AMC knows that businesses increasingly have more remote workers. Whether working remote full-time, part-time or just while traveling for business, these workers rely heavily on their own mobile devices to stay connected, yet they still need to stay connected to their teams for meetings in their office. AMC is able to ensure solutions to the strong demand for a video conferencing system that can provide a simple and instant connection from the office to the home and on the go.
Ten Things to Consider Before You Invest in Video Conferencing
1. BUSINESS PROCESSES
How could your business benefit from video conferencing? Consider today’s work flow and how video can influence it to expedite decision making, communicate with more people, keep employees engaged, train disparate teams, and keep in closer contact with your supply chain, customers, partners and suppliers. Think of the benefits to remote or mobile users who need to collaborate on the go and the multiple uses you could derive from recording and streaming meetings and content.
Ensure that you can actually connect with the people you need to by looking for a video conferencing solution that is standards-based, not a walled-garden solution. You’ll also want to be able to talk to as broad a range of devices as possible. That means desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices alike. Keep it simple. Maybe you can’t outfit the whole organization with video conferencing on every device, so think about what matters most and start there. Make sure the costs of your initial investment in video conferencing are low so you can scale up as you need to.
Invest in technology that won’t become obsolete as your needs change or your organization grows. Also, the cost of a dedicated Internet connection can be very high and is rarely justified as raw Internet is often good enough. Travel costs matter but should not be of primary importance. Don’t look to justify your spending on technology this way. Invest in it because you believe in it. Don’t forget—video allows face-to-face communications instantly, so also consider the opportunity cost in waiting to have those meetings.
4. YOUR IT DEPARTMENT
Consider how video technology will affect IT processes, business continuity issues and the effect of running video traffic on the network. Vet existing providers on video conferencing experience. Discuss with your IT team how many smaller video-equipped rooms would be more effective than a smaller number of expensive boardrooms. Trial before purchasing to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the technology and that your IT department understands and is committed to deploying. A successful implementation vitally depends on IT involvement, so make them your video conferencing champions.
5. QUALITY OF EXPERIENCE
For video conferencing to be successful within your business, the quality needs to be so high that you forget you are using it, the technology simply becomes invisible. Remember, video is supposed to be a truly immersive experience, and this will be hard to achieve if you deploy small or non-HD screens in your meeting rooms. The bottom line is, don’t skimp on quality at the expense of the video experience.
6. VIDEO CONFERENCING VERSUS WEB CONFERENCING
The main difference between video conferencing and web conferencing is quality. Apples to apples it is not. Web conferencing is like a slightly better phone call whereas video conferencing is like looking through a window to another place. True HD video gives you the feeling of being there without having to physically get there. Web conferencing simply cannot match this experience.
7. EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES
So what’s next for video communication? 4K displays will make the quality of experience even higher than is currently achievable, but it’s the promise to empower anyone with a suitable web browser to get involved in the video communications world that makes WebRTC the next “big thing.” This technology will dramatically increase the number of possible video participants to further fulfill the promise of ubiquitous video communications adoption. It will have dynamic, far-reaching consequences in environments where large numbers of occasional users are involved. However, infrastructure technology will be required to support this, meaning WebRTC will augment video communications rather than replace it.
8. EVANGELIZING VIDEO CONFERENCING
Installing video conferencing into a business and expecting the organization to adopt it and change its behavior is simply not realistic. For truly successful implementation, a number of strategies can be employed to help fuel adoption.
9. LINKING VIDEO CONFERENCING TO OTHER TECHNOLOGY
• Microsoft® Lync®
• Room control environments such as AMX®, Crestron® and Harmony®
10. FIND A TRUSTED ADVISOR
Look for manufacturers who have proven themselves to be innovators and committed to the market, trusted advisors who understand and already manage other IT functions. You don’t want to invest in the overnight sensation that will be gone tomorrow. Make sure you interview potential advisors thoroughly; check that they know what they are talking about. Video conferencing is NOT an AV product. In the modern era, the network and infrastructure issues require expertise in more than lighting or room decoration. Finally, look for a supplier you are likely to be able to understand and who will understand your business.
Know the Terminology
Like every breakthrough technology, video conferencing has a bit of its own language. It’s a hybrid of networking, video, audio, and more. Here are some of the most commonly used words and phrases in the world of how video conferencing works: