For some meetings, there’s no question, you have to be there in person. For other discussions a short phone call is fine. However there’s a big middle ground where you want face-to-face interaction, perfect audio and the ability to share presentations but lack the time or resources to be there in person. It’s not exactly a secret that HD video conferencing covers this area perfectly for millions of people.
For businesses of every size video conferencing seems like an obvious choice but there’s still many misconceptions and perceived barriers to overcome.
We’re running a series that aims to answer the most frequently asked questions on video conferencing – you can follow our series on YouTube.
For those of you still prefer words to video I wanted to run through the first ten on the list:
1. Why does my business need video conferencing?
Video conferencing is transforming businesses all over the world in nearly every industry. For too long, companies have relied on audio and web conferencing to collaborate with individuals in disparate locations. Video conferencing is more cost-effective, more engaging and ultimately, more productive than any other form of technology – making it the right choice for businesses of all sizes.
2. I’ve often heard that video conferencing is expensive. Is that true?
Enterprise video conferencing has often been stigmatised as a solution for Fortune 500s, executive corner offices and boardrooms, but you may be surprised to learn that this technology is more affordable and accessible than you may think. Thanks to cloud technology and standardising on software based solutions , the past three years has seen a dramatic decrease in cost for even very high quality video conferencing solutions.
3. I use Skype and Google Hangouts but is it right to use for my business?
Skype and Google Hangouts are popular free video conferencing solutions, but are they appropriate in the business setting? While these technologies are great for chatting with friends or family, they often lack the security, reliability and performance of enterprise-grade video solutions. Do you really want to suffer through freeze frames and pixilation on an important client call?
4. How does video conferencing save my business money?
HD video conferencing enables productive collaboration between two or more parties, no matter how far apart they are. Whereas individuals used to travel great distances to meet in-person to make important business decisions, these conversations can now occur over video – which provides the same lifelike quality as a meeting in a conference room. Not only was this former model expensive, it was incredibly inefficient. Decisions can be made faster and relationships can be strengthened, irrespective of distance. If you now consider the advent of BYOD and flexible working the potential benefits are increased beyond the meeting room. The travel saving is important but the biggest benefit is in the time saved and increased productivity – what would you do with all the time you saved using video conferencing?
5. What’s the main difference between standards-based & proprietary video conferencing?
Standards-based video conferencing allows various manufacturers’ products to speak to one another. Solutions like Facetime do not allow for cross-vendor conversations, which severely impacts effective collaboration. Can you imagine if iPhone users could ONLY call other iPhone users?
The potential for the ubiquity of video conferencing demands open, interoperable communication which only standards-based solutions provide. Proprietary technology simply doesn’t work for companies who want to talk to those outside of their organisation.
6. What is video conferencing infrastructure and its benefits?
This used to be the hardware based “black boxes” that vendors would provide to allow multipoint and network access but we refer to it more as the clever stuff that is now software only and virtualized or cloud based. The benefit is lower up front investment and total cost of ownership.
Video conferencing infrastructure is the back-end network that allows you to expand the power of your video investment, and can support features like streaming and recording, mobile collaboration, multipoint calls and much more. With the right installation this infrastructure is so seamlessly connected with the video endpoint that users do not even realise it’s there – almost like applications on your iPhone.
7. How do I extend video conferencing to my customers and partners?
What is the benefit of investing in video conferencing technology if you cannot speak to individuals outside of your organisation, like customers and partners? With the right HD video collaboration solutions, you can build stronger connected relationships with those who matter most, regardless of what video conferencing system they are using.
8. Is video conferencing hard to use?
Video conferencing has often been thought of as a complex technology only reserved for those who are incredibly IT-savvy. However, the technology has evolved in the past several years and now it is as simple as making a phone call. Some tools are so easy, in fact, that they can be used without any IT training at all. If you can use your iPhone, you can make a video call with ease.
9. How can I determine ROI from my video conferencing dollars?
Though typically ROI is calculated from a dollars or pounds perspective, we recommend also viewing your return on investment from a time perspective, as well. Though reducing business travel has its cost benefits, imagine how much time you are saving in decision-making through more productive meetings via video.
10. Can I run video conferencing over a normal internet connection?
Video collaboration technology from LifeSize does not require any special Internet connection. In fact, a fantastic quality experience can be achieved with as little as 1 mbps. For this reason, business of all sizes can harness the power of high definition video conferencing for a minimal investment. You may be surprised to learn that video chatting is as simple as making a phone call, and requires very little IT support to install and deploy.
I hope those ten answers were helpful, let us know in the comments or on Twitter (@LifeSizeHD) what question you’d like to see in the next post.