Video Conferencing – Can You Do It Yourself?
April 9, 2009 @ 08:38 AM | By Brian Trampler & Sara O'Rourke
I work with many of our customers to set up their video conferencing. Over the past few months, it has become more and more apparent that video is becoming a mission-critical application. Due to the economic climate, the effort to stay green and the proliferation of high quality endpoints, video is quickly becoming a key component of the conferencing and collaboration conversation.
Though video conferencing can be easy to purchase and install, putting forth the extra effort to outline the process for scheduling equipment and rooms, administering access to a system and providing executive guidance on the benefits are all integral to the success. In order to make video conferencing a highly utilized platform, one that lets you take advantage of the things I just mentioned, a company policy must be clearly communicated.
“Doing it yourself” may be a way to provide the service to your employees, but it’s not necessarily the best way. One of the mistakes organizations often make is giving end users control or allowing them to pick up the remote and dial the other site. But in most cases, users don’t want that (unless you happen to be a video geek, like me); instead they need clear directions to make video conferencing as simple as possible. Leveraging a consistent process for every video conference call can lead to better adoption and more success. Whether it is a point-to-point call or a multi-point call with more than two sites, the process should be the same.
That is where a great service provider becomes your partner in success. A video conferencing service provider can:
- Launch a point-to-point or multi-point video conference
- Join a webcam-based endpoint
- Launch your call on a hosted video bridge or MCU (multipoint control unit)
- Provide training on equipment and messaging
- Maintain video equipment remotely and dispatch on-site support if needed
- Provide reporting on the uptime, utilization and cost savings of the equipment
- Assist in marketing the video environment to encourage more usage
Because a good service provider has logged hundreds of thousands of hours managing this experience for their customers, they are able to leverage tried and true procedures for your meetings. Through the use of many utilities or tools in their arsenal, they can take the human factor out of repeatable procedures to increase success. The service provider can also assist with any conference that involves audio, web or video—multiple technologies integrated for one seamless meeting.
So in the end, can you do video conferencing yourself? Yes, you can. But to truly drive adoption within your organization and realize the cost savings and environmental benefits it’s best to let the experts assist you. You should be focused on your meeting, not how or if it will work. If you have had success with doing video conferencing yourself, please share it with us in the comments below. I’d also be happy to answer any video conferencing questions for you.
Brian Trampler is the Sr. Product Manager of Strategic Video Solutions & the "Video Conferencing" blogger. Throughout his 10 years in the conferencing industry, he has successfully launched numerous web, streaming, and video services. Prior to making the jump to conferencing, Brian was involved in gymnastics both as a competitor and coach. If you’re lucky, you might also find Brian performing musical theatre throughout the Denver metro area.