Technology developed for business has to serve a function. Unlike some facets of industry, where theory is all well and fine, business needs are obvious and real. One of the biggest struggles when it comes to business is both inter and intra office communication. Countless meetings and emails are often required to clear up two employees who think they are on the same page, but really have different ideas of what is going on.
Many businesses are turning to video conferencing to allow them to reach new levels of communication. Video conferencing can be an incredibly useful tool for any sized business. It allows companies to provide face to face communication with customers without having to pay the expensive costs associated with business travel.
There are many different systems out there that allow people to video conference. In addition to basic software programs, there are many hardware setups that can allow for great security and safety of the information being passed along. By exploring the types of video conferencing available, people can determine if it’s right for their business!
Different Types of Video Conferencing
Group Video Conferencing
This can also be called “Integrated” Video conferencing. This is very common for large businesses that use teams and have those teams interact. Integrated video conferencing connects dedicated rooms to other dedicated rooms. You can typically also go from one of these rooms to a singular connection elsewhere as well. This won’t provide as in depth of an experience as a telepresence system (to be discussed soon), but it still allows people to stay in touch.
On the plus side, this is a pretty easy system to set up. Once it’s set up in a room once, it’s ready to go and just requires people to log in and choose connections. It’s also reasonable in price. Unfortunately, group conferencing can sometimes come off with people feeling a bit too clustered together. Sometimes it’s better to limit group size in these conferences to facilitate good conversation and communication.
Desktop Video Conferencing
One of the most basic methods of video conferencing is simply using employees desktop computers. Typically this will require a piece of software and an integrated or separate webcam in order to take full advantage. Other participants will typically show up as multiple boxes on the screen as items are discussed.
This method of video conferencing is cheap and accessible to almost any company. It also makes remote attendance at meetings from home more convenient. The downside is that the system isn’t that in depth. It’s difficult to share multimedia easily. Additionally, many offices are moving away from laptops and desktops. This may lead some people to be unable to attend a needed conference.
Telepresence Video Conferencing System
The telepresence system is one of the more impressive methods of allowing for proper video conferencing. In this setup, there are large screens and multiple cameras used. In addition, the cameras are always placed at eye level. The end result is a conferencing system in which everyone appears to be sitting at the same table or at the same location despite their various real world locations.
The benefits of this system should be obvious. It’s clear and easy to identify other participants. Things look fantastic. The only downside is the cost in resources and money. This kind of video conferencing may be expensive to set up and expensive to run for an extended period of time. Very good internet connections may be required as well if there are many different connections from different locations that all need to integrate simultaneously.
Important Facts About Video Conferencing
There are many other facts that a business should keep in mind as they consider their use of video conferencing. Here are some things to consider:
Determine Needs - Many companies may purchase expensive video conferencing systems they do not need. It’s better to know exactly what you need first, before jumping into a purchase.
Hardware of Software? - Different systems will require different hardware or software. This can change the investments needed in a video conferencing system. Oftentimes rather cheap software solutions can be misleading.
Service Options - Many companies will offer service based video conferencing. They will set it up, operate it, and troubleshoot during any issues. For companies that have a little money to burn and don’t want to deal with the tech side, this can work out very well.
Maintenance - Some systems may require more maintenance and be difficult to keep running. Video conferencing can sometimes have some bugs.