Video conferencing

Everything you need to know about video conferencing equipment and solutions.

Video conferencing

Video conferencing is an interactive form of communication between 2 or more people. Video conference participants connect in a live video meeting environment where they can see and hear each other, as well as perform other functions such as write messages or share screen content. Video conferences have several advantages for individuals and businesses; however, it requires the right equipment and digital infrastructure to support it.

Learn more about:

→ Video conferencing equipment & solutions
→ Typical features of video conferencing solutions
→ Benefits and advantages of video conferencing solutions
→ Identifying the right video conferencing solution for you

Video conferencing equipment & solutions

‘Video conferencing’ and related terms can be considered as industry jargon. For many people, video conferencing solutions’ brand names act as a verb, describing a video conference as a ‘Skype call, ‘Skype meeting’, ‘Zoom meeting’ etc.

Video conferencing is a lot broader than that, however. Here is a description of different types of video conferencing solutions:

1. Hardware – Also called hard codec technology, these devices are dedicated to audio or video conferencing, meaning that users do not need to bring their own laptops to be able to participate in a call. Examples range from IP phones to high-integrated collaboration room endpoint solutions from providers such as Cisco and Poly.

2. Soft client – video conferencing software that needs to be downloaded and installed onto users’ audio-video capable devices (laptop, tablet, smartphones) and a company’s IT network to be used. Can be used in conference room systems but requires additional hardware (microphones, cameras, display etc.) to operate. IT departments are responsible for set up, configuration, system security, maintenance, and software updates. An example could be Skype for Business Server Edition.

3. Cloud services – Cloud-based video conferencing applications that have solved previous issues with older versions of video conferencing applications that required on-site data storage and network security. Cloud services are typically subscription-based; reducing upfront costs, are compatible with any device, are easily scalable (increase the number of users on the subscription), and the service provider is responsible for maintenance, updates, and security. Examples are Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Webex, BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, etc.

Biamp control system integration with Cisco Telepresence Touch

It is now possible to integrate Cisco video codecs with Biamp control systems and other peripheral AV equipment and control the video conference and all the in-room devices directly from the Cisco Telepresence Touch presence interface.

Learn more about the Cisco Touch 10 integration or contact us for more information.

Video conferencing features

Most video conferencing solutions have standard features that are deemed must-have by customers. Other features are a bonus, the importance of which depends on what a company uses video conferencing services for. Some examples of features are:

  • Online dashboards for administration and reporting
  • Security: encryption and authentication features
  • Device interoperability
  • User-friendliness and ease-of-use
  • Scalability (relating to the number of users and the number of people in a call)
  • Live chat
  • Virtual meeting rooms
  • Recording & Sharing of meetings
  • Integration with other apps such as calendars, CRM, email marketing platforms and lead generation tools

Benefits and advantages of video conferencing solutions

Time is money, and this is especially relevant in business environments! The biggest benefit of video conferencing is that it provides the same experience as face-to-face interaction without the time and travel costs. This means that employees have much more freedom and flexibility to communicate with their colleagues, external partners and clients without compromising on the quality and experience of communicating in person. Most work-related communication takes place through text-based email, instant messages and phone calls. Video conferencing provides an extra dimension; people can see and interpret visual cues such as facial expressions and body language, all of which contribute to a better understanding between the sender and the receiver of the communication.

Another benefit is that online communication tends to be shorter and more concise than face-to-face meetings. In face-to-face meetings, many people feel obliged to spend the first few minutes on formalities and breaking the ice. This is not necessary for video conferencing; people can start discussing important matters right away, saving time that can be used for other tasks.

Finally, video conferencing internally helps employees achieve a better work/life balance, as they have the possibility to work remotely while still being able to communicate effectively with others.

Overall, the benefits of video conferencing solutions can be summarized as:

  • Save costs
  • Build relationships
  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce travel time
  • Improve Work/Life Balance

How to identify the right video conferencing solution for you

As you can see, the video conferencing options are many, and it can be quite overwhelming to decide which solution is best for your business. Here are some questions that can help you assess your requirements before contacting vendors about specific solutions: 

  1. Do we have more than one office location? If yes, how many do we need to connect? 
  2. Do we have remote employees? 
  3. How many employees require video conferencing services? 
  4. How many of our meeting rooms require video facilities? 
  5. How frequently will video conferencing services be used? 
  6. What type of devices does the solution need to be compatible with? (PC, Mac®, iOS, Android™, other video hardware) 
  7. How will employees use video conferencing? (1:1 conversation, multiway communication, large-scale video conferences) 
  8. Are our users technically skilled/quick to adopt new technologies? 
  9. What features are a must-have?

Answers to these questions can help you better understand your company’ s requirements, the best type of solution, how much you are willing to invest in the solution and much more.

A videoconferencing solution requires the right equipment setup

Huddle room? Conference room? Daily video meetings?
The Biamp Solution Guide helps you find the right AV equipment setup for YOUR meeting spaces and YOUR specific need

An all-in-one hardware video conferencing solution from Biamp

As mentioned previously, video conferencing software or cloud-based application require supporting infrastructure and hardware to be used, especially for group calls or calls taking place in meeting rooms. Aside from a user’s device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) the meeting room needs to be equipped with a large-screen TV or display, microphone, camera, speakers and have a stable internet connection. This ensures that everybody in the room is seen and heard clearly, with no lag issues, while also hearing and seeing the meeting’s remote participants clearly.

The total costs of purchasing the individual elements can quickly become higher than the cost of purchasing an all-in-one solution such as Collabo 2.0 by Neets. Collabo 2.0 installed in a meeting room removes the need for any extra equipment, as Collabo 2.0 by Neets provides audio, video and wired internet connection through just one USB cable. Collabo 2.0 by Neets connects to a TV with HDMI and to users’ laptops with USB; an incredibly easy setup that can be used for any type of video-enabled collaboration space.

Turn small meeting and huddle rooms into video conferencing rooms with Solvo by Neets

Solvo by Neets is the intelligent AV system hub for video-enabled huddle rooms. Users get to experience a straightforward and user-friendly interface that provides seamless online meetings for attendees. With Solvo, users bring their laptop, connect the USB-cable, and start their preferred videoconferencing application. With CEC technology, Solvo by Neets turns all the connected equipment on and off automatically upon signal detection from the user’s laptop. The six connection options, consisting of HDMI, Ethernet, USB, and AUX ports, are all you need to add video capabilities and upgrade huddle rooms or small meeting rooms.

Request a demo of AV technology solutions from Biamp

Are you interested in learning more about the AV equipment that Biamp provides for meeting rooms and video conferencing, and how you can benefit from a Biamp installation?

Submit your information using our 'Request a Demo' form and we will get in touch with you to hear more about your needs. We will then plan an online demo or put you in touch with your nearest Biamp reseller.