Transforming Communication Across Africa Via Video Conferencing

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By Loubna Imenchal, Head of Logitech for Enterprise Business AMECA at Logitech Africa.

Digital transformation across the African continent has seen some instances of remarkable innovation, even though some regions have seen slower progress due to failures in leadership, fragmented trade regimes, and the prohibitively high cost of data and access to information technology.

However, leading African companies have now started to implement complex cloud implementations to drive business efficiency and save costs. For example, telecom giant MTN implemented Oracle Cloud Applications to onboard 5,000 suppliers in 19 countries and run accurate forecasts for tracking inventory levels worth $263 million.

Cloud computing has reduced the cost of access to world-class IT infrastructure, and with the World Bank’s goal of connecting every individual, business, and government on the continent by 2030 in play, broadband costs could fall by as much as 90%.

Lower broadband costs make online services like cloud video conferencing more accessible to more people, improving security, and helping democratise access to content, as the service is made possible by platforms in the cloud, rather than by licensed software on individual devices.

The trend is likely to open even more opportunities across the continent, as we look at cloud video conferencing lessons learned in the last year. Using the medium can help people across the continent to connect more effectively to facilitate business and improve education outcomes, without having to spend time and money on travel to achieve the same – if not inferior – results.

Cloud video conferencing improves communication in several ways, with a Forbes report noting that ‘humans process visual information far faster and more aptly than text or audio’, adding that ‘62% of executives agree that video conferencing significantly improves the quality of communication’.

While some meetings may be better held face to face, online collaboration tools like screen sharing and real-time document editing mean that big meetings – or even lectures – can be more productive. That’s because each person can have their own soft copy of documents under discussion (helping save trees at the same time), and any edits made to shared documents can be done on the spot, saving time and improving version control.

The ability to record a video conference is an advantage, whether it’s for record keeping purposes, to refer back to lectures after the fact, or to share content with colleagues who were unable to attend the live session.

Cloud video conferencing also removes capacity limits – no longer will a classroom ever be too small, or a conference venue too crowded. The tool not only makes it possible for people anywhere in the world to attend the same meeting, it removes venue restrictions as a concern for event planning – helpful at the best of times, but also very important in the heat of a global pandemic when business and learning must go on.

The Radisson Hotel Group has identified an opportunity to offer a hybrid approach to digital meeting solutions and help overcome restrictions on travel and the size of gatherings. The Group partnered with Logitech to install its Meetup and Rally user-friendly ConferenceCam solutions that provide an effective solution for event organisers wanting to find a balance between face-to-face and virtual conferencing.

With technology developing at a rapid pace, innovation in video conferencing as seen in Logitech’s range of conferencing solutions, from webcams and headsets to full conference room solutions, truly is putting communication and connectivity at everyone’s fingertips.

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