Five Things to Consider Before Investing in Videoconferencing for the New Normal

Whether planning for a full return to the office, supporting a hybrid or distributed workforce, considering what to do with legacy VC hardware in your meeting spaces or getting your planned platform migration back on track, these are the five things every service owner should consider before committing to a new video conferencing investment.

1. Reliability

Investing a conferencing system is big ticket item for an IT department. For those with the responsibility for budget and purchase decisions, the effectiveness of their chosen platform can impact their internal reputation.

That is why reliability is first on this list. Poor quality video or audio and outages cause a lot of stress for busy workers and quickly lead to a drop in adoption of the technology. This can mean large investments go to waste and before long a new platform is required.

Ensure your solution comes with a proper 99.999% uptime guarantee and work with a VC partner who has the capabilities to separate video data from running across your corporate WANs or LANs.

2. Interoperability

There are three levels to consider with interoperability.

  • Firstly, how well does the platform interop with your existing meeting spaces or other platforms? Will remote users on the desktop app be able to connect to staff in the office, using your meeting spaces? Are they on the same platform?
  • Secondly, can your chosen platform interop with external meetings? Many external invites can be joined via the organiser’s native platform without the need to install an app, but can your staff easily connect to meetings from your existing meeting spaces?
  • And finally, how easy is it for your external clients, partners and stakeholders to connect to your meetings, with their chosen platforms?
3. Security

Scrutinise your platforms security credentials and it’s data privacy policy. Demand a supplier that holds ISO/IEC 27001 certification, offers end-to-end encryption, and has a clear and transparent data privacy policy so you know how and where data is stored both in transit, and at rest.

4. User experience

Often overlooked as the technically minded tend to focus on the technical aspects. But the success or failure of a collaboration and video platform can depend on how easy your users find it to use. Take the time to understand your user’s workflows and their familiarity with current platforms.

Look at platforms that are easy to use and support your user’s familiar workflows.

5. Support

Support very much ties in with reliability and user experience. Consider what you will do when a fault develops? As we’ve already covered, poor quality or reliability leads to drops in adoption and confidence in the platform.

Does your IT department have AV specialists on site? How will you identify issues quickly? Do you need to support meeting spaces with hardware and platforms from multiple manufacturers? Who does your service desk call to quickly identify and provide a resolution? The platform operator, the respective screen, microphone, camera or touch panel manufacturers or perhaps the AV installers who built the room?

All too often, users are passed around different customer support teams with none too keen to take responsibility or help you get back up and running. To avoid this common scenario, work with a full collaboration, AV and Video conferencing partner who offers a proper SLA and range of managed & support services, along with monitoring and analytics tools to quickly identify faults. Ensure they have options for 24hr or even same day call out service using their own engineers. Even better, choose a partner who can offer remote issue identification and fixes.

Make sure they can offer a service agreement that will cover all your platforms, endpoints and meeting spaces, regardless of if they are legacy or part of your new environment. This gives you a single place to call, knowing that you will get a quick resolution whatever the issue.

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