Video conferencing is encountering some of the problems that cell phones had when they first arrived. The benefits, like convenience and accessibility, are evident in both. Affording a cell phone and fitting it in your pocket was another story.
The first consumer cell phones were priced in the thousands and were the size of a brick. Today’s video conferencing equipment can be equally as pricey and cumbersome to small businesses.
Video conferencing brings face-to-face interactions between people on other sides of the world, plus real-time content sharing. Any type of business or organization can benefit tremendously from this incredibly effective form of communication, but some of the networking difficulties and long-term costs can be a turn off.
Companies like Polycom, Cisco and Lifesize, which make a whole array of video conferencing infrastructure and endpoint equipment, have noticed this growing need for simplicity. Why advertise how conferencing can connect people all over the world if it’s not easy to use?
The Polycom Group series is a very easy to use, high-performance video conferencing system. It is “standards-based,” which is a term that companies like to use to describe the system as being highly compatible with popular existing technology. The user interface is probably its biggest feature, which lets any user simply start, schedule or join a video conference.
Cisco recently announced the new DX series. The DX series are all-in-one devices—the DX70 and DX80 looking similar to all-in-one computers. All of the devices are also based on the Android operating system. From the Cisco DX, users can video conference, collaborate or make VoIP calls, all from their own desktop.
Remove the technology from your office with the Lifesize Cloud. Another recently announced video conferencing solution, Lifesize Cloud is a hosted, or “cloud-based,” video conferencing service. “Cloud-based” means that all of the hardware to run the conference is off-site, likely running through redundant servers in well-maintained facilities. Connect to the Cloud through the Polycom and Cisco systems named earlier, Lifesize’s own Icon series systems, or even through an Android or iOS mobile app.
One more solution that’s catching ground is the telyHD by Tely Labs. The telyHD is small device that you mount on your existing HD television. The device includes a camera, codec and Ethernet connection, and uses the television to provide the rest of the technology. It’s so simple that some hospice homes have implemented these products so families can reunite.
If video conferencing has seemed daunting before, now is the time to check it out again. Cell phones were ridiculous at one age, and now they’re everywhere. In fact, the smartphone in your pocket is compatible with most new video conferencing solutions—all you need to do is download an app.
There are many more solutions available than those in this blog post. To learn more about video conferencing, contact TriTech today. We’ll run through all of the considerations and check lists, and find the right fit for your organization.