If you think video conferencing would be of benefit to use in your business, here is a guide to help you get set up. Find the answers to all of your questions.
Whether you think your business would benefit from video conferencing or if you’ve already had a client request to set up a video conference with you, this type of communication is the way of the future. If you haven’t prepared yourself to support video conferencing yet, you risk letting your business slip behind your competitors by losing the cutting edge in communication and efficient service. For example, even in the medical field telemedicine has supporters who embrace new technologies. Whatever the case, maybe you’re wasting valuable dollars from your budget by funding expensive traveling costs to meet face to face with clients in other cities when you could get sign up with a video conferencing service.
Deciding which product is best for you
One of the most important things that you can take into account when you’re making any decision about new technology integration is to make sure you’re getting the right product that best serves the specific needs of a company in your industry and specific services offered.
What features do you need?
The features involved with video conferencing can vary quite a bit from service to service. Depending on what industry you work in, your needs will be a better fit for services offering specific features. For instance, someone involved in a sales capacity might want to find a service that allows him or her to share slides with prospective clients and customers. Services like Blue Jeans incorporate that file sharing while you are in the conference so you can seamlessly go through each slide with prospective clients as you both observe the content on screen.
If you’re discussing any information that needs to be kept private, you’ll want to look for services that prioritize the security of your video conferences so that none of that information leaks and becomes publicly accessible. If you’re involved with a significant amount of client facing interactions, you will need a service that is able to support video interface between differing platforms. A client company might not operate on the same conferencing software like Cisco versus Polycom, and you could run into significant barriers trying to communicate.
How often will you be conferencing?
Some of the things you should consider is the amount that you will be using your video conferencing platform. Are you looking to set up daily meetings with colleagues in different offices or are you just planning to set up weekly check-ins with clients to give an updated progress report on how things are going. The pricing of your data plan and information storage is going to hinge significantly on the amount of time that you’ll be spending in your video conferences from month to month.
How many people will you be conferencing with?
Depending on the size of your business and whether or not you’ll be conferencing with colleagues in many different locations, you’ll need to consider the number of participants that can attend each video conference. For a company like Blue Jeans, you can set up a conference with up to 25 different endpoints in standard meetings and with an extra feature, you can conference with up to 100 participants.
What is your budget like?
If you don’t have a large operating budget but aren’t overly concerned about the quality and consistency of the video conferencing service, you can look into free options that operate on open source software. For larger organizations and those with a need for high definition, high speed conferencing capabilities, you might need to pay a bit extra to support the video infrastructure. Thankfully none of the main options for business conferencing are very expensive to operate anymore. Now that much of the equipment has moved onto the cloud, operating expenses are rapidly lowering and becoming more easily accessible.
Signing up for an account
When you find a service that has all of the features you need and the pricing that fits your budget, you can sign up for an account and download any related software or equipment that it needs to operate. Depending on the size of your business, you’ll want to consider whether a personal account or an enterprise package would make more fiscal sense.
Familiarize yourself with the technology
If you haven’t spent much time in the past working with video conferencing software, you don’t need to worry that you won’t be able to figure it out. Video conferencing is generally pretty user friendly and easy to adopt. That being said, you’ll want to try out the conferencing with your coworkers before you start using it in external facing operations to make sure you know what you’re doing.
Getting participants involved
For clients and colleagues that have not being using video conferencing technology to keep in touch with your business before, you’ll need to get them involved and you might need to guide them through the process of installation and operation. Try a service like Blue Jeans that will allow you to just send an email invitation to join the conference so you don’t need to weigh down your participants with long installation periods and unfamiliar technology.