Organizations are always on the lookout for effective ways and different tools to boost their productivity. When companies can improve the way that business is conducted, by doing it faster, making processes more seamless and reducing steps, then every consideration should be taken. One tool that has been shown to do all this and more is video-conferencing technology. Given the benefits that it offers users, video conferencing is fast becoming one of the technologies that companies can no longer do without. In fact, recent research shows that 75 percent of executives have concluded that video conferencing is likely to replace voice-only conference calls and become the conventional method of business communication. Statistics show that the average audio-conference participant’s attention span is only 23 minutes, compared to 35 minutes for those on a video-conference call. As a result, organizations need to find the right video-conferencing tools in order to get the most from their investment. Here are a few things that value-added resellers (VARs) can bring up with clients to ensure the best decision:
Assess Usage Requirements
VARs can help their clients determine the organization’s user requirements for video conferencing. Employees should be surveyed to determine how often they hold video meetings, how many people participate in each session, and the length of the calls. It should also be determined how meetings are scheduled, in advance or ad hoc, and whether calls need to be recorded and stored. The types of systems and devices used should also be reviewed to determine interoperability needs. Some clients may need more sophisticated tools like telepresence robots, desktop-sharing applications, and whiteboards that offer advanced technologies for enhanced interaction. Understanding these details will enable the VAR to offer the appropriate solution to the customer and allow the customer to gain the most benefits from its use.
Because employees may prefer different types of endpoints, including mobile devices, with which to use the video-conferencing application, organizations and VARs should ensure that the solution supports many different varieties for a seamless connection. There are many options available for enhanced video conferencing, including HD monitors, stereo sound solutions, voice-locating cameras, and high-quality or HoloLens headsets. The user interface should be common across all endpoints, making video conferencing easier and more likely to be used.
Ensure Proper Bandwidth Availability
As long as customers have the appropriate amount of bandwidth to support the video-conferencing solution chosen, there will be few surprises upon implementation. VARs can help clients evaluate and determine what the impacts of the new tool will be on the existing network infrastructure. Doing this in advance allows for changes to the budget if required.
Premises-Based Versus Cloud-Based Solutions
VARs can help customers decide which is better for their needs: a cloud-based service or stand-alone MCU hardware. Cloud services are increasingly more popular, because they allow for users to be added or removed on demand, making scaling easy. Using cloud-based video conferencing allows for the reduction in up-front investments and provides for the connection of all devices into the multi-party video-conferencing system without requiring any MCU hardware. IT and all major departments should be involved in this decision, because the latest technologies and the budget need to be evaluated prior to making a choice. According to Network World, video collaboration is projected to grow more than 30 percent annually.
Whatever option is chosen, organizations should ensure that their employees and customers gain the maximum benefit out of it. This includes ease of use, in-house support teams, smooth implementation and transition to the user interface, and tracking the new solution’s usage to understand ROI. If employees do not implement video conferencing with the end user in mind, it is likely not to be used, leading to redundant equipment and infrastructure costs. It is important to choose video-conferencing services that are compatible with the organization's mobile devices, because research shows an increasing mobile video-conferencing use. Making an informed decision is the key to making the right decision about a video-conferencing solution to ensure getting the maximum benefit out of the investment.
Does your company sell video-conferencing solutions? Do you use these checklist items to help your customers make a decision about the solution that their company needs? Please comment below.