January

January 2015 - How do you know if you need video conferencing in your company?

It’s 2015. Video technology is already part of the day to day routine for users in all different sectors – the public sector, academia, entertainment, traditional industry, in small and large companies. And even so, video conferencing is a new concept for many. In order to know if you need to implement video conferencing in your company, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
 
  • Why does my company need video conferencing?
With the growing complexity of technology in the business world, and the endless burdens of manpower – video conferencing could serve as a solution and an efficient and simple way for companies to complete their daily assignments. The advantages of using a video platform include better communication with distant employees and colleagues, lowering travel costs, improving employee mobility and making your workforce more productive.
 
  • How much does it cost to implement a video conferencing system in a company?
This is the most common question for a company that is weighing whether to install a video conferencing system. Installation costs change and are dependent on the needs of the customer. Costs range from buying a complete video conference system and constructing the conference room to match (one or more, depending on the size of the company and its needs) or using a cloud service that does not require an initial installation investment. With either option, video conferencing provides a greater return on investment than most other investments in companies, a return that will even show itself within a few months, or with one trip overseas.
 
  • Isn’t video conferencing just like Skype?
Not exactly. Video conferencing service includes many features that are significantly better. A dedicated video conference system allows two points, or more, to have a private conversation, point to point or multi-point. There can be a number of people in the conference room at each point, depending on the size of the room.
At the most basic level, a video conference needs a camera, a microphone, a screen and the ability to process video. More advanced and professional video conference solutions include high quality cameras with powerful zoom and pitch capabilities, high quality microphones and most importantly, advanced video processing equipment. The operating interfaces of these systems include the advanced features that businesses need: screen and program sharing, recording abilities, security features via passcodes and other management abilities that are tailored for the professional user.
 
  • So should I install a video system in the conference room or should I use a cloud based video service?
This depends on how you want to use the system and who you will be talking to. The cloud video service is essentially an extension of the traditional video conference system. Before, you could only have a video conference between two (or more) video systems, now, the cloud service allows you to share the conference with participants who connect with other devices – laptops, tablets and smartphones. Any device from anywhere. As long as the device has a camera, a microphone and an internet connection, the participant can take part in the conference. The market is gradually moving from equipment based services to cloud video services. But if most of the participants are located in offices, then using a traditional video conference system would be the right solution.
 
 
  • What is continuous presence?
Continuous presence is an ability in the video conferencing world which allows all the conference participants to appear on the screen simultaneously. For example, if the conference has participants from six different video sources, the screen will split into six windows with each one showing the video of a participant. In some of the video services there is also the Active Speaker feature- the system identifies which participant is speaking and makes his window bigger, while the other participants are shown in smaller windows.
 
  • And how does using video conferencing help your employees?
In a number of ways. Beyond the financial advantages of using video conferencing, employees are able to accomplish their tasks with greater efficiency and collaboration within and between distant teams. The efficient communication, face to face, allows more productivity, flexibility and creates higher satisfaction and performance rates.
 
As I said, video technology has already matured as an advanced communication platform. If you have not yet implemented video conferencing in your organization, it seems that now is the right time to do it. After an initial adoption period, the users in your company will not understand how they worked beforehand.
 
Questions? We are here for exactly that.
 
See you in the next post,
Nir