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September 02, 2014

Finding the Right Video Conferencing Solution for Your Organization

By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer

In the past, the implementation of video conferencing technology was primarily put in place in order to cut costs as organizations continued to expand operations. With the development of the Internet, mobile and cloud services, the right video conferencing strategy has to include not only cost-cutting measures, but also strategies to grow the business using this platform and the new available technologies. So finding the right video conferencing system requires companies to consider many different factors because not “one-size-fits-all.”

In an article written by Snorre Kjesbu, VP and general manager for Cisco (News - Alert) System’s collaboration endpoint technology group, titled “Key factors to consider when evaluating video conferencing” he looks at many of the hardware, software and management of the technologies organizations must consider beside the cost.

Video conferencing brings many opportunities to the table because young employees want the technology to be available in the company they work for. According to Kjesbu, not having this technology can result in missed business opportunities, talent recruiting challenges, lack of competitive differentiation, problematic customer care, and lost reinvestment capital.

A survey conducted by Cisco revealed 87 percent of their respondents believe video has a measurable and positive impact on an organization, with most saying they would prefer working for a video-enabled company. This is because video collaboration is becoming an integral part of a business’ communications tool, but the knowledge base varies widely, with many organizations unfamiliar with the options they have available to them.

Because the available technology and price range are so far and wide, organizations, especially SMBs find the process of picking the right solution discouraging. As Kjesbu points out, the choice question will inevitably have to come back to the needs of the organization. Once this has been determined, the right platform can be deployed that best suits the company without breaking the bank, while at the same time providing solutions that serves the organization well.

Companies should look for:

A well-designed video system that integrates with existing unified communication and collaboration solutions.

A flexible platform that allows participants to join from different devices, whether it is a room, desk-based system, desktop computer, smartphone or tablet.

Consider simplicity, reliability, scalability and security as key factors for the platform you choose.

Carefully examine whether to develop a dedicated fixed cost network or subscribe to a pay-as-you-go service. Ask what it will cost as the number of users increase and more calls are made before signing on.

Last but not least take your time in making the decision, with so many options available in the market place consider implementing a pilot program for a single quarter or more, and assess the impact it has had in the organization to determine its viability, including ROI. Video conferencing is no longer a luxury but a necessity, and understanding this point can go a long way in making this technology part of the organization.

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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