Videoconferencing opens many collaborative doors for today’s forward-thinking companies. And while there are many reasons to embrace this technology—all discussed below—there are just as many factors to keep in mind before making this all-important purchase.
A good videoconferencing system is important to company success because it allows unparalleled opportunities for collaboration, both between team members and clients, and can contribute to both personnel and IT efficiency. In addition, it can speed up business processes and provide a competitive edge in technology-saturated marketplaces.
Videoconferencing has become a necessity to enterprise business, as the culture of the workforce is changing. Today, more employees work remotely—79 percent do it at least once a week—and they need web conferencing capabilities to be able to efficiently interface with clients and colleagues.
There are big rewards for companies that decide to embrace videoconferencing, but there are also big risks associated with making the wrong system choice. A poor purchase decision is bad for business—web-based meetings can run late or lack audio/video clarity, and employees or clients can become frustrated by complicated interfaces. To avoid wasting valuable time and money, first time buyers in the market for enterprise videoconferencing solutions should consider the following:
• While cloud-based (VaaS) video conferencing solutions will require less of an “upfront” capital investment than on-premise options, remember that much of the equipment needed for an on-premises setup can serve dual purposes, potentially extending its “value proposition.” It really is a personal, business to business choice whether to take to the cloud, be only on-premise, or to adopt some form of hybrid system. Network devices and circuits will need to be purchased for either option.
• Take careful stock of what areas of your office will ideally be outfitted with video equipment, and inventory what already exists in the space. Consider placing systems strategically in communication-rich sites—for example, your marketing department over your HR area—so the user-base is already built in, and you reap maximum ROI on your investment.
• Know the ideal level of customization and integration for the company. Conference room controls can include: Light, calendar integration, draper controls and audio enhancements. Equipment will likely consist of one or more bridges (a key device), remote access devices, virtual private network devices, and management servers.
• Examine the support offered by each videoconferencing option to ensure the plan will meet company needs. Do not risk downtime and loss of productivity because technical issues aren’t addressed quickly enough.
• Ensure the existence of a robust network connection to meet the audio and visual demands of a sophisticated videoconferencing setup.
• Once a system is selected, don’t skimp on training your employees. A great videoconferencing system is useless if workers don’t feel comfortable and excited using it.
In sum, both the culture of enterprise IT and the habits of the millennial workforce are evolving simultaneously. Videoconferencing champions the collaboration that today’s companies need to embrace in order to stay on top, so choosing the correct system is more important than ever.
Companies that carefully examine their videoconferencing options and make the right purchasing decision for their business will be rewarded with increased efficiency and collaborative capabilities.