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.
 

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