Questions To Ask When Choosing A Video Conferencing Provider

August 18, 2014, by Lindsey Ingram in Video Conferencing

When choosing a video conferencing provider, there are many different factors to consider. Every client is different, so it is important that you make sure that your provider can offer exactly what you need of a solution in order to benefit your company at an efficient cost. Here are some questions to ask when researching video conferencing providers.

Do you offer a total solution?
It is important to be sure that you are getting the whole package with your video conferencing solution. Rather than asking if a solution has a few small details, make sure you ask about things that should be assumed, such as how it handles, monitors, updates and reports. Make sure the solution also has network control for bandwidth management and can enable access and supporting features such as a unified dialing program. It should also include firewall traversal to enable remote communication with employees, customers, suppliers and partners. From there, you can then add on various features that will enhance your system and ensure seamless voice and video connectivity. A complete solution that is designed properly will offer the best in voice and video with interoperability at a low cost of ownership. Asking the right questions is key because it is important to be sure that the solution you want is the solution you are going to get.

Does the technology offer HD?
When considering if the technology you want has HD, it is important to remember a few things about HD technology. Some providers have a different definition of HD video than a customer may have, therefore, not necessarily meeting the standards the customer is looking for. However, if the system Is properly engineered, the user will enjoy HD at any speed, assuring that the solution will repeatedly select the best resolution based on the speed of the call. However, some HD products are not able to work with other solutions from the same manufacturer, making the technology less valuable and difficult to use video conferencing in other locations with different pieces of technology.

Does the technology interoperate with other systems/services?
Not every company, manufacturer, client or customer uses the same type of video conferencing technology, therefore, your video system should be able to interoperate with other brand systems and services. Many solutions require workarounds that not only lower performance but can be very expensive and certainly not financially practical. When choosing a video conferencing system it is important to be sure that the system you get can easily operate with different types of technologies and can still function at a high speed.

Is the technology easy to use?
When implementing a video conferencing solution into a company, it is crucial to consider who will be using the equipment. If it is going to be made available to every employee, than it should be as easy as possible to operate. The easier a solution is to use, the more valuable it becomes to the company. An employee should be able to use video conferencing just as easily as dialing a telephone. It can be costly when a system is difficult to use, as it requires IT professionals to set it up and train users on the complexity of the equipment. When the technology is difficult to use, it can make employees easily frustrated and push them away from wanting to learn to use the equipment. With an easy to use solution, employees will be open to learning about the new technology and it will make communication within the company and to customers much easier. 

How can you improve mobility?
Video conferencing technology enables users to connect with one another at any location at any time. This kind of technology should theoretically make solutions mobile, as they can be implemented and installed at locations such as offices, home offices and can even be installed on mobile devices. Video conferencing allows employees to easily work from a home office without feeling disconnected from the rest of the company. Mobility options should allow an employee to feel flexible enough to be able to interact with clients and colleagues from any location. Telecommuting is becoming very popular in many companies, so mobile video conferencing products are a necessity. When choosing a provider, ask about mobile solutions and products, as they will ultimately be beneficial to your company.

How secure is your system/service?
A secure system is a safe system. While many systems are easily accessible for the convenience of the customer, a concern that companies may have regarding security is making sure the system is secure enough to prevent any sort of hacking or infiltration from outside sources. Video collaboration needs to be accessible for users across a network, however it also needs to be protected by the highest level of security, reliability and manageability. A solution should be able to carry high-performance video calls at low-bandwidth networks, ensuring the safest and most secure system.

Many companies require many different specifications when looking for a video conferencing provider. It is important to consider what exactly your company is looking for in a solution and what the provider can do to make it the most beneficial for your company. A provider should be reliable and accessible and is readily available for assistance when needed. When choosing a provider, consider the needs of your company and find the solution and provider that best suits you.

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