Factors to consider before investing in video communication

Video conferencing has been adopted by thousands of organisations around the world. It is used for internal communication and collaboration between regional and global offices, for communication with partners and suppliers, and even for communication with clients.

Video has become an important business tool, and for millions of workers it has become a part of their everyday business lives.

Video communication can rapidly improve business processes whilst saving time and money. Even though video can quickly benefit any organisation, there are a number of factors to consider before investing in the technology

Do you have the required bandwidth?

Before rolling adopting video conferencing technology it is important to identify if your business has the required bandwidth speeds to support video communication. Traditionally video has been bandwidth heavy, and although you may have experienced high quality video communication in a rented facility or at another location, it does not mean video will operate successfully in your environment. Video uses less bandwidth now than ever before, however to achieve high definition video communication in a boardroom setup it is recommended you have at least 2mb available bandwidth.

What video conferencing technology equipment are your partners using?

You may be investing in video upon recommendation of a partner or supplier. Although the majority of video conferencing solutions are now interoperable (communicate using the same language), it’s often recommended to select the same brand of equipment of those you will be regularly conferencing with so the best possible experience is consistently delivered. That said; interoperability challenges are less frequent with the latest technology so it’s also recommended to look at comparable solutions from multiple vendors.

Do you require data and presentation sharing?

The requirement for data and presentation sharing is not always considered when exploring video conferencing options. The vast majority of video solutions offer data sharing as standard, however it is important to consider how you wish to share presentations and data whilst on a video call. In a single screen setup, the far-end face-to-face element is compromised in order to view the information being shared. If data sharing is an important factor, a dual screen setup is often recommended where video appears on one screen and data appears on the second screen. This ensures the face-to-face interaction remains throughout the conference.

Do you require multi-party video calling?

Another factor not always considered is the requirement for multi-party calling. Often there is a need to bring more than one person into a video conference. This multi-party function does not come as standard. There are video conferencing systems which offer multi-party functionality through their own embedded MCU (Multipoint Control Unit) however these systems can be considerably more expensive than a basic point to point system. An alternative option is to use a hosted/managed service that offers a multi-way virtual meeting room which allows point-to-point users to be part of a multi-way video call.

Who will use the technology?

Who in the business will be using the technology? Don’t restrict use of the equipment to director level only. Often a video solution is implemented into a boardroom setup and only used for high level meetings. Aim to reduce your travel expenditure, improve collaboration, and increase the productivity of as many employees as possible by encouraging them to use the video conferencing solution.