Despite video conferencing becoming commonplace in modern enterprise, with an estimated worth of $4.5 billion by the end of 2016 according to Transparency Market Research, failure to adapt to new developments is still leaving some companies behind. The main source of confusion for many is the difference between downloadable software and cloud based systems. Essentially, downloadable systems work directly from the operating system, or less commonly from a CD. Cloud based systems function off of an online storage facility rather than the device itself, and are quickly become the standard for modern systems. If you are still unsure of why you should make the switch to online conferencing, look at some of the benefits listed below:
1- Mobile Access:
The major drawback of traditional systems is that they only work from one device, usually a desktop computer or laptop. When the device is replaced or upgraded, the software has to be downloaded again, sometimes for an additional cost. Cloud based systems are designed to be accessed from and compatible with all mobile devices which have access to the internet, including smartphones and tablets. This opens up your options for communication a lot more, meaning you never have to miss a meeting because you are stuck in traffic or your computer isn’t working. When you update your device or have to use a different one, you will still have full access to your software and all of the files saved in your online storage.
2- Content Sharing:
The ability to share and access important documents and information is a cornerstone of the computer age. Online meetings makes this even easier with the ability to share files with other users during an online meeting. Some cloud video conference services such as BlueJeans include secure storage to make file sharing easier. There are even options to save a meeting and make the file sharable, or even upload it to online video sites for maximum exposure. This is useful if you need to play back a meeting later, rather than make notes during the meeting to look back over, and if anybody can’t make the meeting and needs to catch up.
3- Conference Room Systems:
If you want to live broadcast a conference or seminar, your current equipment may not be able to handle it. Cloud systems are compatible with new room conferencing set-ups, allowing for greater versatility and the ability to broadcast conferences using the same software used for small scale meetings.
It used to be that it was only possible to make online calls with people using the exact same software as you were. Some cheaper or outdated systems still only stretch this far. More recent platforms are designed to be compatible with as many devices and pieces of software and hardware as possible. Some can even be accessed from a domestic phone line. This not only makes meetings easier and more hassle free but opens up your lines of communication to as many people as possible.
Many people worry that because something is based online, it is less secure and more susceptible to hackers or viruses. Data shared or topics discussed during online conferences can be particularly sensitive and confidential, making the worry about hackers all the more relevant. Occasionally, you may have to turn your firewall off to access an online meeting, raising further concerns. The truth is that all good conferencing suppliers will come equipped with top of the line security features to keep content and data secure and firewalls to keep out hackers and viruses. Meetings can only be accessed through a special code which is sent out to user’s inboxes before the meeting starts, and uninvited guests will be kept out. FedTech says that there are some measures you can take yourself for additional security, such as using strong passwords which won’t be obvious to hackers. A little common sense and standard computer safety knowledge combined with good security features will ensure that all of your data is secured and your device is free from viruses.
6- Less Troubleshooting:
If something goes wrong with a program on your computer, you essentially have to fix it yourself. Online systems are operated and maintained by the supplier, meaning that potential problems are dealt with sometimes before you even notice them and it is quicker and easier to alert technical support when something does go wrong. The time and stress saved from less troubleshooting means you can focus on the meeting instead.
As you can see, cloud based video meetings have many advantages over downloadable conferencing software, with more reliability, a lower cost, less troubleshooting, and higher security among other benefits. Download a free trial from a reputable company and try it out for yourself if you are still unsure and you can see all of these benefits and more for yourself, and will never want to go back to downloading software.
Featured image by flickr