Over the course of the past few years, video conferencing technology has morphed from a very specialized, underutilized resource into one of the most important components of any robust unified communications solution. Business leaders have come to realize that by providing their employees with top-tier video conferencing solutions, they can significantly improve the quality and depth of worker and client relationships.
To see these results, though, it is imperative for companies to embrace the right video conferencing tools. No two systems are the same, and a suboptimal offering will likely lead to disappointing results. That's why business decision-makers should thoroughly and carefully vet all of the available choices when deciding which video conferencing solution to deploy.
Value NeededTo a certain extent, the factors that business leaders should consider when evaluating video conferencing tools are fairly straightforward, as a recent Frost & Sullivan market analysis highlighted.
"Customers want robust functionality and reliability at low price points from providers that are known to be dependable," said Robert Arnold, manager of Frost & Sullivan's unified communications program. "Rather than compromise, customers need to explore, streamline, and observe the merits of potential vendors before making a decision."
The difficulty for decision-makers lies in the fact that this market has become significantly more crowded in the past few years. Now, there are many options available to interested parties, each of which will have its own strengths. More importantly, there are enough high-end providers that companies do not need to resort to compromise - with enough research, firms should be able to find the best possible solution for their specific needs.
To this end, companies must take the time to thoroughly consider what they hope to gain from a video conferencing offering. How frequently will the company likely need to add or remove users? What is the maximum number of participants that any video conference is likely to see?
Answering these questions will point companies in the right direction.
To the CloudPerhaps the single most important question that company leaders will need to address is whether to pursue on-premises or cloud video conferencing solutions. And increasingly, firms are indeed embracing the latter route, as the cloud offers superior reliability, flexibility, and affordability.
Even more critically, businesses are now embracing cloud-based UC systems with growing frequency, with video conferencing simply one of the many invaluable components of such platforms. By adopting such tools, firms can almost immediately begin to take advantage of these telecommunications resources, without first spending valuable capital on equipment purchases and installation.