Video Conferencing for Small & Medium-Sized Organizations

July 22nd, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Gone are the days when video conferencing required a dedicated board room filled with flat screen TVs and state-of-the-art projection equipment. Today's small-to-medium-sized businesses can take advantage of the immediacy and personal contact offered by video conferencing without forking over a great deal of cash. Because technology has improved, meeting face-to-face can be accomplished with a desktop, tablet, or even a smartphone.

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What was once a novelty has expanded its reach to the masses. The price of video conferencing has dropped, services are often cloud-based, and the video and audio quality is no longer substandard. Businesses are latching onto video conferencing because it saves money, especially in travel costs. While an actual in-person meeting may often be necessary, there are many circumstances in which a virtual meeting, training session or product demo works just as well. Why get on a plane, or drive miles in your car if you don't have to?

Enhanced Business Services

All that you need for video conferencing is a high-speed Internet connection and a Web cam. Employ the services of a cloud-based service like the Blue Jeans Network, and virtual meetings are easy and cost-effective. The most efficient service depends on the needs of your business. Company owners should ask themselves if the video conferencing system will primarily be used between employees, with clients, for training purposes, or for multiple purposes.

There's nothing more important in today's business climate than building relationships with clients, investors and workforce teams. That's why video conferencing is essential for small to mid-sized businesses. The human element of business doesn't have to be sacrificed just because workers have office spaces a distance away.

According to Techradar, three quarters of business organizations want to adopt mobile video conferencing solutions as a way of supporting employees and enhancing sales practices. People like to connect, even if they prefer to work at home or are based in a remote or rural office. Regular online meetings bring a sense of trust and vitality to people working as a team. More and more businesses are seeing this type of interaction as a way to spark creativity, problem solve, and improve business practices.

High Quality, Cost-effective

Face-to-face communication no longer requires the set-up cost of an expensive system. As explained in Informationweek, desktop video conferencing solutions are a better alternative for most small businesses rather than costly state-of-the-art systems. Free services like Skype have turned some people away from video conferencing; however, there are other systems that provide a high-quality video conferencing experience at a reasonable cost.

Services like the Blue Jeans Network are built with the understanding that people need to connect via video conferencing with their desktops or portable devices. The system doesn't require training and is user-friendly. Because the service operates with cloud technology, it doesn't require expensive hardware or software on the front end. HD video, content sharing and audio is therefore easy and can be performed on the road using a Smartphone, or on a desktop in a home office.

Looking to the Cloud

The cost of video conferencing has declined and systems can operate seamlessly on a desktop thanks to delivery methods that operate via the cloud. However, there is still resistance to communicating through a video screen rather than sitting down and having an actual face-to-face meeting. But as people grow accustomed to video conferencing, they are witnessing the benefits and the obvious convenience of being able to chat anywhere at anytime, without having to spend money on traveling.

Cloud-based services can be beneficial because they enhance the performance of video technology and bring down the cost. Companies that offer access to Blue Jeans Video Meetings, for instance, can connect to the cloud, which eliminates infrastructure and maintenance concerns, and keeps the process user-friendly. Previously, all the hardware and software had to be localized on a company's in-house computer system. Now, with cloud computing, the heavy lifting is done remotely, by robust networked computers that can handle any task at a faster speed compared to traditional systems. The pace of computing has picked up significantly due to cloud technology, which is why many companies are embracing this technology.

Some companies consider video conferencing to be cost prohibitive, imagining that they need a fancy dedicated board room with flat screen TVs and costly state-of-the-art equipment. However, the expenditure for an immersive experience is no longer necessary in terms of connecting. A desktop hooked to a cloud-based service is the latest high-functioning alternative. Video conferencing can help workers maintain an improved work/life balance, enabling more leisure time rather than a daily commute or air travel. Training sessions, face-to-face business deals - even product demos can be accomplished at any time, using video conferencing from a desktop or portable device while on the go or in a remote location.

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