Integrating video conferencing into your organization is quickly becoming essential. However, a top quality video conferencing system can be expensive. Therefore, in preparation for deciding on a provider, and choosing a plan for your company, it is well advised that you define your video conferencing requirements well before you begin to draft any contracts with vendors.
The following list should help you narrow down which types of video conferencing systems and equipment you should consider adopting when moving forward with your purchase. Make sure you consult both your management and IT departments in order to cover all bases.
There are three broad areas you should take a look at with regards to your video solutions. The first is business requirements - the direct business goals that video conferencing should be looking to facilitate. Next, there are functional requirements; specific details such as number or users and/or overall functionality that feed back into the business goals. The final requirements to consider are technical. This may include any limitations you have in regards to space, systems, and bandwidth. Take advantage of the deep knowledge your IT team has in these areas before moving forward. Then ask yourself the following: What is your organization looking to achieve with video conferencing or unified communications solutions? This is first and foremost the most important question you must ask before going forward with a video collaboration system. The wider strategy your team outlines will be a fundamental help in determining the type of video conferencing solution you choose.
What is your budget for video conferencing solutions?
Your budget should be determined by assessing how valuable the UC solution will be to your operations. In addition, look at where the solution will reduce costs and improve productivity i.e. travel costs, scaling knowledge, connecting remote workers etc.
How many users does your video conferencing system expect to support?
Knowing how many users your organization will have can help you with issues such as bandwidth and pricing plans. However, knowing how much you are likely to grow in the future is just as important.
Where will your users be located?
Will your users be based in the main office or will they be remote? Remember to look to align your bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy with the solution to make it simpler for remote workers. Also, look at how many meeting rooms you wish to convert into video conferencing suites or huddle spaces and, of course, don't forget to look at all of your office and subsidiary locations.
Do you have in-house IT support or will you need to outsource?
Most vendors should be able to offer you IT support, though this will be at an extra charge. If you are fortunate enough to have onsite IT staff members, they must familiarize themselves with the solution.
Cloud or on-premise video conferencing?
It's not just applications and storage that are offered from the cloud, it is now possible to dispense with expensive video network infrastructure and have video collaboration delivered as a service. This option is by far the most scalable and affordable. In very few cases, organizations prefer to have on-premise infrastructure deployed behind firewalls. Therefore, engage with your IT to understand the pros and cons of both environments. When you are going to implement a video system, follow these questions and assess your business goals to find a UC solution that best suits your company.