Video conferencing can be hugely beneficial to many businesses, but it can also be a big financial investment. To make the most of your investment you need to think carefully about how you are going to use conferencing, not just now but in the future. One of the mistakes businesses can make is to jump in and purchase equipment that connects one office to another – but then discover that they are limited to only communicating between those places. By deploying scalable video conferencing you keep the door open for a more flexible way of conferencing that will benefit your business for years to come.
Before you start researching the video conferencing options available you need to determine exactly how you are going to use video conferencing – and how you might use it in the future. For example, do you only want to conference between two venues? What if you open up more offices in the future – how would you deploy video conferencing then? What about if you decided to let staff work from home, or you wanted to conference with suppliers or clients? If you don’t consider how your business is going to develop you may find you invest in technology that actually limits you in how you want to use video conferencing in the future. Dedicated conferencing systems are expensive and it may not be practical or within your budget to install one in every place you want to contact people.
At Smarter Interactive we may have the solution – a product that could be described as “video conferencing as a service”. We have a cloud-based bridging service that can be as flexible as you need it to be. Here is an example of how it works: one of our clients regularly holds video conferences with people in two other locations, but every now and then they need to connect with partners all over the world. They purchased one dedicated video conferencing system, which was installed in their main office, and seven licences for video conferencing software that runs on desktop PCs and laptops. Most of the time this set up is perfect for their requirements, but when they need to hold a conference with their marketing executives, who are deployed all over the globe, they speak to us and we can give them access to up to 32 connections – more than enough to connect everyone.
Another benefit of using the bridging service is that some of their partners are based in countries like India, Russia and Pakistan where the internet is still hosted on slow ISDN connections. Many video conferencing systems would struggle to maintain a connection, but there are no issues with quality or speed using our managed service. And of course the financial bonus is they have only had to invest in the equipment they use regularly, but the flexibility is there to deploy scalable video conferencing further afield whenever they need to.
So if you’re thinking about investing in video conferencing technology don’t just consider its use today – think longer term. And if you’d like to discuss the options available to you give us a call on 0118 336 0010.