Video conferencing is not something that sprung up in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was considered a tool of communication. However, the lockdown, social distancing and changing policies of government and corporate world have served to make it a prime tool for communication, interaction and collaboration. Work can still proceed in a near-normal fashion. Even those who did not have much use for video beyond occasional chats now use it as their de-facto platform for operations to connect remote employees, customers and vendors. Before you go off and pick just any video conferencing solution take time off to consider all that is involved.
Free is risky
RXG pharmaceuticals needed to keep operations running smoothly during the COVID-19 pandemic and so switched to a free video conferencing app. It did let permit employees to connect with each other and with customers as well as with people in the production plant. Much to their chagrin their meetings had intrusions by hackers. It was an unacceptable security breach.
This example illustrates how free stuff is not the way to go for mission critical business operations where security is and should be a prime consideration. Apart from disruption of meetings you could also suffer data loss.
The right thing to do is to engage video conferencing solution developer to provide a secure solution that has several levels of security and authentication for moderators and participants. You have a single point host and privacy that simply blocks out intruders and hackers. You can trust a GDPR compliant solution.
Dozens of video conferencing solution provides, even the top leaders, offer free usage for limited time duration. Security is excellent but there are other limitations of such free offers.
- The duration of the conference could be curtailed.
- Some features are blocked out and will be unlocked only when you pay.
- Limited number of participants
- Poor quality audio and video, especially if number of participants increases
- You cannot join using PSTN phone
- You can use the video conferencing solution for 90 days or so and then you must obtain licenses which can be quite expensive
Video conferencing is here to stay and will be a platform for companies to let teams work together and for customer interaction. You cannot simply flit from one to another brand when you can get a solid, feature rich video conferencing solution developed for you and deployed with a host of rich features:
- Unlimited number of participants and no limit on duration
- Dynamic conference creation with authentication for each
- Entry-exit chimes to know when a participant joins or leaves
- Roll call
- On screen document sharing and editing as well as white board
- Access from PSTN, smartphone, laptop, desktop
- Live conference view, active speaker display, pop up mail notification
- Name and Pin mapping
The most important feature is that the solution should enable jitter-free video regardless of number of participants or internet speed. Audio clarity is even more important and if you have background noise cancellation then it is so much better. Do not underplay its importance.
Hexa Industries subscribed to one video conferencing service to maintain continuity of work and customer services but breaks in audio and that hollow sound quality over IP networks made it difficult for participants to understand and the speaker had to repeat several times. They switched to another provider who offered excellent audio quality.
How easy is it to use?
For quite a few businesses this will be the first time they adapt to video conferencing. Find out just how easy it is for moderators to set up the conference and control it. Check if users can join it with ease and find the most frequently used buttons right there on the screen, such as mute/unmute, private chat, entry and exit.
Another thing to know is that due to internet disconnection a participant may drop out. Just how easy is it to rejoin the ongoing session? It should not involve having to contact the moderator and get a new password assigned.
Video conferencing can happen in different ways. A moderator may schedule a conference and notify participants. Two employees may be engaged in a video chat and they could then expand it into a conference. You could be chatting with a customer and need to rope in a sales executive in another location and also contact your production engineer who is in your factory in another location. Just how easy is it? Let the solution provider demonstrate before you commit.
There is a reason to get a stable, scalable and easy to use, feature-rich video conferencing solution from the right developer. It helps productivity and it is for the long term, not an ad-hoc solution. Invest in the right software with good back up support and you can get so much more work done with ease.
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