In an ideal world, with limitless money, every business would have the facility for both video conferencing and data conferencing. But this isn’t an ideal world, we all have budgets to work within, so when choosing conferencing technology it’s important to work out how you plan to use it so you can prioritise between video conferencing and data conferencing.
The first step is to work out what you will be replacing by using remote conferencing. Will it be face to face meetings with other staff? Do you travel across the globe to meet other executives? Are you hoping to interview candidates or keep in touch with remote, mobile and home workers? Or are you planning on delivering training remotely, or sharing documents, working on spreadsheets and collaborating on projects?
Once you start to think about the ways that you are likely to use conferencing you’ll see a pattern develop. For some people, being able to see the other parties and speak to them in real time is important. For example, if you’re interviewing candidates for a post on the other side of the world, it’s vital that you can see their body language and facial expressions during the interview, because they give away information that would be lost on a voice-only call. On the other hand, if you are involved with managing budgets or projects it might be more important for you to be able to share schematics, schedules, spreadsheets and other data.
Once you’ve worked out how you plan to use conferencing you can start to look at the options available. Again, your intended use will determine your decision: consider whether you will be communicating with people within your building, in another office, at several locations around the world. Will it be boardroom to boardroom communication or do you want to connect with people in their home offices? Consider whether you need large displays that lots of people can see, or whether communication – be it video or data – will be one to one, in which case a solution that runs on laptops or tablets might be preferable. Could you manage with fixed connections, for example, between head office and a distribution centre, or might you need to deploy conferencing quickly to lots of people?
There are so many options available for both data conferencing and video conferencing – from simple desktop web cams to dedicated high definition video systems, from SMART Boards to hosted solutions that let you collaborate on data via tablet or smartphone. Don’t just assume that you need both – once you start examining why you want conferencing technology and how you intend to use it, you’ll be able to prioritise between video conferencing and data conferencing and find a solution that is effective and within your budget.
If you need any advice with prioritising data and video conferencing, or you would like a demonstration of some of the solutions we offer, give us a call on … or fill in the form on the left and we’ll get straight back to you.