With the rapid growth of the cloud, it seems like more and more services are working their way to the sky as savvy companies seek to meet the new consumer demand.Â Among the most popular technologies to move to the cloud is video conferencing. With free and off-the-shelf services like Skype and Google+ hangouts driving a newfound awareness of just how ubiquitous video can be, businesses are increasingly seeking to harness the power of the cloud to incorporate video into their business. However, before you do, there are some important questions that you need to ask your cloud video conferencing provider. How many Points of Presence do you have (PoP)? Far too often, cloud service providers operate with only a single Point of Presence. Regardless of how much duplication they have within their PoP, if something was to happen to that single location then you could find yourself without service. High quality cloud providers don't only have an excellent service, they have also deployed their solutions into geographically disparate data centers in order to make sure that their uptime is available every minute of every day. Multiple PoPs ensure that the service is fully redundant and failsafe, only then can a service get anywhere near the service level of five 9s (99.999%). How are you ensuring privacy of your video meetings? With all of the data breaches that have exposed even some of the world's largest technology and service providers, security must be a concern when deploying cloud solutions. Cloud video providers should be providing inside out security protocols including security certificates at the core, as well as the edge for every endpoint (soft or hardware based). Also, for dialing plan purposes, your cloud solution should support firewall traversal, so vast quantities of ports do not need to be opened up to complete calls. A good rule of thumb is that the more open ports there are, the weaker your network becomes. Whose infrastructure are you using? With solutions popping up each day, it is important to consider whose infrastructure your cloud solution is using. Many cloud video providers are simply riding the backbones of third-party legacy infrastructure. This means that your provider has zero to limited ability to introduce new features, doesn't have control of the platform itself, and so cannot determine the direction or longevity of the installation. It also means that they will be limited in what technical support they can offer. What type of interoperability does your solution offer? As much as some cloud video providers may want you to believe they have the best solution on the planet, there are many options and ways for people to connect on video. Many of the free solutions lack privacy and data security, but what they (and some paid solutions) Â Â also lack is interoperability. A cloud video solution is optimal when it easily connects and communicates to many of the known standard endpoints running H.323, SIP or even Microsoft's Lync environment. If the solution you are looking at makes dialing outside of the specific platform difficult or impossible, then it may be time to look elsewhere. How simple is point-to-point and ad-hoc calling? Video communication has long needed to evolve. For a long time video was an event, but now video should be as easy as picking up the phone. The cloud video solutions that really make video communication ubiquitous will eliminate the need for heavy scheduling components and allow employees to communicate with one another and clients in a simple and easy click to call manner. This should also go beyond just point-to-point but to also support multi-point calling. While there is a place for scheduled video conferences, where everyone enters a VMR (virtual meeting room) demand is increasing for the ability to just jump on video, much like the phones of yesteryear. Cloud Evolves Making Video Simpler Than Ever There is no question that more and more cloud video solutions will find their way to market over the next several years, but what is important to remember is not all clouds are created equal. Before trusting your business communications to just any cloud video provider, ask these questions and then verify the answers because when you leverage the cloud you must know that your business is safe and that the service is reliable and secure. How well do you know your cloud?
5 Things You Need To Ask Your Cloud Video Provider
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