Video Conferencing Part I

 

Welcome to another edition of Tech Talks with Konnectus. Today, we’re going to be talking about Video Conferencing.  This is part 1 of a 3-part series on Video Conferencing. Part one is going to focus on the purpose, or the need for Video Conferencing. There’s actually a really broad spectrum of Video Conferencing solutions, ranging from a quick call on a mobile phone with video, up to a really high-quality immersive video conferencing experience in a dedicated room. So, before the products are even looked at or considered, there are a number of critical questions that need to be asked.  Now Dave, what’s the first question that needs to be asked?

Well Jonathan, it’s a fairly basic one.  We just want to be asking ourselves, who do we want to be calling? This is really just a brainstorming exercise to get the ball rolling. You want to be identifying which people and which organisations need to be talking to each other and identifying the actual key reasons why.  You want to be asking questions like “is a video call absolutely necessary? or could I get this done with a telephone call or quick face to face meeting?”  And once you flesh that out, you’ll have a pretty clear picture of what your initial video conferencing needs may be. So, I suppose an extension on that would really be identifying where these people are located.  What I mean by located is, physically located.  Are they in the same office? or are they geographically separated in another state or another city?  It’s important to understand where you’re calling, as well as, who you’re calling.

 So, question three Jonathan is going to be, “are there multiple parties at different locations?”  Do you need to be speaking to multiple cities or multiple departments or multiple rooms on a single video conferencing call?  Sometimes, that’s absolutely necessary but you need to be very careful here.  You don’t want to let that number get too big.  It’s fine to have two or three different parties on a video call, the experience can still be quite good.  But once you start to get to a number or size beyond that, so four, five, six, seven, it really does become a little bit confusing in our experience. You really want to have a good think about that and try and reduce the number of parties on a call as much as possible. And I suppose an extension from that Dave is really a question of: How many participants in each location?  Everyone’s been in some large meetings with lots of people, and sometimes it’s not as effective.  So, we need to have a look at how many people are going to be at each location. Absolutely!

The fifth question we need to be asking ourselves is what are the quality expectations?  And this really depends on the type of call, the objective of the call, the organization, and the style of the people at the organisation.  To give you an example, a very basic call of low quality will be making a quick call on your mobile phone while you’re walking down the street.  You’re still having a video call, and it’s effective.  You’re getting the message across, but it’s completely different to the other end of the spectrum where you might be in a fully immersive purpose-built room where the lighting is fantastic, video is fantastic, the audio is fantastic.  For a sales presentation, this could be absolutely crucial because you want to really be putting the best foot forward and presenting yourselves in the best light to try and get the deal across the line. Right!  So, I suppose, taking that example of the sales call, the purpose isn’t necessarily just to have a face to face call where can you see the people and hear the people.  What about some content?  Or showing a presentation?  That’s another question that needs to be asked.  Do people need to be able to see a PowerPoint or slide show that is being presented during the call? Absolutely!

So now the last question. It’s actually more of a technical question, and you should really get your I.T Department involved in this one.  You will flesh out whether or not you need to have calls being made within your I.T network, or outside of your I.T network, or both.  And depending on the answers here, there’s different kinds of solutions and bridging services available to enable all the parties to be able to speak to each other seamlessly.  So again, that question there is a technical one and you must involve your I.T Department. Well Jonathan, I think by answering all these questions, it’s possible now to have a clear understanding of what the video conferencing needs are for an organisation.  In part two of this series, we’re going to be looking at the specific room types and, which ones are the more applicable for your organization.

For more great tech talks or a free consultation, visit us at konnectus.com.au.

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