Hosted Video Conference Buyer Guide

By Catherine Hensley
Updated: June 20, 2011

Hosted video conferencing technology has changed the way the world does business. Now, an employee in New York can participate in a meeting going on with a partner in Paris or Japan or anywhere else around the world, all thanks to video conferencing software. Meetings, seminars, and other important business gatherings can all be broadcast in real-time using video conferencing tools, making it a cost-effective and practical way to stay connected with business partners in a global economy.

The technology, features, and tools of hosted video conferencing are very customizable, so there is a lot to consider when you’re looking to integrate it into your company’s business telecommunications arsenal. Use this basic buyer’s guide to identify some of the most important options for what you’ll need and what will best serve the needs of your organization.

Video Quality

The quality of the video feed is one of the most important features in a hosted video conference system. If your business partners can’t see the presentation or are distracted by grainy image quality or delays in transmission, the effectiveness of the tool — and the presentation itself — will be highly diminished. High-definition (HD) screen monitors are one option to ensure strong video quality, though such screens are often expensive. If a high-definition monitor is not an option in the budget, the next best bet is to get a system that has high-definition capability built into it. If you’re able to order HD screens in the future, you’ll already have the capacity for it ready to go.

Vendor Reliability

Researching the background and ratings of the host of your video conferencing system is critical to ensuring that you get a fully functional and high-quality system. Read reviews of the company’s products and services in trusted technology and consumer magazines. Be sure to get detailed descriptions of any limitations on times when video conferences can be conducted, and make sure the system you choose is compatible with the other software and systems you already have in place.

System Requirements

What are the video conferencing needs of your organization? Do you want to broadcast small meetings between individuals or large seminars for hundreds of employees? The scale of your video conferencing needs will determine the type of system that is best for your company. For example, desktop systems transmitting over a basic Internet protocol (IP) connection are better for smaller conferencing needs.

There’s a lot to consider when investing in a hosted video conference system. But with a little research and investigation, you’ll be sure to get the system with the right features and right price for your business needs.
 

Featured Research
  • Best Video Conferencing Features for Business

    Most businesses are currently underutilizing their video conferencing software because they aren’t aware of the different ways it can be used. Understanding the different features of video conferencing software can be critical to getting the most out of your investment. These features often vary from one option to the next as well, so it's important to do your homework before choosing a specific service. more

  • 9 Ways Video Conferencing Supports Business Growth

    90% of information is transmitted in the human brain is visual, and people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Video and video conferencing is fastly becoming the new must-have business tool for generating profits and successfully growing your business. In fact, over the past four years, the percentage of companies utilizing video conferencing has jumped from 41% to 58%. more

  • 9 Tips for a Compelling Video Presentation

    Face-to-face communication is the most effective way to collaborate and bring ideas to life in your business. Because of this, many businesses invest heavily in travel budgets so they can meet in person to create and nurture business opportunities. However, video technology has become more accessible, affordable, and user-friendly over the years. In fact, the enterprise video business market will reach $36.5 billion by 2018. more

  • 9 Ways Video Conferencing Gives You a Competitive Advantage

    Embracing video conferencing in your business can bring your company many lucrative and positive benefits that will help you excel through better communication and more efficient collaboration. In fact, 89% of professionals agree that video conferencing reduces the time needed to complete projects or tasks. more

  • How Video Conferencing is Transforming Workplace Learning

    Video conferencing has long since surpassed solely being utilized in the conference or board room. In fact, the enterprise video market, which includes video conferencing, will reach $36.5 billion by next year. Video conferencing is used across the workplace spectrum from internal communications to external sales calls and everything in between. more