Video conferencing is a relatively new way for companies to hold meetings without having to have all participants in the same physical location. It works using special software and video and audio hardware to bring all participants together in one platform where they can hold discussions, view presentations and conduct any business as if they were all in the same location.
There are many benefits to having a video conferencing system. If a company has people moving about often, going from place to place or has different offices located all around the globe, a video conferencing system will allow everyone to come together for a meeting without having to worry about organizing schedules and travel plans. It can save time and money while increasing productivity.
So, when your company is ready to start using video conferencing, what are some important things you need to look for? There are five main things that you want to keep in mind when choosing a video conferencing system.
1. Keep the Bottom Line in Mind
When you are considering a system, you have to keep the bottom line in mind. You want to set a budget and stick to it. It’s important to make sure that the system you are considering includes everything you need so you can estimate the total costs. Also, think about if the system is easy enough to use that all employees can use it without having to spend too much time or money on training. Consider whether you have the proper network set up to handle the demands of the system and that you have an area where the system can be set up. Otherwise, you will have to add in additional costs for network upgrades and expenses for creating a conference space.
2. Consider What Components You Need
Video conferencing requires cameras, microphones, monitors and conferencing software. You may already have some of these things. For example, if your employees have laptops, then they likely already have the camera, microphone and monitor they will need. However, you may need to upgrade your components to work within the system.
3. Outline Your Meeting Needs
It is important to understand how your meetings are conducted so that you will be able to figure out what type of video conferencing features you will need. You’ll need to consider how many people are normally in a meeting, if the meeting needs to be recorded, how long meetings last and if meetings are normally scheduled or if they just occur as needed. Decide if you will need to be able to play videos and give presentations during a meeting through the software and if you are concerned about high definition qualities. Knowing all these details will enable you to choose the video conferencing features that will work best for your situation.
4.Take a Look at the Video Gateway
Every video conferencing system will have a gateway that enables you to run the meeting. It will help you to ensure everyone is connected and that all components are working properly. In addition, it is where you will be able to start presentations or videos that may be shown during the meeting. It is essential to understand how to use this and be comfortable using it. The controls should be easy to use. You want to be able to explain how to use them quickly so that one person doesn’t have to be in charge of the gateway for every meeting that is held using the system.
5. Check Into Customer Service
As with anything of this nature that you buy, you may need to contact the company that you get the software from. That is why it is very important to ensure the company offers superior customer service. The company should offer technical support that will be able to walk you through almost any issue that may come up. You want to be sure that if you have any issues that you can get them quickly resolved. The last thing you need is to waste everyone’s time by having them wait around to start a meeting because you are trying to get help from customer service.
While you may not really understand how a video conferencing system is going to work until you get some practical experience using it in your company, it still is helpful to consider these five points before you make that purchase. By taking some time to consider all the details, you will be more likely to make a purchase that works for your company and that will truly provide your company with benefits over other options, like just holding traditional meetings.