Choose the Best Video Conferencing System For Your Business


video_conference

Many businesses in Germany are looking to keep costs in line in order to navigate through tough economic times. In order to maintain quality interaction between employees, vendors and prospective customers, many are looking for a quality video conferencing system that will provide a high return on investment as well as get the job done. Video conference hardware providers like Blue Jeans have already revolutionized the way businesses improve productivity and communication, and there are various systems to choose from when it comes to outfitting your business with the technology.

Five Steps to Choosing the Right System

Cisco, a leading international telecommunications company, believes there are five important steps to choosing a video conferencing system that will best suit your needs.

  1. Assess Your Current Network: The first step to obtaining the right system is to find out whether or not your current systems will be capable of supporting it. You may or may not need to upgrade your in-house server capabilities as well as your service with your Internet provider. Ensuring that you have an adequate level of available bandwidth will make for less technical problems once your system is in place.
  2. Invest In New Hardware: If the hardware in your office has seen better days, it’s time to order some new components. The good news is, PCs and laptops have come down in price considerably over the past few years, and many vendors offer bulk discounts. It is also important to make sure that every new laptop or PC purchased has enough processing power to handle video conferencing, which is quickly gaining popularity in Germany, as well as the rest of Europe.
  3. Understand How Employees Will Utilize Video Conferencing: Video conferencing has many useful features, the most important of which is that it is able to accommodate both large and small conferences. The system you choose should be based on how large or small these conferences will be. Will they be used strictly in-house, or will outside participants be included? These are important questions that must be answered in order to determine if you will need a system that will be capable of integrating with outside sources.
  4. How Much Collaboration Will There Be? The newest video conferencing systems have advanced collaborative technology built into them that allow them to do more than just speak face-to-face. Will this technology be necessary for your company’s needs? If so, it will pay to invest in a system that has these technologies onboard, so employees will be able to leverage them to their full advantage.
  5. Which Devices Will Be Used? Video conferencing can now be facilitated on tablets and smart phones, in addition to PCs and laptops. If employees will be using these devices as well, it would be a prudent investment to purchase them in addition to other hardware that is needed. The key to getting the best return on investment is to make a video conferencing system as user-friendly as possible.

What Are Some Other Points Worth Considering?

We’ve covered the basics – now we need to discuss which bells-and-whistles are worth considering.

The technology company AVI Systems offers some advice on what else to consider when implementing a video conferencing system:

  • Look Professional: If prospective vendors, customers, or employees will be participating in your company’s video conferences, it is important to look professional. Consider things like video quality, sound quality, and overall ease of use so the system can be inclusive to anyone.
  • Are Multimedia Components Necessary? If sharing of materials will be an important part of video conferencing, the system needs multimedia capabilities. Visual images, as well as graphs and charts can be shared easily by adding appropriate software programs like PowerPoint, KeyNote and others. The more sharing that will be done, the more important these programs become.
  • Is There a Need For Playback? Your business might want to consider the capability of video playback for your conferencing system so that people who did not attend could watch footage at a later date. Moreover, you might want to establish an archive of video conferences for training purposes, or even to be used as webinars at a later date. Video playback capabilities add an additional layer of possibilities to any video conferencing system.

Go Big Or Go Home?

There are top-of-the-line teleconferencing systems that can be installed in dedicated conference rooms. Those are known as “telepresence systems” that require permanently mounted cameras and screens, and are recommended for frequent use. These systems are quite expensive, and are usually reserved for larger corporations. They are, however, very effective, and deliver the highest possible performance, according to AVer, a company that provides international telecommunications services.