The basic definition of a video conference is an online meeting where two or more people engage in an audio-visual call over a broadband internet connection. No matter where they are in the world or what device they’re using, they can see, hear, and speak to each other in real-time. As long as there is a good internet connection, a video conference can take place anywhere, in any time zone.
Video conferencing is mainly used for:
Web conferencing, which is also referred to as visual conferencing, is different to video conferencing as there is no video image involved.
Video conferencing uses VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol, which allows video calls to take place over the internet by converting analogue voice signals to digital signals that can be sent over the internet. Traditional telephone systems, on the other hand, use analogue lines and a series of exchanges (physical switchboxes) to carry voice signals. Through this two-way passage of digital signal, video conferencing allows for interaction between two or more people across the world.
Video conferencing software makes it easier to keep everyone in the organisation connected but if you’re looking to host or join a virtual meeting, there are some basic video conferencing requirements:
Getting the right equipment or hardware in place largely depends on the size of your meeting rooms - the area you need to cover - and if your staff are working from home, the office, or a combination of both. For conference phones, consider the following:
For the enterprise:
To talk “face-to-face”, one of the most important parts of a video conferencing hardware is a camera, either plug-and-play or a room system. Built-in computer webcams, like those found on smart devices, offer basic functionality. Different web conferencing solutions support different video resolutions which is why purchasing a separate, dedicated webcam may be beneficial. Omni-directional rotating webcams, for example, work well in setups when you need to showcase a product.
Video conferencing can transform an organisation by offering an in-person experience to virtual meetings. Some of the benefits include easy-to-access features such as:
What this means is that the success of video conferences often depends on the software used paired with the right equipment. Picking video conferencing software is an important decision and user experience is key. Distributed teams need to join a platform seamlessly and across any device - users expect plug-and-play functionality that’s flexible, yet failsafe.
Video conferencing provides the means to:
As in-person meetings decline, the need for enhanced business communication via video conferencing is seeing an increased use of commercial solutions (like Zoom and Google Meet). The simplicity of free, run-of-the-mill video conferencing tools is alluring, but security issues around user data are problematic. Cybercriminals are exploiting vulnerabilities, using social engineering to access sensitive corporate data, which is why features like encryption and multi-factor authentication are critical.
From managing dispersed teams to connecting with clients globally, no matter the size or kind of industry you find yourself in, video conferencing is a necessary part of doing business in a digital-first world. Email may be easy but when it comes to working remotely, nothing beats face-to-face communication. In a digital world, that means video conferencing and the best software should be simple, user-friendly, flexible, affordable, and reliable.