Choosing a Video Collaboration Tool
So you’ve decided to look into video for your business. Fortunately, you can get started for much less money than the conference call systems that are still standard in many businesses even today. Where you used to need thousands of dollars to outfit a medium-sized business with conference call capabilities, now you can provide your entire business with the ability to make video calls for a fraction of that. If you want to take the leap into video calls and collaboration, here are some things to think about when you try out available services.
How Many Calls
One of the basic questions to consider in video conferencing is how much you anticipate using the service. If you are a small business and only plan to make a few calls per month, a service that offers limited plans with a few participants may suit your needs at the right price. On the other hand, if you intend to use your service heavily, whatever the size of your business, don’t get caught out by call limits. Make sure that you can use the service as often as you need. If you are not sure yet, look for a service which will let you easily upgrade to a higher plan if you need to.
How Many People
Not every type of video call is the same. Basic person-to-person video calls are relatively common and actually available for free, via a service like Skype or Google+. If you need to make calls with multiple participants, however, things get complicated fast. Check out the number of people allowed on a call, and how it works. Make sure you understand how those calls are set up, whether one person maintains control of the call, whether everyone is able to talk and contribute or whether most of the participants are limited to listening in and watching. Your needs will be unique to your business, so match up the options available and see which one will fit your needs best.
This is always a consideration in making good business decisions. There are a fairly wide range of prices for video collaboration software, depending on the focus of the service, the level of video quality provided, and other factors. It may be tempting to just choose the lowest-cost plan. But if that service doesn’t meet your business needs, it will effectively be a waste of money. Choose a service which balances features and price in a way that will help your business use video well.
Integration with Phone Systems
If your business already has a phone system which enables conference calls, you don’t need to replace it. There are services which can integrate with some conference phone systems, adding video capacity to the system your employees are already familiar with and use every day. Such video software is not intended for casual use, and it may not be suitable for small businesses. But for the business which has already made a significant investment in telecom technology, being able to integrate with video software may be a natural extension.