With most decisions that we make in life we understand there are usually trade offs. The age-old debate of cost versus quality is one that you will probably enter into when considering Video Conferencing.
So, what exactly are the trade offs between higher quality business Video Conferencing solutions and the free consumer options out there? Are the higher quality solutions really worth the cost, or do savings from the free/lower cost options justify their lower quality?
Free and low-cost Video Conferencing services such as Skype have been widely adopted for personal use and are also used by many start-ups and smaller companies too. But there are limitations to the quality and reliability of these services.
The hidden costs of low cost Video Conferencing solutions:
- Poor user experience
- Dropped calls
- Inconsistent video quality
- Diminished credibility
- Security issues
- Proprietary standards
Video Conferencing systems for SMB’s are more affordable now, than ever before and they offer businesses consistent, quality Video Conferencing to enable faster decision making, improved productivity, more efficient collaboration and closer business relationships.
The hidden costs of low cost Video Conferencing solutions
Poor user experience – you are operating over the open Internet so calls are vulnerable to network fluctuations, delays and slow performance. This creates a poor, frustrating user experience as conversation can stall or be interrupted many times.
Dropped calls – professional business meetings depend on consistent, reliable connections. When discussing important information, plans or making presentations any disruption to the flow of the discussion is extremely frustrating and can mean that important information is missed.
Inconsistent video quality – creates a disorientating experience when people’s lips do not sync up with the words they are speaking. Poor video quality is a major reason why Video Conferencing is used less often or not used at all. So with inconsistent quality you won’t get best usage and therefore best savings.
Diminished credibility – how does all this look in the eyes of your customers, suppliers and even your own staff; poor quality, frustrating user experience, lost time. Low cost Video Conferencing services might have the unintended consequence of making your business look smaller that it actually is.
Security issues – free and low-cost Video Conferencing services such as Skype have become a target for hackers, spammers and phishing scammers. You wouldn’t allow this breach in any other area of your IT.
Proprietary standards – the drawback to free/low-cost Video Conferencing services is that users can only talk to other users of the same service/software. Business grade Video Conferencing systems use standards based technology and are interoperable with other vendors systems.