Leveraging Video Calling and Conferencing Solutions for Today’s Meeting Needs
Video calling and conferencing solutions have come a long way in making professional business meetings more accessible. I mean, remember the good old days of phone and email conversations, before video chat and conferencing technologies became ubiquitous? When every client-facing meeting meant hopping in a car or booking a flight to said client’s location?
Apart from missing out on frequent flyer miles, I am certain most business professionals in this day and age appreciate the ability to power on a computer or mobile device to place a video call for a face-to-face meeting with clients and colleagues in remote offices or locations.
Today, we will discuss the applicable uses for video calling and conferencing in various business environments, namely Consultants and Contractors, Small and Mid-Sized Businesses, and Large Corporations and Educational Institutions.
Consultants and Contractors
Often moving from one engagement to another, consultants and contractors are typically very flexible when it comes to the types and number of applications and software products they use for productivity. This variety extends to video calling applications.
From free applications such as Google Duo and FaceTime to subscription-based cloud applications such as Cisco Webex and Skype for Business, consultants and contractors have the flexibility of using any video calling solution that adheres to their client’s environment.
Video calling applications are now robust and optimized for various hardware platforms, particularly mobile, meaning most cell phones of today can facilitate professional video calls and conferences. This allows consultants and contractors to dependably use their mobile devices for these calls without being tied to a desk.
Small and Mid-Sized Businesses
Businesses of this size would typically be looking for more robust and cost-effective Video calling and conferencing solutions.
The buzzword in today’s business environments is Collaboration. Most firms in this category are looking for applications that not only provide video calling and conferencing, but also integrate tools that facilitate productivity and collaboration among employees, partners, and clients.
Businesses in this category would typically find subscription-based cloud offerings to be most cost-effective. This type of solution allows them to adopt it on a large scale without any capital expenditure (if they so choose).
Applications such as Webex Meetings and Webex Teams (formerly Cisco Spark) are ideal for businesses in this category. Some cloud offerings allow firms to deploy and register room-based Telepresence systems for more immersive Video calls and conferences.
Large Corporations and Educational Institutions
Typically very security-focused/conscious, large corporations and educational institutions would be primarily concerned with deploying a solution that is considered very secure when choosing a video calling or conferencing solution.
Most institutions in this category are open to investing in an on-premise solution that they can manage and control versus choosing one of the cloud offerings previously discussed.
Healthcare and Government/Defense Contracting are examples of two industries that have obligations related to ensuring the secure transmission of patient/client information and would thus be looking for an on-premise video calling and conferencing solution.
At ABS, we have encountered this scenario in the last couple of years where we deployed an on-premise Meeting Server solution for corporations in both industries.
Security is not the only reason firms in this category would choose premise-based systems. The decision could also be influenced by the scale of the deployment and primary-use cases. For example, a large firm with a large deployment that primarily uses the solution in-house or between offices in different locations and makes use of multiple room-based Telepresence units may benefit from deploying an on-premise solution.
Educational institutions may also opt for an on-premise solution to better manage and control distance learning scenarios.
Video calling and conferencing solutions do have their drawbacks: the ability to view body language, expressions, and posture are important to everyday communication and interaction, making face-to-face meeting invaluable. They facilitate a deeper understanding of issues at hand and can be necessary for effective communication.
However, video calling and conferencing solutions have changed the dynamics of today’s business environment. They enable us to stay connected with our clients and colleagues; make the sharing of information and collaboration easier; boost productivity in the process; facilitate efficiency; and help reduce travel expenditure and time on the road.
Philip joined ABS in 2015 as a Senior Collaboration Engineer. He earned his BS from Alcorn State University in Mississippi and his Masters from Clemson University. He’s always been an IT professional starting out as a Microsoft Engineer, but after having the opportunity to work with Cisco Unified Communications architectures, he was hooked! In 2018, Philip moved to the Presales team as a Solutions Architect.