Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is one of the four conferencing technologies that can foster greater collaboration.  Visual and auditory cues significantly enhance communication.  Face-to-face rules; voice is good; email is a last choice.

Video conferencing allows companies to bridge distances by facilitating face-to-face meetings without travel.

Robust Corporate Video Platforms

There are less than a dozen viable video platforms to consider for your organization. The ET Group is focused and certified on the three most pervasive and compelling video conferencing platforms: Cisco and Polycom  – the top two vendors representing over 80% of the worldwide market share for video conferencing, and Vidyo  – a disruptive video conferencing architecture based on SVC technology.  Contact us to explore video as an active collaborative conferencing technology for your organization.

Video Desktop & Mobile Solutions

Video calls from a workstation, a coffee shop, or your employee’s home office are still the exception and not the norm.  But this is changing.

This transition will take some sorting out and standardization, but there are ways to accelerate this process within your own collaborative ecosystem.  The ET Group can help you understand the video options available to you:

  • Video on your UC platform, e.g. Lync
  • Video as part of your web conferencing software, e.g. GoToMeeting
  • Video software clients, e.g. Movi, Vidyo, PVC, and many more

Successfully Deploying Video

When video is deployed in a room or meeting space, there are a number of factors you must consider in order to deliver the best video experience. These factors are all taken into account in the design of a pre-packaged Telepresence room solution from Polycom or Cisco. Telepresence room solutions can be costly ($250K to $750K) and bear in mind that you need these rooms at both ends of the call to make them effective.

A highly functional video room does not have to be a pre-packaged Telepresence room with the associated price tag. But, it must be well designed, incorporating proper consideration for usability, sound, proper lighting, screen real estate, camera angles and control.

Video Managed Services

Always remember that video is an application of perception. It cannot be managed like other IT applications and it cannot be deployed in a room with no consideration of ongoing support. There are many examples where companies have made significant investments in video conferencing equipment and the networks required to support video, only to find that the equipment is not used and is left to collect dust.

Deploying and managing video on an ongoing basis requires proper planning and ongoing support. The ET Group manages some of the largest customer video deployments with a robust service and support model. We have also worked with clients with ‘dust collector’ video deployments and we have successfully moved them to a model that delivers the many benefits that video offers.

Niche Video Technologies

Video’s true effectiveness is measured by what the “far side” sees – people on the other end of a video call.  A well designed and deployed video solution can go a long way, but there are also useful technologies that can make a big difference in solving these problems. Two examples:

  • Eliminating the “Boardroom Bowling Alley” view, which greatly enhances far side participation Watch Video >>
  • Establishing real eye contact using video, especially important for video interviews

Networks to Support Video Technologies

Video takes a lot of bandwidth to communicate. And, since a video conferencing video stream is real time, there is no time for buffering and latency must be kept to a minimum.  So enterprise class video systems demand a quality of service (QoS) from the network in order to avoid things like – jitter, tiling, latency and ghosting. QoS demands that a minimum amount of bandwidth must be available for video calls.

How do you determine the right network and what can you do to minimize your network requirements?  Here are some possibilities:

  1. If you have an MPLS network you can segment a portion to be always available for video
  2. Outsource your video network
  3. Invest in a video architecture that minimizes bandwidth
  4. Invest in a video architecture that runs over the internet (vs your network)

 

Our company already has audio and web conferencing.  Should video be the next conferencing technology we deploy?

Maybe.  It depends on what collaborative benefit you are trying to achieve.  You may be better off investing in interactive whiteboard collaborative technology first.  Why?  Because not only does it offer a rich collaborative capability over distance, but it also has an “In Room” collaborative ROI.

How do we get started with video conferencing?

The answer to this question will change depending on where you start and where you want to go with video.  If you are doing nothing with video today, it might be best to start with Skype or step up to the video included in your web conferencing software, i.e. WebEx or GoToMeeting.

If you want room systems that connect with desktops and work with web, audio and interactive whiteboard conferencing, talk to a company like ET Group.  We can put everything in perspective and help you determine the best collaborative roadmap for your needs.