Have free alternatives negatively affected the sale of professional video conferencing?
The truth is they don’t do the same job.
I am often asked if the FREE Video Conferencing products such as Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts and others have negatively affected the sale of professional video conferencing. It appears to be obvious that if there is a FREE alternative, then why pay money for something that does the same job? Well, the truth is they DON’T do the same job. In fact, deploying or using the FOC alternatives can actually have a detrimental effect on your quality of communications and your overall benefit from having video conferencing in your business.
Choose your most irritating issue……..
User experience – Simple, FOC products have a no-nonsense design too. Their lack of essential features such as document sharing, call transfer and calling other products or technologies can be frustrating. Needing all those you are calling to be on the same platform as you is not going to grow adoption. You wouldn’t expect your phone not to work because the person you’re calling doesn’t have the same phone!
Call Quality – FOC solutions have little investment in ensuring lip sync issues are resolved or compression of the data is as good as it can be. This results in apparent poor call quality that is not always down to internet connectivity.
Security – Potential unencrypted calls can lead to fears of hacking. Even those technologies that are encrypted are proprietary so cannot communicate with “standards based” devices. Most businesses where video meetings are important will not allow these risks to occur.
Booking a meeting – You don’t usually send an email asking for a phone call between yourself and someone, so why do it with video? With many FOC solutions, users need to be advised of a call or meeting ahead of the meeting time. Business quality applications or hardware solutions can be used just like a phone or a meeting can be booked via popular diary management packages such as Outlook.
Your contacts – FOC solutions are often personal and so are the contacts. If you sponsor this strategy you accept that your client contact data may leave with your personnel should they no longer work for you.
With the low cost of professional, business quality, standards based equipment nowadays, there seems to be little justification for taking all of the risks associated with free of charge products that seem to not add much value.
Today the cloud video conferencing technology is excellent and is very cost effective. The value of these solutions are incredible. They work just like your telephone does and deliver exceptional value for money and return on investment never seen from legacy video technology. If you haven’t got it, look at it, if you have already got VC and need to look at alternatives, get a demonstration soon or try it for yourself.