How to select a Video Conferencing System that meets your needs

By Neil Zawacki
Updated: August 10, 2011

Every small business is slightly different. Some take up a single office, while others are stretched across multiple floors or buildings. If you’re looking for a video conferencing solution, it’s important to select one that fits your company.

You should start by asking the following questions:

How many people will take part in the video conferences?
How many different locations will take part in the video conferences?
How much bandwidth do you have available?
What sort of information will need to be exchanged?
Will you be contacting any people who are not within your firewall?

Once you have gathered this information, you can use it to determine the type of video conferencing solution that suits your company.

The possibilities include:

Computer-Based – This is where your employees use a computer and webcam to take part in the video conference. It’s the cheapest solution, but the visual quality tends to be somewhat limited. You will want to use it on a one-on-one basis.

Rollabout – This is a video conferencing solution that is mounted on a trolley. You can wheel it into different rooms and store it in a closet when you’re the conference is over. It’s a good choice if your meetings will generally have between three to fifteen people.

Installed – This is where you have the video conferencing solution installed in a specific room in your office. It can support up to thirty people at once and generally offers the best visual quality and robust features. It also tends to be the most expensive option.

Each of these types offer specific benefits. If you’ve got a small office or people working from home, you may want to go with a computer-based system. If you’ve got free office space available, it might be a good idea to go with a rollabout or installed video conferencing solution.

You can narrow the decision down further by taking a look at the features available. If you’re going to be discussing corporate secrets during the video conferencing sessions, you will probably want a solution that offers top notch security. If you want to show charts and graphs during a meeting, you should make sure the solution has that function built in or has the ability to work with existing applications.

The price of the video conferencing solution will also probably be an important factor. You’ll need to stay within your budget, and remove any systems that are too expensive from your list. That said, it may be worth it to spend a little extra if there’s a special feature you really want – you’re going to be using the video conferencing system at your office for some time.

Featured Research
  • 7 Signs it's Time to Upgrade Your Video Conferencing System

    We’ve widely covered the importance of video conferencing tools for businesses of all sizes - but simply having a video conferencing tool isn’t enough. An outdated solution that isn’t providing all the communication tools your business needs will only hold you back. If you’ve had your current solution for any length of time, you should perform a quick assessment to make sure it’s still the right tool for your business. more

  • Why Q4 is the Perfect Time to Invest in Video Conferencing

    If you’re currently relying on an outdated video conferencing solution - or if you don’t have one at all - you’re in luck. While any time is a good time to invest in video conferencing, Q4 may be the best. One big reason is that Q4 is when you can get the best deals, but there are also other important factors like increased access to seasonal employees. more

  • 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