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Considerations When Looking at Video Conferencing Services

Written by Jayvee Fernandez

Video conferencing offers so much, you would be remiss if you didn’t look into one of the service options. Inc reports that video conferencing offers benefits for both the emotional and psychological fulfillment of employees as well as the time and money spent by the business. However, there are numerous programs out there from the ubiquitous Skype to the quality video conferencing platform by Blue Jeans. Trying to find the right one for you depends on your particular needs. Here are some considerations you will need to bear in mind.

BLUEJEANS
In Office Communication Substitute
Fast Company reports that an estimated 80 percent of emails are time wasters. They can be quick, but they can also disrupt focus. The added problem is that as soon as an employee accesses his email, he runs the risk of being sidetracked by other interesting messages. Video conferencing services can come with inset IM settings to allow employees to chat as needed or make a face to face call. For quick questions, the IM is perfect for a fast response, and for longer more in depth conversations, the face to face video conference all is adept.

You’ll want to make sure that the systems you have can handle the new program. Some of the older programs may be too bulky if they have not been sufficiently updated. Most providers can give you an overview, but if you plan on a fair amount of IM interaction, look for ones that mention mobile communication. Mobile devices tend to have lower power capabilities and faster streaming needs than the average desktop. So a platform that works well on mobile devices is often an indication that the overall program has been streamlined and will not be too bulky.

The Need for Playback or Recording
One of the other advantages of video conferencing is that you can more easily record and playback sessions. Depending on your state, you may need to get permission for this. However, if you are planning to record, you should use a service that has recording capabilities. Trying to introduce an external recording device or application will generally result in a lesser quality video.

The Need for Additional Equipment
Even if you’re using a basic cloud video conferencing service, you will probably need some additional equipment. Corporate Tech Decisions recommends ensuring that the microphones as well as the high definition capacities are in line with what your business requires. Microphones though are particularly important as the overall quality is essential to a good conversation. Look to the placement of the microphone as well as the room you will be having the conversation in. Otherwise, you run the risk of not being heard clearly.

The Kind of Device Used for Communication
As mentioned before, mobile devices have specific needs when it comes to video conferencing. However, other devices such as tablets, desktops, and laptops all have variations as well. The different endpoints require various hardware capabilities. Some programs like Blue Jeans are intended to work across platforms, and they advertise themselves as such.

Business Meetings
Business meetings are one of the prime reasons many look to video conferencing. You can use it to save time on commutes and cut costs on travel expenses. However, when it comes to your business meetings, you do need to know what sort of capacity you mean. Most providers have a limit on the number of participants able to partake in a meeting. All can handle at least two members. But if you have more than eight members in your meeting, you will need to find a service that specifically caters to this sort of multi part conversation.

Additional Collaborative Technologies
Many of the video conferencing services offer total solution packages that permit additional actions such as scheduling emails, reminders, collaborative lists, and other similar things. There’s a wide variety in terms of what they can provide, and the benefit of using it within the video conferencing service is that it will generally run along at a faster rate and not cause any problems within the network. It may help to consider when you will use video conferencing, though if you often have projects desktop and screen sharing as well as whiteboarding are likely to be useful features.
Video conferencing isn’t a service to take lightly. You will find many options out there, and you would be wise to take advantage of them. It’s important that you consider the alternatives and find one that meets both your current and your anticipated needs. You need to consider whether you plan for this to be an in office communication substitute or just an occasional program. You will also need to know whether you will require playback or recording features as well as what additional tech will be needed to make it work. You should also know the primary devices that will be used for the communications and how many people are likely to be involved as well as what collaborative technologies might be useful. By bearing these things in mind, you will find the service package most likely to benefit you and your business.

About the author

Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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