Best Video Conferencing Solutions

You’ve got big plans to do great things with video conferencing, but before you invest in a system, first calculate the costs.

By comparing the direct and indirect costs associated with video conferencing solutions, you can make sure you choose a system that has everything you need, including a price that’s on budget. In this post we outline the three main costs associated with owning and operating a video conferencing solution and how various providers address these costs. We also offer a framework for evaluating video conferencing providers, including eight questions you should make sure to ask your sales rep.

Calculate the costs

1. Upfront costs

Buyer beware: Traditional executive conference room systems (legacy providers) often have the heftiest upfront costs, requiring customers to make big investments in their systems.

2. Recurring costs

These are typically charged by providers who offer a subscription-based approach to owning and operating their systems. Subscriptions may be purchased as an annual license or via a monthly fee that is based on the number of users. In either case, you will want to make sure that you choose a solution that’s scalable to your needs.

Buyer beware: Some providers require licenses to be purchased for employees who only occasionally use the system, a practice that can quickly become expensive.

3. IT overhead & support costs

These are primarily incurred with legacy systems that require customers to purchase complex, on-premise equipment. In contrast, software and cloud-based systems generally need little to no support from your IT staff since system maintenance and updates are conducted by the provider.

Buyer beware: Complex systems often require your IT staff to not only support and train users, but perform system maintenance and updates, which can become a costly use of your IT staff’s time.

Expensive doesn’t mean better

Now that you’ve considered the costs associated with owning and operating a video system, it’s time to consider which types of providers are best for you. As we discussed above, legacy providers are often the most expensive solutions to own and operate, however, their price doesn’t mean you’re getting the best that money can buy. There are several software and cloud-based video conferencing solutions that are equal in quality to legacy systems, but at a fraction of the cost.

Poll your peers

Once you know which type of system you want (this post can help), it’s time to do a little research and create a list of potential providers. If you have coworkers and peers who have used a particular system you’re interested in, ask them about their experience, what they like and don’t like about it. You may also want to poll your connections on professional networks like LinkedIn, if you can’t find someone in your immediate circle who has experience with a solution you’re considering.

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Q&A

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What is the best video conferencing solution? | Yahoo Answers

I would use They have great service and low pricing.

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What is the best video conferencing solution for multi-offices *and* a virtual (at home) work force?

Vidyo, HD Quality home from devices all the way to dedicated video conferencing hardware.

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