How to Implement a Video Conferencing Solution That Works for You
A few years ago, companies thought very little about video conferencing. It was nice to have and used by some progressive companies with remote workers. Now, it’s one of the most valuable pieces of technology a business has. With the shift to either fully remote or hybrid work, a video conferencing solution must meet today’s needs.
Determining which platform is right for you depends on various factors — reliability, security, features, cost. A key consideration is implementing something that will work for you today and in the years to come.
In this post, we’ll offer you insights, tips, and more on choosing and deploying video conferencing software.
Assessing Your Needs
Before you go to the market to see what’s available, you’ll benefit from a needs analysis. In this exercise, you should gather a group of employees whose input reflects the entire company.
You’ll need to come together to determine what you need this technology to provide and enable. While many platforms have similar features and functionality, there are key differences. In this assessment, you should consider these questions:
- Accessibility: Do workers need to use it on any device and from anywhere?
- Budget: What are you comfortable spending on the solution?
- Usage: Will you use it for company-wide meetings, smaller department sessions, webinars, customer calls, etc.?
- Features: What are the must-haves that will make the tool valuable?
- Users: How many will you have? Anticipated monthly meetings?
- Security: What are any concerns you have about this channel of communication?
- System configuration: Will it be part of a unified communication (UC) platform or a single application?
Once you answer these questions, you can begin to compare offerings. In doing so, there are some key things to prioritize.
Video Conferencing Should Provide an Easy User Experience
One of the biggest frustrations with video conferencing is when it’s difficult to deploy. Your employees, customers, or other users shouldn’t have to be tech experts to use it. If it’s cumbersome, people won’t use it. Then it brings no value and hinders communication and collaboration.
Ideally, you’ll find a solution that requires no training. Starting and joining sessions should take seconds with one click. Users can join on their desktop with a headset or mobile device with no issues. You’ll understand usability when you demo the product.
Screen Sharing and Annotation Plus Meeting Notes
While video conferencing enables screen-to-screen interaction, you want to do more than just display webcams. In most meetings, you’ll have documents to present to attendees. Screen sharing allows this, offering the same experience of projecting your screen in a conference room.
In addition to screen sharing, screen annotation supports better collaboration. If you need to work on a document or detail next steps, this feature is beneficial. Further, having a notes feature makes follow-up simple. The system captures notes in real-time. Post-meeting, all attendees receive a copy.
Integrations Provide a Streamlined Process
Another area to look into is the integration capabilities of the platform. When a solution offers this, it makes technology work together seamlessly. Depending on the tools you use, most video conferencing solutions can integrate with Outlook, G-Suite, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other comparable applications. Having the ability to connect programs will be a time-saver for busy employees.
Added Features That Deliver Value
There are several additional features that not all platforms provide but may be vital to your business. First is the ability to record meetings and then share and store them. You may want to record interviews with customers so you don’t miss out on their input. Recording all-hands meetings is also a common application. Those unable to attend can catch up later.
Second is the ability to transcribe, which is critical in meetings where lots of discussion occurs. For example, you may have a product marketing meeting on roadmaps and factors influencing them. Having a transcription of this saves time and lets everyone engage in the meeting instead of taking notes.
The third is remote control options that allow participants to control a keyboard or mouse. It’s another way to enhance digital collaboration.
Security Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought
When video conferencing accelerated in 2020, there were, unfortunately, situations of breaches. Security, therefore, should be a priority in implementing a platform. That’s especially true if you’re in highly regulated industries like healthcare or finance. Be sure to evaluate products based on their adherence to regulations and best-in-class data security measures.
Reliability Means Everything
A video conferencing solution can have all the bells and whistles, but it won’t mean much if the system is unreliable. You don’t want to face dropped calls and repeated technical issues. It can deter usage and impact your reputation with clients. Ask providers questions about their uptime availability and the support they offer should problems arise.
Video Conferencing Is Better When It’s Together
Finally, you should strongly consider a solution that’s part of a UC platform. In doing so, all the tools you need to communicate and collaborate are under one umbrella. You’ll get cloud-based phones, chat, file sharing, analytics, online faxing, and more. It’s all from one provider at one price.
Explore Intermedia AnyMeeting
In implementing a video conferencing system, you want one that checks all the boxes and is easy to use and affordable. That’s what you’ll find with Intermedia AnyMeeting. PCMag.com called it “a great overall video conferencing platform at a price that’s very friendly for small business.” See how it works today!