Videoconferencing is one part of unified communication (UC) that has received a lot of attention in the last couple of years from both businesses and vendors. The popularity of video collaboration continues to grow as more companies integrate it into their existing UC framework.
Many businesses are also utilizing videoconferencing for remote users via desktop and mobile devices to enable better collaboration company-wide, no matter how many locations there are. But this requires companies to carefully oversee video delivery and quality. To make this happen, businesses need to understand the key physical components of videoconferencing systems.
Basic Components of Videoconferencing Systems
In order to get the most benefits from videoconferencing, it’s necessary to understand all the working parts. Videoconferencing solutions consist of various interrelated components, connectivity options and standards. The key physical equipment is as follows:
- Cameras and videoconferencing codecs to encode and decode digital data files at the endpoints.
- Screens to display images.
- Gateways, bridges and videoconferencing multipoint control units to interconnect multiple endpoints and systems with additional applications, transcode between different videoconferencing codec encapsulations, external connectivity, and policy and security enforcement.
- Microphone/Audio sub-system to handle sound quality for small or large groups.
- Tools to schedule videoconferencing sessions and monitor quality.
- Data network resources for delivering video packets.
Endpoint options of video conferencing system are further divided into three classes:
- Desktop videoconferencing, which is designed for a single user.
- Room-based videoconferencing where groups within meeting rooms can participate, using one or more screens.
- Telepresence is ideal for group conferencing. However, it requires enhanced audio and visual tools to improve collaboration and offer a better experience.
How to Ensure Optimal Adoption of Videoconferencing in Your Organization?
To create a video collaboration culture across the company, you first need to identify the champions within the organization. They may or may not be in the IT or AV departments, but they should be employees who uses videoconferencing for their daily activities. These advocates need to be the promoters and evangelists of this new technology.
It is also important to have your systems, network, and rooms properly prepared to ensure the best results when deploying videoconferencing. You need to resolve any performance-related issues, such as network bandwidth and quality to support HD connectivity, which are critical for effective visual communication.
You need to understand that not all your employees are tech-savvy. It is essential to provide training to your staff on line-of-business applications to help achieve company-wide acceptance of video collaboration. Let employees know exactly why they should use this technology and how it can help their day-to-day productivity. It is also a good idea to highlight examples of video etiquette and best practices.
Finally, follow your progress to ensure that you are heading in the right direction. Make sure you have the processes in place to keep track of the hours and minutes the videoconferencing technology is being utilized. Stay in contact with the various user groups to quantify the cost savings and calculate the ROI at regular intervals.
Increasing the company-wide use of videoconferencing is a challenging task. However, with proper planning it is possible to establish a culture of collaboration. It may take some time and effort to achieve this, but the operational, financial and business benefits associated with videoconferencing make all the efforts worthwhile.