How to Choose a Video Conferencing Provider

Video conferencing has increased significantly over the past few years. Initially, dial up Internet connections made real time transmissions of video and voice seem almost impossible. But nowadays, you can connect to anyone in the world so long as they have an Internet connection and a video conferencing service like Blue Jeans. The real challenge can come down to picking the right provider for you and your business. Here are some tips for helping you find the best one.

Determine What You Need and Can Handle

Video conferencing services can work with an in house system that automatically syncs up all of your systems together or it can provide an entire infrastructure. Your first step should be to evaluate your actual needs and then assess what your current system can handle. It requires more than just a solid Internet connection if you want anything larger than an occasional video conference. If you’re unsure where to start, you can always ask for an evaluation from a video conferencing service provider.

When speaking with a service provider, do not overstate what your business does or what you can handle. Provide the most accurate information you can on what your business does, what your current in house conferencing needs are, and don’t forget to discuss plans for expansion. What may work well for you now may be different from what you need in the coming year.

Consider Additional Collaborative Technology If Needed

“3 Video Conferencing Industry Trends to Watch for in 2014” was right about video conferencing becoming more popular and more essential to the majority of businesses, and it seems likely that the use will increase.  It is more than just seeing the other members of your business or potential clients. It can sometimes be combined with collaborative technology to allow for sessions that include document modification, brainstorming, and more.

Collaborative technology is also on the increase. But many smaller businesses may not require all the added muscle that collaborative video tech can provide. Collaborative tech typically costs more, and it puts a greater strain on your company’s infrastructure. So evaluate whether it’s necessary and in what situations. The two most common forms of collaborative technology are desktop sharing and white boarding, which allow for brainstorming and mutual work solutions.

Determine Which Devices Will Be Used For Video Conferencing

PEW reports that 90% of American consumers own a mobile device, and many of these devices are smart devices, allowing for video conferencing even when they aren’t in the office. Most video conferencing services work on multiple devices, but it’s important to know whether your employees or your customers will be more likely to use tablets or smart phones or laptops to connect with you. Specialized apps and considerations should be born in mind for each one. If most of your employees or customers will be using smart phones, for instance, you will need a lighter streaming video conferencing service. Desktop based video conferencing, on the other hand, will allow you to have a higher quality transmission with higher resolution graphics and sound.

Check for Reliability

In general, people tend to talk longer on video conferencing calls rather than phone conferences. “Interesting Videoconferencing Graphic and Statistics” states that the average attention span for a conference call lasts only 23 minutes, but it expands to 35 when using video conferencing because it engages more of the senses. With more time spent in the session, a reliable service is vital. You can check reviews and feedback for services like Blue Jeans Video Conferencing. But you will also want to take a trial run if at all possible. Many services allow money back guarantees as well as service assessments and trial runs.

Thoroughly Test the System

Once you think you have a program that will work for you, participate in several video conferences. Try to bring in as many test participants as possible to test the capacity. If you are using an in house connection infrastructure, don’t forget to test your company’s abilities to conduct other business. A video conference or in office meeting shouldn’t disrupt other activities.

Video conferencing can help increase your business’s communication both with customers and your employees. However, you have to choose the right service provider. When making this consideration, cost shouldn’t be your first point of analysis. While you need to find a service that you can afford, you must first determine what you need. When considering your needs, bear in mind both where you are and where you are likely to be within a short period. Compare this also to what your current business can handle. Consider whether you need collaborative technology and find a service that offers it if that will benefit you. And then make sure that you check for the reliability of the service as well as run it through multiple tests, looking for potential glitches or hang ups.

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