By Nina Parker
Cloud-based video conferencing services give organizations the benefits of video conferencing technology, without a major investment in hardware, infrastructure, and networking that is often required for larger scale deployments. Cloud-based services, such as the managed video experience (MVE) provided by IVCi, deliver the value of high-quality video conferencing meetings without the up-front costs of equipment and staff that is usually needed to successfully set up and manage video calls.
Cloud-based services make video easily accessible to anyone, anywhere — whether they are using video at a desk top, in a conference room, or over a mobile device. These services make video simple for every employee to use, increasing the use of the technology throughout the organization. Cloud services transform video and unified communications (UC) solutions from boardroom tools to a means for a distributed enterprise (including small to medium sized businesses) to seamlessly link remote employees and partners.
The following are some of the benefits companies experience from a video conferencing service in the cloud:
Investment: Traditional video conferencing systems require a significant capital investment in equipment, especially if the system is expected to scale. In addition to the telepresence and video conferencing units that are required at each user location, numerous infrastructure products that allow these systems to communicate are also required. A dedicated, highly secure network with a large amount of bandwidth is needed to run calls smoothly. Many small to medium sized businesses actually put off investing in video because the costs of running it are just too high. A cloud service removes the costs associated with owning the technology needed to run the calls, and can assist in scheduling, monitoring, and managing each video meeting.
Expertise: Many companies with video conferencing systems do not have the in-house resources necessary to manage their equipment themselves; they lack the dedicated IT personnel or technical know-how to run their own video calls (partly because their IT staff is busy managing other important technical issues!). Cloud-based services provide companies the benefits of a highly trained staff and extensive technical expertise – without the need to hire or train anyone.
Process: One of the keys to successful video conferencing is having a single process in place to manage the meetings. This sounds logical but it can be surprising how many organizations do not outline the steps employees need to follow to schedule calls, leaving room for error. A cloud-based service provides a single process for managing calls; all calls are connected the same way each time, regardless of the type of meeting being held (point-to-point call or a multi-point call with more than two sites).
Reliability: Video calls must run smoothly every time for meeting participants to continue using the technology. When video calls run into too many glitches, users will simply abandon its use in place of a less effective but more reliable method, and a company’s return on investment (ROI) will be shot. A managed service removes the worry over things going wrong – instead the service proactively manages and monitors each call and all equipment involved to make sure that the user experience is reliable. Bottom line- reliable video meetings result in a better ROI.
Interoperability: Video conferencing systems manufactured by different companies often use varying protocols for communication. Cloud services offer transcoding – a method of translating these different video conferencing protocols and creating a uniform format that allows the systems to speak to one another. Transcoding is a complex process, but can be carried out seamlessly behind the scenes by a managed service; companies that take the task of transcoding on themselves must be well versed in the many video conferencing protocols on the market today.
Security: Security is a concern for many organizations that use a cloud-based managed service. A high quality service will address this issue by following steps that ensure protected communication and data. Encryption options are offered for each end point, and meetings will not be recorded or captured via desktop-share stream. Security is maintained at many levels, including user accounts, meetings, applications, and ports. There are options to publish and lock meetings, drop participants, and every meeting is assigned a user-defined passcode.
The service in the cloud model offers exciting opportunities for business of all sizes to access video technology in a way that is affordable, easy to operate, and not dependent on in-house IT resources to manage.
For more information about IVCi’s cloud-based service (MVE) call us at 1-800-224-7083.