Questions,Ask,Before,Choosing, technology 6 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Your Video Conferencing E
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If you're like most businesses today, you do not have either the time or money to support the travel demands of your far-flung operations. To accommodate this, video conferencing has emerged as an on-demand solution. This is available for a fraction of any travel and expense budget.But the explosion of video communications has created several video conferencing products and equipment, making it increasingly difficult to navigate the maze of choices. You need to choose the right video conferencing equipment as well as a solution that is powerful enough to meet all your communication needs today, as well as offer the flexibility to respond to the opportunities, challenges, and changes of tomorrow.This article tells you the 6 key questions to ask before choosing video conferencing equipment for all of your enterprise collaboration needs. So, here goes...1) Is a total solution available from the vendor?A total solution consists of three separate elements. The first is a management solution that handles scheduling, monitoring, automatic software updates, and reporting. The second is network control for bandwidth management and authentication, as well as enabling access and supporting features, such as a unified dialing plan. The third is Firewall Traversal to enable remote communication with remote employees, as well as customers, suppliers, and partners. With such a platform in place, you can add on Multipoint Control Units to connect multiple audio and video sites. You can also add gateways for seamless voice and video connectivity between IP and ISDN networks; recording and streaming to enable content creation, distribution, and compliance; and the best mix of endpoints.A complete solution, properly designed, will provide utility-like technology and equipment that never fails, giving you future-proofing and maximizing the value of your technology investment through interoperability and lower cost of ownership.2) Does the technology and equipment deliver true HD capabilities?Increasingly, business-to-business video conferencing is embracing HD for telemedicine, business conferences, and other applications that demand the crispest images and the clearest sound. You should ensure that your HD products work with other products from the same manufacturer as well as from other manufacturers. This makes the equipment more valuable, especially if you want to use video conferencing in more locations with varied technology3) What is the cost-per-port of high definition?Some vendors can only accommodate the combination of High Definition (HD) and Standard Definition (SD) devices that typically take part in video conferencing calls by using a large number of ports. This raises the cost of the call and degrades performance, resulting in lower-quality video and age-old audio. You should ensure that the technology and equipment can both encode and then decode the HD transmission.4) Is the equipment designed to fit unobtrusively into any business setting?Video conferencing equipment should make communications across great distances feel as natural as talking to someone on the other side of your desk. A large part of that comes from the infrastructure that supports the technology. In addition, the endpoints themselves should be designed so that you are hardly aware of them. This makes the equipment fit seamlessly into the way you do business, as well as into your office decor.5) Does the technology and equipment integrate effectively with other brands?You should certainly determine how well the technology and the equipment work with other brands. Even if you standardize on one solution, you will most likely deal with partners who use other types of video conferencing equipment. Many video conferencing systems are proprietary, requiring costly workarounds that dramatically lower performance just to interface with other equipment.6) Is the technology and equipment easy enough for anyone to operate?The value of video conferencing is directly related to how easy it is to use. Many video conferencing systems are difficult for non-technical employees to operate, requiring IT professionals to set up every call and guide participants through the complexity of using different equipment on the calls. Ensure that you choose a solution and equipment that is easy for most employees to use.So, keep these 6 questions in mind when shopping around for a video conferencing solution, as well as video conferencing equipment and you will not go wrong. Here's to seamless video collaboration using the best equipment that you can possibly get!