Consider Video Conferencing for Lower Cost and Better Collaboration

Posted by John Cory on 09/25/2013

For the past 15 years, experts have touted how you can save money using traditional video conferencing, but for this to be true, you had to have a significant travel budget to offset the large installation of video conferencing systems.  With the advent of web based video applications, or “unified communications” (UC) this is all changing. 

Traditional video conferencing has always been rather cost prohibitive for a small/medium-sized business with systems costing $10,000 - $30,000 per endpoint. Larger companies with substantial travel budgets could justify the ROI, but not the smaller businesses.  It involved a dedicated conference room with a projector/flat panel monitor and hardware video software and camera (and lots of other parts and pieces). Then you were limited by only being able to do video calls to someone else who has a similar system. These are standards-based, meaning that one brand video system could talk to another brand, but all of the brands were expensive. 

Now that video has become so prevalent with Skype and Facetime apps, people are starting to realize there is a cheaper way to do this.  There are literally hundreds of software based video conferencing or “unified communications” platforms out there. You have free/low cost options like Skype and Google Hangouts.  You can also look at more powerful tools such as WebEx, Microsoft Lync or GoToMeeting.  Many of them even go above and beyond what traditional video conferencing can do by providing advanced collaborations options such as screen sharing and annotation. 

One of the challenges with these web-based UC solutions is that they run on a computer, and it is impossible to cram 10 people around one monitor and webcam to have a meeting. It also isn’t easy to integrate the webcam and audio into a conference room environment. This is where Cory’s can help.  We can suggest many different products and solutions that will allow web-based conferencing to work in your conference rooms. 

Traditional video conferencing can be a good option for high quality connections and can help reduce your travel budget.  For smaller companies, a web-based UC solution could provide the same results and possibly improve your ability to collaborate for a much smaller price tag.