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Learn to Choose the Right Type of Video Conferencing for your Business


Video conferencing is now ubiquitous, and not only in the enterprise world. About 70 percent of employees prefer video conferencing to traveling to physical meetings, while a whopping 87 percent of executives favor working in organizations that have video conferencing capabilities. This makes the task of finding the right video conferencing type that fits your requirements that much more important. With the many options available, choosing the right one can be quite complicated.


However, understanding the different types of video conferencing best suited to your business is critical as you consider implementing video conferencing equipment and systems. The types available from video conferencing vendors include room-based, telepresence, desktop and hybrid solutions and services.


Room Based Video Conferencing Systems

These systems include the use of large screens fixed to walls in your meeting room. As an alternative, some vendors will even offer cart-mounted screens that you can move from one office to the next when needed.


Desktop Video Conferencing

The desktop systems reside on desktop computers as well as laptops and other devices like IP phones that offer capability of individual use. Several Blue jeans video conferencing vendors specialize on this video conferencing niche by extending products for mobile video conferencing. Scalable desktop video conferencing solutions depend on the reliability of your network bandwidth and links.


Hybrid Video Conferencing

Hybrid systems combine several elements from multiple types. Room-based and telepresence conferencing solutions often overlap and are usable in diverse configurations depending on your environment. Some providers have integrated systems that different business applications and user groups within an organization utilize diverse video conferencing software or equipment based on their requirements.


Video Phone Conferencing

This solution allows you to combine small form factor doubling as your VoIP phone and video conferencing interface. The system allows for a multiway call that you cannot host without the inclusion of an external bridge. Video phones are popular for their privacy. However, you will need to install an external bridge to make a multiway call.


The solution is also limited in the number of video phones that can accommodate data sharing and their individual screen size, so you need to make sure that this technology will serve your requirements before investing in it. Your best bet is to contact video conferencing vendors.


Service-based Video Conferencing

Service-based solutions are fully managed products mostly offered by telecom carriers, who have control over the underlying network infrastructure. Another option is to purchase Web-based video conferencing subscriptions over the Internet. Most equipment vendors offer managed services for such products, but this will require signing an extra contract often provided via a partner. Service-based video conferencing falls in one of two types, over ISDN or IP networks.


Video conferencing over ISDN require that you have lines that can carry out this service. These lines are usually dedicated for video conferencing traffic by establishing direct channels between participants. Connection speed is fixed and does not fluctuate meaning you get minimum quality throughout your sessions.


Video conferencing over IP networks is the most used solution since Internet speeds have rapidly increased and are stable enough to replace over ISDN connections. Depending on the connection quality of participants, you can get expect very high quality data, video and audio.



While choosing a video conferencing solution, it is important that you take into account the number of participating sites. Point-to-point video conferencing involves only two sites, which can be branches of your business, and do not require additional equipment. On the other hand, multipoint video conferencing is best for situations where you will need to hold sessions with more than two sites.


Video conferencing multipoint requires have your vendors set up a central unit that calls everyone. The central unit team is then responsible for the distribution of image and sound to everyone else. Multipoint video conferencing offers you the choice of choosing whether you have one principal acting as the speaker with other stations making short-term interventions. The second option is where all active participants can intervene simultaneously, especially in a coordination meeting setting.


The Bottom Line

Before investigating and taking the final plunge into specific products and vendors, you will also need to consider costs associated with video conferencing. The costs vary greatly, depending on implementation system and your installation scope, agree upon your budget early in the research process. Remember, the costs can also be affected by the video quality requirement you seek and any other changes you might require done to your network design in preparation for video conferencing.


For any business that intends to connect its executives, employees or customers in more than one location, video conferencing may be the only way to bring them together. From conference rooms that give the impression of being in a single room, to software and phone applications, there is a video conferencing solution for every need and budget.


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