Telepresence vs. Video Conferencing: What’s the Difference?

Innovations in mobile technology have created a wave of change in how companies connect, communicate, and conduct important business meetings with clients, key partners, and consumers.

Improved technology, paired with an internet connection, make it possible to keep business communications flowing effectively whether your teams are working in the office, from home, or recruiting new business in the field. Mobile access to phone systems, office programs, and software tools all contribute to business growth with heightened levels of ease and convenience.

Why Video Conferencing is a Must

Despite the distinct advantages of a flexible business model reliant on mobile system interactions, positive, personal human interactions still play a vital role in the success of your company. Video conferencing systems allow you to stay connected with all the important people necessary for your continued growth, without sacrificing the personal element of conducting business face-to-face.

There are a multitude of video conferencing systems available for you to consider, and no matter the size of your business, there is likely a solution that will fulfill all your business needs. With all the options available, it is common for business owners to experience some confusion while determining what video conferencing option will fit best.

If you’re considering which video conferencing solution to select for your business, you will inevitably come across systems offering telepresence and video conferencing options. This may give you pause in your considerations as you wonder what differences there are between the two, and which system best suits your business.

Here is a breakdown of the differences to help you select the right solution for your company’s video communication needs.

Video Conferencing Systems

There is a wide variety of video conferencing systems on the market to help meet the unique communication needs of different companies in various stages of size or growth. The three main types are Integrated Systems, Desktop Systems, and Mobile Systems.

1. Integrated Systems 

Integrated video conferencing systems are designed to accommodate a fixed meeting location such as conference room. The integrated system is ideal for a company that needs to hold frequent video conferences between different offices. This type of video conferencing system links multi-office companies through high quality video and audio.

Integrated systems are generally fixed to a particular conference area, but can be also be mobilized through a system on a cart, which can be moved from room to room and used effectively.

An integrated system, while effective, tends to be costly due to equipment installation and maintenance. It also limits meeting space to a particular room or location.

2. Desktop Systems 

Desktop video conferencing operates through the video and audio features already present on your desktop computer or laptop. This video conferencing solution provides a simple way to connect a large number of people, and offers more convenience and portability for the conference attendees.

The desktop video conferencing option is very cost effective, but the video and audio quality of a desktop video conference are dependent upon the quality of the individual attendees’ webcams and microphones. If an attendee has issues with sound, video, or internet connectivity it can reduce the effectiveness of the meeting.

3. Mobile, Cloud-Based Systems 

Mobile video conferencing systems offer a flexible, portable way to connect with important contacts no matter their location, for a reasonable cost. Attendees can connect to a meeting by using the mobile network of their smart phone or tablet.

This type of video conferencing is ideal for your business if you have employees who do extensive travel or work out in the field frequently. A cloud-based system is easy to use, and will allow key team members or clients to join a meaningful video conference from wherever they may be working.

Telepresence Conferencing Systems

A telepresence system is the most elite, and expensive, video conferencing solution available on the market. This type of system is set up on site, with the highest quality video and audio equipment, and is designed to make virtual meetings more impressive and immersive by creating a shared environment that simulates being in the same room together.

Telepresence systems factor in special touches and elements such as lighting, room décor, furniture, fixtures, and more. These elements are all coordinated, and broadcast in high definition to create the feeling of truly being present and in-person at the table for a business meeting.

As you embark into implementing or expanding your video conferencing systems, it is important to understand all the options available so you can determine which system will propel your company communications forward with the most impact. Check out our Ultimate Video Conferencing Buyer’s Guide for more in-depth insight on what system will best serve your business.