Cloud Video Conferencing

Are You Ready to Adopt?

Are You Ready to Adopt Cloud Video Conferencing?

Video conferencing is becoming essential to organizations – especially enterprises – as they allow teams to interact efficiently, even if they are geographically separated. On its most basic level, video conferencing is defined as organized virtual meetings between two or more locations that use both audio and video. This allows employees, customers, and partners alike to come together and communicate in real time, regardless of location.

The ambivalence towards geographic location has contributed to a spike in demand for video conferencing solutions. At the same time, the cost of equipment is plummeting. As a result, video conferencing is much more accessible to people regardless of how significant their role in the organization is. Consequently, everyone in an organization can enjoy all the benefits of video conferencing.

As organizations seek to implement a modern video conferencing solution, they typically begin to ponder the capabilities of a cloud conferencing solution. Despite its benefits, however, not every organization is a good fit for cloud video conferencing. Let’s take a closer look at the options available to organizations, and determine the best conferencing option that won’t compromise quality or collaborative potential.

Key Benefits of Video Conferencing

Before implementing a video conferencing solution, it’s important to understand why it is experiencing an increase in demand. Video conferencing helps organizations achieve the most out of their Unified Communications strategy. By setting up the right infrastructure for video conferencing in your organization, you can enjoy the following benefits:

Employee Acquisition & Working from Home

Employees are increasingly looking for employers that offer perks such as working from home – and employers are responding accordingly. In 2018, 70 percent of the global workforce spent some time working from home, and Microsoft predicts that the average employee will work from home 150 percent more often in the next two years. This is because working from home allows for greater flexibility with an employee’s scheduling, increasing their satisfaction. As a result, these satisfied employees will stay more motivated and productive at work.

However, there are a few considerations to make before attracting employees that want to work from home. Ensure that your organization’s infrastructure is seamlessly networked, and that video conferencing can be easily integrated into your existing communication structure.

Increased Productivity

Video conferencing encourages greater flexibility, allowing organizations to increase productivity across all tiers of the organization. When members of the C-Suite were surveyed regarding the benefits of integrating a video conferencing solution, 86 percent reported accelerated decision making, and 83 percent noticed a general increase in productivity.

This may be because video conferencing encourages eye contact during meetings, which increases attentiveness and subsequent productivity. As a result, video conferencing has been found to contribute a 22 percent increase in participation and a 26 percent increase in task completion.

Lowered Expenses

If an organization enacts a video conferencing solution, they will experience up to a 30 percent reduction in associated costs. This is primarily because employees no longer need to travel to effectively converse. This creates room to increase revenue, too – instead of spending time travelling, employees can spend more time being productive.

What to Look For in a Video Conferencing Tool

Depending on the needs of your organization, the ideal video conferencing solution can take many forms. Some large, geographically dispersed enterprises may require very sophisticated systems, while smaller businesses may be content with more basic systems. Let’s take a look at the primary options for video conferencing tools to determine which option is best for your organization’s needs.

  • Desktop Systems – Desktop systems enable video conferencing through simple means. Organizations only need a PC with video conferencing software installed. While many modern laptops come equipped with video, audio, and voice capabilities preloaded, its common for organizations to invest in peripheral technology like headsets to ensure that communication is as smooth as possible. Desktop systems are low cost and great for joint data processes, as users will have easy access to any necessary files and programs on their PC.
  • Set-Top Boxes – Set-top boxes are compact systems that allow portable video conferencing via a dedicated device. These systems require that the user has access to the internet, as well as at least a single monitor. This system is low weight, easy to install and use anywhere, and great for mobile workers.
  • Room Systems – Room systems are typically installed in large conference rooms, boardrooms, and auditoriums. The design of these systems depends on an organization’s specific needs, so specific equipment may vary. At the very least, the room is often equipped with cameras, room microphones, and large monitors. Room systems are often modular and offer the highest performance and are often used by organizations that require frequent communication to geographically dispersed employees and partners.

Is On-Premise or Cloud Conferencing Best for Me?

Once you’ve determined the right system for your video conferencing and Unified Communications strategy, it’s important to evaluate how these conferences will be hosted. Video conferencing solutions can be supported by cloud, on-premise, or hybrid solutions, and the ideal solution varies from organization to organization.

Cloud Solutions

The cloud is especially popular with small to medium-sized businesses, as it simplifies the communication process. It’s difficult for businesses with limited IT knowledge to establish agile, streamlined communication structures while juggling concerns regarding security, encryption, and data hosting. The cloud resolves this by providing all the necessary benefits of video conferencing while overcoming significant hurdles, such as:

  • Over or Underestimating Infrastructure Requirements – Cloud solutions don’t require a fixed number of MCU ports, a limited ISDN gateway, or extra server capacity. It’s common for on-premise deployments to inaccurately assess their infrastructure needs, which ultimately leads to waste or a poor quality video conferencing solution. However, keep in mind that a cloud deployment still requires an experienced UC specialist to support administration and maintenance of your servers.
  • Relieving Stress on IT Infrastructure – Video communications can put your broadband connection under great stress, especially when communicating with people outside of the company. Cloud solutions provide multiple nodes that improve latency for your call’s remote participants.
  • Meeting Security Requirements – The cloud enables simple and secure connections to individuals inside and outside of your network. Despite the cloud’s reputation, it’s been found that cloud providers often have top-of-the-line security standards and firewall.

On-Premise Solutions

If an organization already heavily invested in an on-premise Unified Communications initiative, they may be best suited to an on-premise video conferencing solution. Otherwise, it’s likely that your existing communications systems will not seamlessly integrate to the cloud, causing waste.

Another reason to consider an on-premise solution is if your organization has stringent security requirements. While cloud providers often have top-notch security, organizations may prefer to use their existing network security solution instead. Alternatively, users in the healthcare, financial services, or Fortune 500 companies may have on-premise as their only option, as their strict security and data protection guidelines forbid the use of cloud solutions.

Hybrid Solutions

Some organizations may not want to use the cloud, but may be apprehensive about the requirements to establish an on-premise video conferencing solution. Hybrid solutions leverage your existing communication systems in your organization – such as on-premise PBX and call control, or on-premise hardware like MCUs – and apply extended cloud capabilities to these solutions.

Video conferencing helps close geographic gaps between organizations and the members within them, allowing teams to communicate efficiently with each other. However, video conferencing solutions are not one-size-fits-all – the ideal solution depends on the unique requirements of your organization. By evaluating and selecting the right option for video conferencing, everyone in an organization can fully realize the benefits of this important form of communication.

Want to Learn More About Video Conferencing?

Take a look at our free eBook to discover the best way to integrate video collaboration into your business.

  • Unified Communications, User Productivity, Future Workplace
  • Video Conferencing

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Alexander Trumble

UC Pre Sales Consultant

User Productivity

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