Videoconferencing is an essential tool in business collaboration and development. You see it more often with larger companies that have more of a global presence, since communicating with collaborators and employees overseas is part of how they do business. However, small-scale and mid-size businesses benefit from this technology by communicating their products and services to a larger market, opening up their markets to larger audiences through word-of-mouth and networking, and often utilize larger company networks to collaborate to a wider client base.
A hosted video conferencing solution is the best plan for smaller or mid-sized businesses to improve their business efforts. This solution offers Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which means that a service provider handles the equipment, software, installation and maintenance. This will reduce their communication expenses by allowing a single provider to handle all of their videoconferencing needs.
There are services that are room-based, which works with existing video technology that requires short range bandwidth and minimal quality. There are also ‘Personal Telepresence’ video conferencing solutions, which provide high-definition video conferencing, VoIP, and high frame rate, and can be afforded by all types of businesses. Virtual video receptionist works for answering customer calls, remote technical assistance through video chat, video call centers to enhance customer satisfaction and convenience, business-to-business video for smart business management and a host of other options to enhance the range and versatility of your mid-sized business.
There are a variety of specialized equipment that enables quality videoconferencing using your existing system or business model. With this in mind, choose your technology wisely.
- Cost is key. Before knowing which technology to invest in, know whether such technology will pay off. There’s no need to commit to a large expense and not have the market to capitalize off of it.
- What kind of technology do you need? If you already have laptops and desktops with webcams, then a full videoconferencing suite may be nice to have, but way out of your budget, or too much for your current system, software or needs. This is where a videoconferencing service can save the day. A provider can handle all of your technological and video performance needs. However, if even the most basic audio and visual equipment is lacking, then it pays to make sound investments in video monitors, microphones and high definition cameras.
- What kind of security features will you need? Security is critical to videoconferencing because of the ever presence of hacking and network intrusion. Ask the relevant questions to the service provider to make sure that they have the proper encryption codes and other security features to protect your, and your clients’, information.
- Is this technology from the distant future? It’s great to have the best possible videoconferencing technology, services and capabilities that the market provides but it’s important that your employees can actually understand and utilize the technology. There’s no benefit to having a videoconferencing solution that no one can use, or one that requires IT’s full-time presence. That goes for your clients, too. A product that works well but can’t be accessed is essentially useless.
- Make sure 24/7 support means 24/7 support. Maintaining and updating a sophisticated system is just part of the game; it can’t be avoided and access to a strong, reliable support team to keep the system up and running is just as powerful as the technology’s capabilities. When dealing with a service provider, the level of support should be outlined regardless of the level of technology you get, and their turnaround times are unconditional and immediate.
- Is this system all-in-one? When you are ready to integrate a videoconferencing system, make sure the products and services cover a wide-range of options for your business. You’ll want a solution that is potent and reliable, but also one that is, or can be, personalized for your business. There’s no need to purchase features you’ll never use, nor should you need services that the system cannot provide. It also helps to diversify your videoconferencing solutions compatibility. Your solution should a comprehensive one, not a convenient one.
Looking for a video conferencing solution for your business? Contact us to find out how we can help.