Almost every business across the world uses video conferencing as an integral part of interoffice communication. It also allows upper management to talk to external employees, interview new employees, discuss problems, communicate with warehouses and manufacturing divisions, etc. In a nutshell, video conferencing makes communication simple and easy. However, this depends on the company choosing the right package for their specific needs. Several companies offer videoconferencing software and hardware deals but matching the deals to your requirements can be downright difficult says Techradar. Here are a few factors that are critical to the selection process.
Hardware and Software – Web conferencing requires hardware and software. Most vendors will provide a complete deal with both hardware and software built-in. The hardware options usually contain web cameras, microphones, projectors, etc. These features are connected with software that makes communication easy. In the last few years, large companies like Cisco and Polycom are working on purely software-based cloud systems that will be based completely online. These systems can be connected to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to encourage mobile communication.
Number of Participants – Video conferencing software can usually connect more than 30 people at a single meeting. However, large companies may require bigger meetings with people located all over the world. Before you actually set up the system, you have to make sure that it will accommodate more people as your company expands.
Easy To Use – Communication systems can be complicated with bells and whistles that are scary to the ordinary users. Remember, you require the software to talk with people located all over the world. Most users may not know about communication software and a complicated system can result in them just hanging up. As a result, it’s necessary to have a system that is simple and easy to use with the least amount of hard work. Ideally, the entire system should be a turn-key solution that requires minimal work from the users.
Features – Top video conferencing software companies like the Blue Jeans Network now provide customer specific packages. You can invest in a traditional package or ask for specific features for your company. Almost every vendor will tweak the basic software to suit your needs.
Training – You want your employees to use the web conferencing software and that means they should be able to use it quickly and efficiently. For small companies, you may want the vendor to train all your employees to use the software but most large companies will have their own IT department that will set up and link the communication software for use. Irrespective of this, Bcsglobal recommends you use the simplest system available to save time and energy.
Cost – Cost is important but vendors are usually willing to work with companies. They can add and remove features and this will alter the price of the package considerably. Adding hardware and software to the package will also influence the package price. To get an accurate idea of what is available, take the time to discuss your requirements with two or three vendors, compare rate and then make a final decision.
Updates – Communication software has been improving rapidly in the last two years. As a result, almost all software vendors update their software packages every month. Most companies add the cost of the software update to the sale price but some companies may charge you extra. Make sure you discuss this requirement with the vendor before you purchase the package.
Quality – Even with the best software and hardware, sometimes picture and sound quality suffers. Some systems promise the best but they do not really work. Make sure you check the quality of the software by running the software through a trial or a demo with your staff or with a core group.
Customer Support – Good software vendors usually have a 24-7 customer support and tech department says Wisegeek. In case of any problem, the support unit will usually provide chat support or send a technician over to provide immediate help. Some companies however, may train your in-house IT staff to deal with the problem. Although this is a good idea, it puts the job of repair on your already overworked tech staff. Ensure that you check this factor before buying the software and hardware.
It is easy to be wowed by technology as some of the newest systems are great but they are not what you need says Videoaudioconferencing. Make sure you do as much research as possible on the different systems available on the market before you make a final choice. The driving factor while choosing a software system for your business should be ease of use, price and users. Focus on these few factors and the rest will fall in to place.