August 16, 2013
Don't Let Misconceptions Stop You from Implementing Video Conferencing
By Rory Lidstone TMCnet Contributing Writer
There are a number of ways which video conferencing can make a difference — some more straightforward, and other more abstract — but there have been various factors standing in the way of its widespread adoption. However, most of these factors are outdated now, beaten and undermined by new advances in technology spurred on by the popularity of mobile devices.
And yet, video conferencing is still only on the cusp of truly breaking through, with data from Infonetics Research (News - Alert) ranking 2012 as a less than stellar year for the space. IDC, meanwhile, has reported that sales of video conferencing equipment have fallen in the last two years.
The reason video conferencing is suffering, though, is because it’s in a period of transition, which seems to have many people confused and misinformed. After all, there are now a number of new offerings with different functions now available on the market, with some focused on the high end, and others focused on the low.
It doesn’t have to be this confusing, though. Let’s tackle some of the common misconceptions surrounding video conferencing right now, starting with the expense.
While it’s true that full enterprise video conferencing systems used to be quite pricey, that’s just no longer the case. The act is, there have been low-cost solutions available for some time now — such as VidyoDesktop Executive, released in 2010 — and they keep getting better. This ties in with another common misconception: video conferencing requires complex infrastructure.
Thanks to the prevalence of the cloud, many new products offer hosted infrastructure, eliminating the need for specialized hardware and dedicated servers. Some offerings even take a hybrid approach, supporting in-house infrastructures and the cloud.
This also dispels the belief that video conferencing is so complicated, you practically need a dedicated IT team to make a call. Again, many systems now leverage common technologies, including HDTVs and PCs to enable full-function, full-room video conferencing. In fact, most of these newer, standards-based offerings even support traditional video conferencing hardware.
Finally, there seems to be a belief often seen among smartphone buyers: the fear of obsolescence. If I upgrade now, I’ll miss out on the next big thing! In this case, that next big thing is WebRTC but, even though it’s causing a lot of waves right now, it’s far from being a complete standard. Besides, if WebRTC compatibility is really a concern, you can always buy a system from a vendor committed to a universal standard with WebRTC in its roadmap.