Videoconferencing has become an essential tool for business collaboration. It’s more commonly used with large-scale, lecture based training sessions and for executive announcements. Small-scale businesses can benefit from this technology by communicating their products and services with companies around the world. Collaboration and product displays can build strong business networks and it pays to have the best possible equipment.
There are several pieces of equipment that enable full videoconferencing and it helps to have them integrated into your system. The access to real-time, face-to-face meetings create opportunities for growth, access to new knowledge and opens the company up to new markets and new customers. However, like any technology that integrates with your network, a videoconferencing solution should be chosen with care, and take into account the nature of your network, the employees’ needs, the potential such technology creates and your budget.
1) Cost Considerations
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. Is the price reasonable? Does it fit into the budget? Will its usefulness span the length of time such technology can be of value?
2) Know the Necessary Components
If you already have laptops and desktops with webcams, then a full videoconferencing suite may be overkill. Just subscribe to a videoconferencing service. However, if even the most basic audio and visual equipment is lacking (i.e. poor quality reception, outdated devices, poor internet connection, etc.) then invest in monitors, microphones and video cameras to open up your company and build your budget.
3) Security Features
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.
Make sure that the employees who are using the technology have a use for it and that they can easily and adequately use it. There’s no need to invest in a videoconferencing solution that no one can use, or one that requires IT to be present at all times. Also, make sure that the videoconferencing equipment is compatible with the equipment used by your clients and collaborative personnel. A product that works well but can’t be accessed is essentially useless.
5) Support and Maintenance
For practical reasons, if there is ever a need for maintenance or software updates, it pays to have access to a strong, reliable support team to get and keep the system up and running at all times. Support needs to be outlined regardless of the level of technology being used. Make sure that turnaround times are unconditional and immediate.
6) Other Telecom Services
When you are ready to integrate a videoconferencing system, make sure that the products and services provided have a wide range of options and varieties. It’s important to know what your company needs so that the system 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 helps to also diversify your videoconferencing solution to include several brands, software and protocols to give a comprehensive solution to your videoconferencing needs rather than just a convenient one.