learning it has truly revolutionized the way quality education is delivered in remote areas.
The name virtual classroom is quite misleading making one believe that it is an alternative to a physical classroom. Virtual classroom is the technology of the future which is going to be instrumental in transforming the way people communicate, collaborate and coproduce.
Virtual classroom being an advanced technology and facilitator of online collaborations finds it major applications in the corporate world.
Virtual classroom applications for corporate:
- Team Meetings & Collaborations
Often project teams located at geographically distant places need to communicate as per project demands. Traditionally this happens over emails, though company chatting software and telephone calls. Traditional communication being asynchronous in nature introduces delays; leaves room for miscommunication and piled up to do list. It also lacks in keeping communication trail or log. Real-time collaboration over virtual classroom allows teams to work productively. Teams working at multiple locations and in multiple languages can discuss, debate and finalize the work plans for on schedule and quality deliverables.
- Client Meetings, Presentations & Sales Demonstrations
Sales meetings with clients is a multi-round affair. Not only the audience each time could be different – technical user, business user, finance team, procurement head – but also intention of each meeting might differ – product demonstrations, RFQ evaluations, negotiations. Holding such multi-level meetings with the client as per everyone’s convenience is challenging especially when client is located in a different geography and timezone. Virtual classroom offers relief from managing the logistics and concentrate on core business.
- After Sales Support Services
Prompt Support is critical to repeat & referral business opportunities. Virtual Classroom eliminates the need of the support person travelling all the way to client office to service the issue. This makes the support services quick and improves client satisfaction.
- Virtual Trainings
Continuous evolvement is a key to organizational growth. Training & development is required to nurture skills and develop new strengths. Virtual classroom makes it easy for HR & T&D departments to arrange well-qualified trainers from across the globe without stretching on budgets.
- Product Launches
Companies with products for international markets can utilize the easy connectivity and global reach offered by virtual classroom technology to do worldwide product launches, similar to what Apple and Microsoft often do. Virtual classroom setup allows company officials to take questions about new product launch from customers from different markets and provide resolutions. It gives them early feedback, market sentiment and enables to initiate necessary corrective actions to make new product a success.
- Press Conferences
MNCs with global operations can hold a joint press conference from multiple geographies for important news and announcements through virtual classroom setup. Interactive virtual classroom technology empowers dignitaries from across the locations to take up questions and listen to answers by other company officials and occasionally adding up to that.
- Conducting interviews
Recruitment is a cost centre for any company. Hiring local talent at plant locations from central or regional offices can be made possible by employing virtual classroom infrastructure.
Overall virtual classroom technology offers following benefits to corporate:
- Reduced cost
Global business travel spending was $1.18 trillion in 2013. Business travel spending is growing at record rates especially in developing countries whereas in developed countries like US and Canada growth in business travel spend is much lower owing to the adoption of advanced communication technology.
Virtual classroom completely cuts off business travel cost required for all purposes; whether it is business meetings, support calls, trainings or conferences, this advanced technology saves significant cost to the corporate which cannot be directly mapped to revenue earned.
- Fast turnaround
Collaboration through virtual classroom is synchronous and real-time. It facilitates two-way dialogues through audio, video and interactive write boards. It ensures quick turnaround, clear communication and fast closures.
- Improved productivity
Virtual classroom offers numerous features like interactive whiteboards, polls, quizzes, surveys, application sharing, chat rooms, multilingual support that boosts employee productivity.
- Global Reach
Virtual classroom being advanced mode of communication has sharply reduced time and distance barriers. Connecting to someone thousands of miles away is no more a deterring task, but as easy as saying hello to buddy sitting next.
- Innovation through collaboration
Virtual classroom greatly reduces logistics challenges whether it is travelling, setting up seminars, training programs, conducting interviews or holding a product launch.
In such favorable environment, business teams can focus on core business and bring innovations in product development, service offerings, sales & marketing, training and business operations.
Corporate are always in a hunt for solutions to increase their bottom line and reduce costs. Virtual classroom is a comprehensive solution for advanced communication needs. Businesses should welcome and happily embrace this latest platform which will directly and indirectly help them grow and expand.