In-house or hosted? In-house video conferencing system makes sense if you have internal expertise in this technology, someone who can instal and maintain the system. The hosted option would work better if you don’t want to be responsible for the video and audio setup and may need outside help. Usually the hosted option is cheaper than in-house because the hosting firm owns and maintains the system. As you research video conferencing setups, be aware of these different options, or you will be comparing apples and oranges.
When researching video conferencing products and services, keep a budget in mind. Have a range that you’re comfortable with, including how much you can spend upfront and any future monthly payments, including maintenance of the system. Start with less expensive systems and move up from there – it doesn’t make sense to purchase an expensive setup when a more affordable one is available and would work as well. Be aware that the many cheaper equipment and systems may not give you the best quality, so make sure to test the equipment and service before making a decision.
Make a list of your required functionalities, such as the capability to connect to at least five individuals in one video conference, or the need for HD equipment. Maybe you want to have a specific screen size, for instance. Write these down and keep them handy when reviewing video conferencing systems;it’s too easy to get distracted and forget about your basic requirements. Other functions you may consider is the ability to use the Internet at the same time as the video conference is going on, good security to avoid eaves-dropping, such as the ability to access the conference with a password.
Scalability relates to how easy is for the system to grow as your business grows. Maybe in the near future you will need to conduct video conferencing with ten different individuals at ten different places, including offshore locations. Therefore, you will want a system do that without a major overhaul or expense. When you make an investment with video conferencing, you want to be sure that you can use it long term and not have to purchase a replacement within a few years.
Don’t miss the chance to use this affordable technology to lower your travel costs along with absences and stress levels. As you conduct research in this area, be sure to get the best equipment and service you can afford. And don’t forget to test any system you select to make sure it works with your existing Internet set up and equipment.