The past several months have challenged every business to reevaluate and change the way their employees interact and collaborate on a day-to-day business.  The need for video conferencing solutions that can provide ‘business as usual’ tools for telecommuting workers is a challenge that many companies are scrambling to implement.

The considerable allocation of time, money, and resources that a business will need to invest can make choosing a video solution difficult terrain to navigate.  Adding the shortened time frame that businesses have to make a decision creates further hurdles.

To help you navigate this decision-making quagmire, here are 6 areas for a business to consider when choosing a video conferencing system.

1. Security

Video conference security issues have been all over the news lately and companies are looking to mitigate risks.  A business needs to ask if a particular solution meets the company’s requirements to protect corporate and personal data.  The below are points a business should address with potential services.

  • End to End (E2E) encryption status
  • User ability to see and control who joins video meetings
  • Vendor data 3rd party sharing policies and data storage
  • Retrieval and deletion procedures

Look for services and applications that have been reviewed or certified by nationally recognized or government bodies.  The National Security Agency (NSA) has recently published guidelines and best practices for safely selecting collaboration services.

2. Features and Potential Limitations

When looking for an enterprise solution for your business, you should investigate and explore the feature sets and possible limitations to make sure it meets business requirements across departments.

  • How many participants can join a single video conference?
  • How many video feeds are supported per meeting?
  • Can meetings be recorded, transcribed, and shared later?
  • How is the audio and video quality?
  • Are there any advanced capabilities like virtual assistants or facial recognition that can make a VCaaS service stand out?

3. Cost

Companies should understand how conference services are charged.  Many services charge ‘per host’ with options for monthly and annual bill cycles.

Make sure you ask about any other unapparent charges and costs for features such as ‘call me,’ ‘call back,’ toll-free, and premium toll options that could add to the overall cost of the service.

Some services are offering free trails so make sure to take advantage of them to demo or provide proof of concept for the solution.

4. Set Up, Adoption, and Management

Ease of install, adoption, and management are important factors in choosing the right video conferencing platform.

  • Is it intuitive to use?
  • Can the solution scale as our business grows?
  • Is it easy to manage once in production?
  • Does it have any built-in analytical tools to assist administrators to track usage and assist in troubleshooting?

5. Integration with Existing Infrastructure and Applications

A video conferencing service will not be the only collaboration application a business uses, so you need to make sure it can integrate well with other collaborative solutions already in place.

  • Can it integrate with existing PBX systems, leverage Active Directory, and use Single Sign-On?
  • Can it integrate with video endpoints and provide one-button joining of meetings?
  • Are there developer tools or CRM integrations that will allow it to be integrated with applications such as Salesforce or Microsoft Outlook?
  • Does the platform have other collaborations tools that can be added as part of a road map collaboration strategy?

These types of questions are a good starting place to see if your solution will be able to scale and integrate well with your organization.

6. End User Experience

No matter how wonderful a possible conferencing service can look on paper, if it does not provide a great experience for your employees, it will ultimately cause dissatisfaction and negatively affect adoption and ROI.

Ask yourself if this solution will provide a more productive and efficient end user experience?  Is it intuitive to use?  Is the look and feel the same regardless of device or location?  Can I work remotely just as easily as in the office?  Is there easy access to help and support features? How future proof is the investment in the solution? A positive employee experience makes every admin’s day to day easier.

Final Thoughts – Choosing a video conferencing solution can be a challenging task but focusing on the business needs and considering these areas should make the process much easier to manage and lead your company to the right solution for your environment.

If you need help along the way, contact us to speak to me or one of our other collaboration experts.

Sunthar K Anandarajah, Collaborations Solutions Architect

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