This paper aims to work out a plan for the adoption of new telecommunication solutions in an organization. The company under analysis specializes in debt collection and recovery; currently, this firm has five offices located across the state. The management finds it rather difficult to connect them to one another and incorporate these branches into a single network. In particular, they are forced to spend much time and resources in order to organize face-to-face meetings. On the whole, the interactions between different parts of this enterprise are characterized by constant delays, cost-inefficiency, lack of coordination, and low productivity. The major recommendation is to install HP Halo telepresence applications which can improve business processes and reduce expenses.
The rationale for implementing HP Halo Presence Solutions
At first, it is vital to explain the benefits which the company can derive from adopting this plan. The products, developed by Hewlett Packard as well as by its partners such as Microsoft, enable to link together employees, managers, customers, who may be in different parts of the state, country, or even the globe. One of their major advantages is the ability to hold real-time video conferences both locally and internationally (HP, n. d). This feature seems to be of great value to any enterprise that has a complex structure as it is no longer necessary to waste time and money on business trips or phone calls. It should be pointed out that these applications have multi-point capabilities. In other words, a great number of participants can join the conference simultaneously. So, it is no longer so cumbersome for the personnel to work on cross-functional projects, requiring joint collaboration of different teams.
Secondly, these applications can be of great value to those employees, who have to travel across the state or the country. They allow instantaneous access to Internet sources or internal data. However, when speaking about these products, one should not forget about their functionality. They offer an opportunity to transmit text, voice, pictures, presentations, and so forth. Text-to-speech software immensely facilitates the process of reading. This may be of great avail to the managers who have to browse through hundreds of pages on a daily basis.
Another peculiarity of Halo Presence solutions is their customizability. They can be easily adjusted for the needs of various companies or even particular departments. Many scholars emphasize the idea that internal communication is one of the most expensive operation processes and one of the most critical ones for the success or even survival in the competitive market (Bovee & Thill, 2006). This is one of the reasons why the management of this enterprise should make investments in this area. Then the question arises why it is so crucial to purchase HP solutions rather than any other. First of all, they provide the best price-quality ratio. Secondly, they are specifically designed for the needs of business communication, especially for those organizations, which consist of multiple branches, located in different regions of the country or even the globe.
To substantiate the assumptions about the usefulness of HP telepresence solutions, we need to refer to the experience of leading businesses that have already implemented them. In his case study, Howard Lichtman (2006) presents an ROI (return on investment) analysis of HP applications. According to him, the cost-effectiveness of such systems usually depends on the size and structure of the firm. For example, if it has a great number of offices throughout the country, teleconferencing applications are liable to break even and generate profit in less than a year because they help to save more than 90.000 $ per month1 (Lichtman, 2006). It has to be admitted that such solutions are most widespread in large corporations which operate with many partners and have to interact with many foreign suppliers, vendors, or clients. In this particular case, it is rather difficult to determine when our company will enjoy the benefits of Web-based communications as we do not know exactly how much the firm spends on travel.
At this stage, it may be prudent to give a detailed description of the products and services, offered by HP as this will better explain their functioning. On the whole, it is possible to single out three major ones: 1) collaboration studio, 2) meeting room and 3) collaboration center. The first one (Collaboration Studio) includes plasma screen monitors, high-definition cameras, speakers, network routers, and other related equipment2. Most importantly, this application comprises custom-designed software, which gives an opportunity to send voice, video, text, etc (HP n. d.). It should be borne in mind that Halo Collaboration Studio is rather unlikely to become obsolete. Its developers ensure that the elements of the system can be easily substituted or modified if new technologies emerge. As it has been noted before, the main advantage is multipoint connections. Apart from that, graphical User Interface allows users to select from more than fifteen languages; this feature is rather helpful especially if their organization is in Europe or Asia (HP, n.d.). Another fact, which speaks volumes in favor of HP solutions, is that they practically do not require any changes or upgrades to the already-existing communication networks.
