A shift to the cloud represents a fundamental digital transformation in the business world, especially as it relates to video conferencing. It eliminates the need for complex onsite hardware, giving businesses the ability to collaborate without boundaries. In 2017, the benefits of cloud-based video conferencing make the switch a practical and effective business decision.
Take Advantage of Cloud Video Conferencing
The cloud levels the playing field for businesses, especially small to mid-sized ones. Before the widespread availability of cloud platforms, only businesses with financial and technical resources could take advantage of conferencing solutions. Today, both SMBs and large enterprises can access the same level of audio-visual clarity, support, and service. Still not convinced? Here are a few other reasons why you should consider moving your video conferencing to the cloud:
1. Affordability. Conduct a side-by-side comparison of any onsite solution versus a cloud solution from video conferencing to data storage. Cloud setups often take advantage of a shared multi-client server (some private cloud arrangements exist, too), allocate computing power on an as-needed basis, and consolidate security and other management activities within a central organization. Instead of paying for the hardware, software, and in-house support, businesses need only purchase the cloud solution-as-a-service.
Many businesses can also lease hardware on an as-needed basis and only purchase the products they truly need from high quality audio-visual suppliers. The cloud enables companies to save more with on-demand scalability, built-in security, and automatic service updates.
2. Hardware flexibility. Using cloud solutions, companies can manage access control for a variety of end-user devices. For companies that embrace BYOD environments, multi-device access and support offers incredible flexibility. Since cloud service providers typically handle hardware integration and service maintenance activities, in-house IT departments can focus on other business-driving activities.
3. Mobility. Remote work, unplanned meetings, and client interactions often represent logistical collaboration challenges. With cloud-based videoconferencing services, employees can access a meeting from any location. If a dedicated conference room is not available, an employee can turn any space into a collaboration hub.
4. Management simplicity. While IT departments may continue to manage enterprise level audio-visual equipment, the cloud often eliminates troublesome interoperability challenges, security concerns, and maintenance-focused device downtime. Everything occurs remotely, and many solutions work fluidly with legacy collaboration systems. The cloud streamlines management from a technical perspective.
5. Productivity. To justify the investment in a cloud service, an MSP, or a hardware lease/purchase, businesses need to understand how a technology solution will drive business outcomes. Video conferencing supports face-to-face communication, which reduces the likelihood of miscommunication.
User-friendly solutions encourage employees to collaborate regardless of location, time, or activity. Businesses can eliminate the downtime associated with travel, while encouraging employees to communicate clearly and frequently with colleagues and clients. The service-based format of cloud solutions often enhances a business’s ability to conduct webinars, live events, and small business meetings.
Cloud-based video conferencing is widely accessible and tremendously scalable. An entrepreneur can invest in one solution today, and scale up or down as the need arises. For SMBs, this creates an unprecedented level of customizability and a way to control costs as needed.
How to Choose Cloud Video Conferencing Providers
Businesses that recognize the value in cloud video conferencing must consider in-house needs and workflows to find the right blend of hardware and software for their company. While many employees will use their smartphones, tablets, and laptops for cloud-based meetings, businesses can improve the conferencing experience with the right cameras, microphones, and flexible meeting spaces. Combined with a reliable software service solution, strategic hardware investments support the video conferencing experience and promote adoption rates throughout the business.