Common Video Conference Buying Mistakes

By Lori Shepherd
Updated: February 17, 2011

So, you’ve probably discovered that selecting the right video conferencing system for your business is not for the faint of heart. It requires preparation, assessment, and a well thought out plan. Assuming you’ve crossed this initial threshold of early planning, you’ve likely identified several vendors, system features and options you know will serve you best. However, before selecting the perfect vendor, and making the purchase, you’ll want to review these important eight tips when making your purchase so as to avoid common mistakes business owners have made:

Don’t Forget the Sales Force
Bring your sales force together and ascertain from them the types of communications which will be most appropriate for conducting video conferences and how this equipment might help reduce sale force budget.

Know Your Vendors
By all means interview several video conferencing vendors you’re seriously considering and obtain quotes from each one on their systems, from the lowest to the highest end. Be very clear with these vendors what your organization needs and how the equipment can be best serve those needs. Let them know how you plan to use the equipment and ask them to customize a solution that addresses all of your needs, as well as, your budget.

High Definition or Nothing
Always consider systems with HD capability, with so many users now having access to the vibrancy HD brings, there’s no reason to go without it, not to mention the likelihood that users will be reluctant to use a system without it.

Return on Investment
With so much emphasis on video conferencing reducing travel budgets, think about all aspects of your ROI for your new video conferencing system.

Quality, Quality, Quality
Quality cannot be emphasized enough, and give the technology available today, there’s no reason why your video conferencing system should not produce anything but crystal clear results both in audio and video transmission. Consider your budget but never skimp on buying a quality system.

Prepare to Grow
Scalability is crucial so plan your purchase well so that as your business grows, so will your video conferencing system. Remember that the least expensive options offer connections between several people, while more premium systems will connect many more.

Is Your Network Ready?
Is your network capable of supporting video conferencing? Don’t get caught with an all dressed up video conferencing system which has no place to go because the network can’t support it.

Do You Have the Bandwidth and Flexibility?
Carefully assess the system you’re considering buying to be certain it will deliver the high quality video on the bandwidth you’re using and can afford. Also you’ll derive much more for your investment with a flexible system which buys you various ways to utilize its features and options.

Finally, don’t make the mistake of thinking that even the most robust video conferencing and telepresence systems can replace personal service relationships with your clients. While they certainly can help reduce traveling budgets, there’s tremendous value to making client visits in person, a priority.

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