The introduction of cloud services has resulted in questions being raised about the value of video conferencing infrastructure equipment. Although nothing new to the video collaboration market, the previously named managed service has attracted the attention of many and is becoming widely accepted by a growing number of organisations.
VC providers renaming their managed services has been a good move, and has no-doubt created new opportunities in what is clearly a desirable, yet competitive arena.
With the continual rise of video collaboration adoption in the corporate space, organisations are prepared to investigate alternative options to that of infrastructure solutions, typically labelled as expensive and unreliable by service providers.
There is no doubt a market for cloud based video conferencing solutions, but will organisations be prepared to relinquish control of their video network? Unlikely!
Below are the advantages of video conferencing infrastructure over cloud based solutions.
- Bandwidth Management – The deployment of video conferencing across an entire organisation will have an immediate impact on bandwidth usage. Centralised bandwidth control ensures bandwidth if managed effectively.
- Scheduling – For organisations who carry out multiple video conferences, centralised scheduling ensures meetings start and finish at the correct time and require little, if any, on-site support.
- More cost effective (Long term) – Cloud conferencing incurs a monthly or annual costs for as long as the service is used. Owning infrastructure, although more expensive at the outset, is more cost effective in the long term.
- Dedicated IT staff – Infrastructure is likely to be managed by the IT department. If any problems do arise during a call, IT staff will be available to provide immediate on-site support and maintenance.
Although cloud services can offer a higher level of resilience through their backup MCU’s, the chances of an MCU failing are extremely low. Even the security offered by service providers is yet to fully convince network and IT managers, and no doubt they find peace of mind through infrastructure being positioned on their network.
So what is likely to lead the way in the coming years? Both infrastructure and cloud based solutions will continue to have dominant positions in the market. Many predicted accelerated growth for cloud based offerings, and this is still likely to be the case, however the introduction of virtualised video infrastructure, which requires less space, energy and manpower, and ultimately costs less to run, enables multiple virtual machines to run on existing servers. This eliminates lead times when planning further deployment of video.
The aim of centralizing control, load balancing and scalability are pushed by IT managers’ desire to provide a higher quality of service without manoeuvring hardware components for every change or adding a new user.