If you’re a value-added reseller (VAR) who is considering adding video conferencing to your business, now is the time to do it. The technology is becoming increasingly popular for end users in countless industries, including the public sector, education, enterprise business, entertainment and finance.
But video conferencing is still a new concept for many end users, so be prepared to guide your customers through it. Before you add the technology to your product offering, you should be able to answer these seven video conferencing questions:
1. Why does my business need video conferencing?
Customers is nearly every vertical can benefit from video conferencing in one way or another. As the business world becomes increasingly enmeshed in technology, video conferencing is just one of the many ways that companies can make their day-to-day tasks easier and more seamless.
The diverse benefits of video conferencing include better communication with remote employees and business partners, reduced travel expenses, improved employee mobility and flexibility, and a more productive workforce. To learn about several other benefits of video conferencing, click here.
2. How much does video conferencing cost?
This is one of the most common video conferencing questions. The cost of video conferencing varies greatly depending on the customer’s needs. However, one of the benefits of the technology is that it offers a strong return on investment (ROI), so a new system can often pay for itself in just a few short years—or less.
To find out more about selling the ROI of video conferencing, click here.
3. Isn’t video conferencing just like Skype?
Not exactly. Although today’s video conferencing systems can certainly include Skype, there’s a lot more to it than that. Video conferencing enables two or more people to connect in private offices (point-to-point) or in several sites (multi-point). The offices might include one, two or even 10 or more people, depending on a business’ needs.
At its most basic level, video conferencing requires a camera and a microphone. But today’s more sophisticated solutions enable entire groups of people to seamlessly communicate, share desktops and data, record meetings and seminars, and more. Sure, you can use Skype for video conferencing, but the free software is fairly limited compared to other systems out there.
4. Should my business use local or cloud-based video conferencing software?
It depends on how you’ll use the system, as well as where your employees are located. These days, a growing number of companies are turning to cloud-based video conferencing software because it enables employees to use it from any location and usually provides some cost-savings. According to Infonetics research, the market is slowly shifting away from hardware-based systems. However, if your workforce is primarily contained to office locations, local video conferencing software may be your best bet.
5. Should I use proprietary or open-standards technology?
The industry as a whole is moving away from proprietary collaboration technology, as it can be very limiting. If your business might one day expand your video conferencing capabilities to include anyone outside of your office walls, an open system is particularly important.
6. What is continuous presence?
This is one of those video conferencing questions that might catch a VAR by surprise. Continuous presence is a common phrase that refers to a video conferencing feature that enables all meeting participants to appear on the screen at once. For example, if there are six people on a call, the screen will have six windows, each displaying the live video of one participant. Continuous presence is becoming particularly popular among enterprise business customers.
7. How does video conferencing benefit my employees?
In a number of ways. In many environments, they are able to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, and collaboration among teams is maximized. To find out how video conferencing impacts collaboration, click here.
What other video conferencing questions do you regularly encounter? Would you say that customers are becoming more informed about the technology over time, or do they still have a lot of questions about it?