Online Video Conferencing Comparison

How do you know what provider is best for your business?

By Ryan Ayers
Updated: April 08, 2011

Hosted video conferencing has opened up new doors for business productivity by reducing the expense and hardware traditionally associated with video conferencing business solutions. Accessibility and ease of use are key factors in this growing service area, and providers abound that offer video conferencing solutions to both consumers and businesses alike.

Choosing the Right Service Provider for Your Business Needs

As with any technology or equipment choice, finding the right fit for your business is important in ensuring that the tools will benefit you in the most effective way. There are an abundance of hosted video conferencing providers available, and not all of them will fit your specific requirements exactly.

Just as you would in deciding on a new computer or telephone system for your business, you should be sure that you have a clear idea of the requirements and expectations that you have for your video conferencing solution. Some service providers may place a higher emphasis on cost effectiveness, while others may provide higher call quality on a more consistent basis. It is important that your business have a clear set of priorities as to which attributes will benefit you most.

A few of the most common areas to consider:

  • Quality
  • Availability
  • Number of participants
  • Security
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Adaptability

These factors will have a different impact depending on the size, type, and frequency of use of the business using the service. Many businesses place a lower emphasis on areas of security and call quality in favor of the cost effective and adaptable nature of consumer grade video conferencing options.

Consumer Focused Products for Business Use

There are currently many providers of video conferencing plans that cater primarily to consumers, but may be suitable for business use depending on the specifics of your company. Many of these providers offer a greater degree of accessibility and a lower overall price point, but sacrifice in areas of call quality and features.

While the overall quality and features may be slightly lower or fewer with some consumer grade products, many businesses thrive on the mobility and portability that are offered. Many consumer grade video conferencing options are geared toward users who need to access the service from different locations, and/or while on the go. This service model appeals to many businesses because of its ease of use and because their employees are easily able to utilize it from mobile phones and changing remote locations with little setup time.

Finding the Right Fit

Finding the right fit for your business depends upon your intended uses and expectations of your hosted video conferencing solution. Hosted service options generally provide a measure of flexibility and adaptability that was not present with on premise video solutions and allow for a freer access and more rapid deployment. By accurately defining the needs of your business, you will be able to determine the most appropriate provider.
 

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