Tips for Reviewing Hosted Video Conference

By Catherine Hensley
Updated: May 13, 2011

As telecommunications technology evolves, businesses are finding it easier than ever to connect and work with partners and clients around the globe. One such tool that has significantly contributed to the virtual shrinking of the global marketplace is hosted video conferencing. With hosted video conferencing, a business owner can stay in visual contact with a partner thousands of miles away, all through a single Internet connection.

Cost Savings with Video Conferencing

Hosted video conferencing makes possible the viewing of meetings, seminars, presentations for those who would otherwise be too far away to attend physically. This technology enables telecommuting for countless numbers of people and is an extremely affordable option for companies with multiple locations in different geographical areas. Users can conference individually or over group connections, and the technology is highly customizable.

If your business is considering buying a hosted video conference product, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind for getting the most out of your investment. First, consider how the technology will most frequently be used by employees:

Needs Analysis

Are you planning to video conference large presentations or important meetings to big groups? If so, then high-definition video conference technology may be the way to go. You’ll get high quality projector capabilities, as well as remote controls, microphone systems, flat-panel screens, and zoom options. If individuals will be using the conferencing system more often, all that will be needed is a basic system that connects over an Internet protocol (IP) network and a desktop computer.

For businesses looking to adhere to a budget while still expanding their telecommunications options, many companies are renting video conferencing tools. Rather than purchasing the necessary equipment or having ISDN lines installed, video conference centers offer suites that can be rented out to groups and organizations. These suites come equipped with many different features, depending on your video conferencing needs. Another cost-effective option is to invest in a cart that is custom-built with video conferencing tools like cameras, microphones, and large-panel screens. This way, the cart can be moved around among conference rooms, and each individual room does not have to be outfitted with all of the video conferencing equipment.

If your video conferencing needs are particularly informal or few, an option to consider is one of the many free desktop video conferencing software packages currently available. Skype, for instance, enables worldwide calling and video-chatting for free between connections. Other similar tools include SightSpeed and Tokbox.

Hosted video conference technology is changing the way people do business all over the world. It has become a productivity-boosting and budget-friendly tool for many companies. The video conference technology that’s right for your business will depend on how sophisticated and widespread your teleconference needs are.
 

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