Checklist for Buying Video Conferencing

By Sheila Shanker
Updated: August 22, 2011

Video conferencing is very convenient for all kinds of businesses. It saves money in travel and is an affordable choice for small to medium business, especially these days, when video conferencing can be done through VoIP. If you’re in the market for a video conferencing, the checklist below can help you in identifying to best system for your business.

* Upfront costs
* Maintenance monthly costs
* Maximum number of users at the same time
* Maximum number of sites to be connected at once
* Bandwidth required for optimum video service
* Type of information to be shared during the conference- files can be sent over and/or desktop sharing
* Need for record video conferences – this can be helpful in training
* Require high definition resolution – check out various monitors to see if you really need this feature
* Interface with existing systems and Internet connection
* Ease of set up and use – the easier and more intuitive, the better
* Reputation of equipment brand – look online and ask other users
* Reputation of vendor – look online, ask other users and the Better Business Bureau online
* Test quality of service-video – do this before you purchase or make a commitment to a system
* Test quality of service-audio – do this before you purchase or make a commitment to a system
* Equipment warranties – protect yourself and make sure the warranty is reasonably priced
* Security issues – availability of passwords and other security measures involving hardware and software
* Cloud services
* In-house environment – if you have internal know-how in this area
* Hosted environment – fewer upfront expenses, but includes a third-party in the process
* Customer service quality and response time
* Specific needs of your industry and business, such as sign language interpretation or other specific issues

A checklist to help you purchase a video conferencing system can help you focus your attention into relevant areas in this process. You may come up with more items for this checklist and the more specific you are, the better off you will be. Maybe you will use video conferencing for medical purposes, to link with doctors and specialists remotely, and you may need specialized equipment, including medical ultrasound images devices, otoscopes and videoendoscopes—add those to your checklist.

As you consider video conferencing systems, don’t forget to consider simpler phone systems that accommodate videos and can be very effective for conferences with few participants. You could also rent the equipment or rent a conference room that have all you need for a business quality video conference. To have a successful video conference, all participants should have appropriate equipment—not just you. You can tape a training video conference, for instance, but the other parties must have the proper setup to watch it, or this process will not be effective.


 

Featured Research
  • Video Conferencing Showdown

    If you feel overwhelmed by the video conferencing options available for your business, you aren’t alone. There are dozens and dozens of different solutions, ranging from no-cost options to software that will cost thousands. The question is which one is right for your business and how can you get the most value. more

  • 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