HP Halo Meeting room and Collaboration Center are not inferior in terms of functionality; however, they are oriented towards a smaller number of users. Certainly, the management of almost any company pays special attention to such criteria as the cost. The exact pricing can be presented in the table format.
|HP Halo Collaboration Studio||$ 349, 000|
|HP Halo Collaboration Meeting Room||$ 248, 000|
|HP Halo Collaboration Center (Four- seater)||$135, 000|
|HP Halo Collaboration Center (Two seaters)||$ 120. 000|
Thus, we can argue that Halo Video conferencing solutions are oriented toward a wide range of audiences. The most optimal approach for our company will be to buy Collaboration Center (Four Center). The thing is that it is functional and spacious enough for the needs of the personnel. Furthermore, we should take it into that our firm comprises five offices; therefore, the installation of this system will cost six hundred thousand dollars. We should say that Hewlett Packard knows about scheduling problems, faced by many organizations; this is why the installation of the system can be done almost any time of day and night. So, the adoption of this strategy will disrupt any workplace activities.
Implementation of the solutions and timelines
At this point, it is rather difficult to draw an accurate schedule for installations of the Halo telepresence system because we lack specific data about the situation within the company, its financial and technical resources. Nonetheless, it seems advisable that Halo collaboration centers are installed at the same time in each of the five offices as it will enable the personnel to get accustomed to them. Naturally, one may object to such grand-scale change, by saying that the firm may not afford to spend this amount of money in such a short period of time. Yet, the success of this plan depends solely on coordination and synchronism. The benefits of these applications can manifest themselves only if offices are incorporated into a single network. The second step to be taken is to offer training courses to the employees so that they could use these new technologies and software in the most effective manner. Of course, Halo Solutions are extremely user-friendly but in the meantime, they are very sophisticated tools. A person, who cannot handle them, may not even see their usefulness.
The improvements can be expected in several areas. One of them is problem-solving and decision-making. The team members, representing different branches of the company, can easily work together without having to cover long distances. Given the fact that one of the offices may be located in the mountain area, while the other is at the seaside, we may argue that the presence of telepresence solutions will help them to avoid unnecessary delays. Apart from that, it will increase their productivity: managers and employees will be able to spend invaluable time with their families and friends instead of taking constant business trips. Halo solutions will add more value in relations between the firm and the labor force. The personnel will see that the company truly cares about their welfare and does its best to improve their working conditions.
Significant changes will be observed in the monitoring and assessment of performance. Currently, the management cannot take full control of the activities within the organization as offices are scattered across the state. With the help of new technologies, information-sharing in the company will raise to a higher level of speed and accuracy. In comparison with phone conversations or Web-chat, video conferences ensure a better level of understanding because voice or text cannot render all shades of meaning. In this regard, we should say that a large portion of the information is rendered by non-verbal means of communication, for example, gestures or facial expressions. So teleconferences produce an effect of real-life conversation.
The modern age of online technologies gives companies a good chance to private businesses to enhance their performance and minimize operating expenses. Those firms, which are unable to utilize these opportunities, are doomed to extinction. The plan that has been presented in this paper can bring immense improvements to the functioning of this organization. First, the implementation of the Halo solution will contribute to better time efficiency as it will be possible to get connected team members, partners, clients, and managers by establishing a single network. Secondly, the firm will not have to incur heavy expenses, associated with travels, lodgings, airfare, and so forth. Thirdly, this system will facilitate teamwork and project management, especially when the task requires the cooperation of employees, located in different offices. The most critical point is that this solution will make the communications between the units more natural. They will bear more resemblance to the real-life conversation. It will give a sense of satisfaction to the employees and make them feel that they are valued by the company. As for financial indicators, the management can expect improvement and reduction of operating expenses in less than a year.
The green line indicates the point when the purchase of telepresence systems breaks even and becomes profitable. (Lichtman, 2006, p 26)
Costs which can be eliminated by adoption of HP Hala Applications
Bovee C.L & Thill J.V. (2006). Business Communication Today (9th, ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Hewlett Packard. HP Halo telepresence and video conferencing solutions. Web.
Hewlett Packard. Video Conferencing Solutions. Web.
Lichtman H.S. (2006) Telepresence, Effective Visual Collaboration and the Future of Global Business at the Speed of Light. Human Productivity Lab, pp. 1-51. Web.
- For more detailed information about the costs, saved by telepresence solutions, please refer to the Appendix.
- Please refer to the appendix to see visualized version of Halo Collaboration Studio