Building Out Your Virtual Offerings With Video And Collaboration Tools

Small Business Canada

Now more than ever, we’ve seen how vital alternatives to in-person solutions are for businesses. By building out your virtual offerings with online conferencing and collaboration tools, not only are you able to provide more flexibility for existing clients, you can also use it to reach new clients and customers.

For example, my company, Cisco, expanded the capabilities on our free Webex solution to include support for up to 100 participants, HD video, and desktop, application, file and whiteboard sharing options. Webex, like other meetings and online conferencing solutions, can provide the foundation for your virtual services and help your employees stay connected with clients.

No matter the industry, from finance to healthcare to education or even law, here’s how you can leverage online conferencing solutions to deliver impactful virtual and video experiences.

Finance: build stronger client relationships with remote advising

From packed schedules to cross-country moves, it’s not always possible to meet in person with customers and clients. And while email is a convenient way to share quick updates, having the opportunity to see each other face-to-face can help develop deeper, more meaningful relationships. This is especially true in financial advising, a business that’s known for its long-lasting – and even intergenerational – client relationships. 

With a video conferencing solution, you can expand your services to offer remote advising. This provides additional flexibility when it comes to scheduling, letting you meet clients wherever they are on whatever device is most convenient, from laptops to phones. Screen sharing makes it simple for everyone to review documents together in real-time, and you’re able to retain a key aspect of communication from in-person meetings – visual cues. This can make complex or difficult conversations easier to have and reduce the odds of something getting lost in translation.

Healthcare: add more accessible services to connect with patients

Mobility, time and travel constraints can be barriers for many when it comes to accessing healthcare. Whether you’re a doctor, physiotherapist or speech therapist, expanding your clinic’s capabilities to include video and collaboration technologies not only helps personalize care experiences for patients, it can also streamline clinical and business workflows, and improve knowledge sharing for faster innovation in care.

Here are a few ways online conferencing can help your practice:

  • Allows for face-to-face consults and assessments between patients and doctors, anytime, anywhere;
  • Makes diagnoses easier and more engaging with screen sharing capabilities;
  • Let’s you quickly and easily meet with other healthcare professionals for knowledge sharing;
  • Connects clinical and administrative workers for virtual training, which can simply be recorded for on-demand viewing.

Education: provide innovative learning solutions for students

Learning and administrative decision-making don’t have to take place in-person anymore, with new technologies that let students attend courses anytime, anywhere and on any device. 

Not only can you create a compelling online learning experience with live high-definition video, integrated audio and information sharing through persistent chat platforms like Webex Teams, you can also stimulate group collaboration with virtual whiteboards and build a digital library of recorded lectures to support the self-paced study. And, if you run a tutoring business, you can expand your services to include virtual tutoring. 

When it comes to administrative work, you can use video to meet and share updates with parents, connect with coworkers remotely and hold training sessions for staff. 

Law: create secure virtual consultations and a more digital workforce

COVID-19 has forced many legal practices to adapt quickly to continue serving clients uninterrupted. However, this has also opened new doors for firms once physical distancing starts to ease. With video and collaboration tools, you can look to retain the benefits video conferencing offers to reach new, more remote clients. Drafting shareholder’s agreements, assisting with restructuring business or helping a client purchase a home can all be done over video conference, safely and securely.

With the right video conferencing tools, you can connect virtually while maintaining client confidentiality and keeping records secure. Cisco Webex uses end‑to‑end encryption to keep messages, documents and whiteboard content encrypted from one device to another. 

You can also use video conferencing to create a more positive work environment for your people: partners and their teams have the ongoing option of working from home, on the road, or the office – whatever best suits their schedules. Meeting and sharing information remotely will let team members keep cases on track and stay tuned into the culture of your company.

These unprecedented times have placed an added emphasis on a business’ ability to be innovative. By adopting video conferencing and collaboration technologies, you can add another layer of customer service and support without adding a significant line item to your balance sheet. Which I’m sure we can all appreciate right now.

Lissa Ricci is vice president of small business solutions for Cisco Canada. She is passionate about technology and how it can help growing businesses achieve their goals. Sign up for your free Cisco Webex account now at

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