Free And Low Cost Video As A Gateway to Meaningful Business Video

Posted by Brad Poarch on 09/23/2014

With services like Skype, Google+ and FaceTime perhaps being the most visible video technology to the consumer, who is also the business user, the landscape for video has changed.

While some may think that the change that consumer video solutions like those mentioned above would erode the utilization of video for business and institutional deployments (insert your industries), it turns out that the awareness and popularity of video as a consumer tool is actually increasing the demand for video throughout the enterprise and while some small businesses can potentially use a free or very low cost solution like Skype for business, as a whole it isn’t really a realistic way to do video at the enterprise level.

For the organization looking to do business video in a way that the entire enterprise can benefit, it is important to consider the following items.

  1. Usability: The system needs to be easy to use.  If people feel that doing a video call is an event and not as simple as picking up the phone or meeting in person, they won’t use it.  While services like Skype are somewhat easy to use, they aren’t friendly for professional meetings due to the format, quality and type of information that you share with the other users. 
  2. Security:  Most of the low or no cost video options lack both the privacy and security that businesses want and need for their video meetings.  Given that most organizations want to be able to have meetings both internally and externally via video conferencing it is important that network security and data privacy is a top priority. Many of the free services actually own the content you create over video.  It is important with any service you use to read the terms and conditions before using the platform. (Add other security data as you see fit)
  3. Scalability: Often times the initial deployment of a solution is much smaller than what is ultimately planned.  This can sometimes make certain solutions appealing but if the future isn’t considered when determining the solution of choice this can backfire.  Make sure no matter what solution you choose to consider not only today but also the long term for your business video deployment.
  4. Interoperability:  The one thing that we are definitely seeing is that certain mainstream video solutions like Google and Skype are going to have a role in the overall video eco-system.  There are solutions today that allow users on those platforms to join and participate in secure video calls.  Also just having a simple ability to link together multiple video types such as Cisco, Polycom and Lifesize is important since your customers may have business video but on a different platform.  This often seems easy until you try to make a call, so definitely make sure your solution has this in mind when being designed and deployed.

Moving into the future business video will become more and more pervasive.  From the free tools, to the advanced web conferencing tools with video to the full telepresence deployments that give us a real life meeting experience, we will be looking to use more video to meet employees, clients and partners around the world.

The idea that “Video is just Video” doesn’t take the whole picture into account and that is why organizations looking into doing business video need to think bigger than what they can use for free.

To make video productive it must be easy and secure for all users in the ecosystem.  The free stuff is a great way to build a relationship between businesses and video, but in the long run a video solution for the enterprise means much more.

Is your business ready to adopt/expand the way it uses business video?  We want to hear from you, let us work together to help you save time and money.