Advancements in technology have made significant strides in the field of video conferencing. Video and audio streams are clearer than ever. This technology is convenient for businesses whose partners and supply chains span kilometers of land and sea. We’ve listed a few tips to help your company find the right equipment.
1. Users’ Requirement
The first thing that any company should consider is how its employees work or potentially interact with the conferencing equipment. Determine how your staff holds meeting with customers and business partners and how many people are involved in each session.
Know the average length of each meeting, whether they’re spontaneous or planned, and if they’re recorded. Determining these things will help you arrive to a set of criteria for the perfect conference equipment suited to your company’s needs.
2. Room for Scalability
Start-ups typically don’t need a large-scale and expensive video-conference system. Most introductory equipment available for businesses already have clear audio and video features. But since a company is expected to grow, choosing the right equipment must include provisions for expansion.
What started as a collaboration between two individuals may evolve into larger groups connecting simultaneously. Aside from the addition of multiple devices, this also involves operating costs and a stable online infrastructure. Anticipating this growth will be a boon for the business in the long term.
3. Quality of the Streaming
No matter the size of the company, the quality of the video and audio output during video conferencing must meet professional expectations. Bandwidth plays a major role in this, so it’s important to determine how much bandwidth it takes to support the entire operation.
A single connection made from a desktop can run up to 130 Kbps or more than 4 Mbps when several people are all connected at once. High-definition video and room-based connections require even more. For video systems on the higher end, a connection typically uses between 10 and 20 Mbps.
4. Compatibility with Devices
The equipment invested in should be compatible with most operating systems and hardware. This allows seamless connections to basic equipment already in possession and planned future upgrades.
Video-conference equipment that are compatible only with products made from the same company are counterproductive to the growth and scalability of a business, so make sure the equipment you get shines with its intuitive designs so it’s easy to operate as well as compatible with existing equipment.
5. Security Features
Businesses have to be wary about the information they share through video-conferencing platforms, especially if it isn’t through a secure line. While most services like Skype and Hangout provide quality streaming services, they don’t offer end-to-end encryption because they’re mostly marketed to individuals and not businesses.
A security hole in your system will open a big door for hackers to take advantage of, so when dealing with sensitive or classified trade information, encryption capability is something that should highly be consider.
6. Technical Support
No video-conference system is perfect. After a period of time, expect to see hardware bogging down or errors in the program that run the platform. Some issues can easily be fixed with a simple reboot or by troubleshooting.
For graver concerns, manufacturers often provide free to low-cost assistance in repairing or replacing malfunctioning devices. Therefore, finding the right product also means knowing the manufacturer’s track record with regard to technical support.
7. Type of Service
Types of service can either be a cloud-based one and a standalone MCU hardware. Opting for cloud minimizes upfront costs for IT infrastructure. You can connect all devices into the system, add users on demand, and scale at your own pace, which make it an increasingly popular option for most business.
Most small companies that are not yet ready to invest heavily on video-conference equipment choose to start with cloud. Another option is a hybrid, which offers both in-house hardware with the support of a cloud service for overflow and recovery.
Ultimately, finding the right video-conference equipment is hinged on your company’s needs and how you operate. Even the best or latest equipment means nothing if it’s not what your business is looking for. Informed decisions can only be made by looking inward first through objective assessments on your company’s culture and financial capability.