Understanding Bandwidth Requirements for Video Conferencing
It seems like a leap, going from audio conferencing to video. And once upon a time, it was. But now there is a more natural, organic way that businesses are moving from audio conferencing to video. It’s happening for a few reasons:
Pragmatic is a full-service conferencing provider, which means that we promote and sell both audio and video conferencing. The trend in our own business is clear – people are beginning to understand the versatility and cost savings of moving to a cloud video platform. We’ll explore why below.
But first, let’s look at a couple reasons why people have traditionally been afraid of the switch, and why those concerns are old news.
Video makes people nervous. We know this because we sell it. But most of their fears are based on once-valid-but-now-outdated concerns. Concerns like:
There was a time when purchasing, installing and maintaining video infrastructure cost hundreds of thousands. You bought a codec, camera, microphone(s), speakers and display for the boardroom. You purchased an MCU (the “bridge”) to connect the calls. You got a maintenance plan to protect everything. You hired and/or trained your IT people to run it. Naturally, this kept it out of reach of smaller businesses.
Another outdated concern, this. Back in the day, if you wanted to connect with another site via video, you’d have to be sure that they were working on the same protocol that your system used. You’d need to have your system configured to bypass any network firewalls. You’d have to enter a great big long dial string. And you’d hope that the people on the other end had all of THEIR stuff figured out. It was tricky. Why would anyone want to switch from trusted and true audio conferencing when you had to contend with all that?
Businesses are leaving audio conferencing in DROVES. They’re all signing up to video platforms. We’ve seen it first-hand: Pragmatic began as an audio conferencing company over ten years ago. With the writing plainly on the wall, we built our own cloud video solution a few years back, and it’s a good thing we did. Our customers are all jumping onto the video bandwagon. And here’s why:
It shakes up the model a bit, but it works like this: most audio conferencing providers charge per participant, per minute. Using a cloud video platform, participants can call in via telephone as much as they want for the cost of the monthly subscription to the service. No matter how many people call in (up to a certain limit). It’s all-you-can-eat audio.
It should be noted that this is not the case with all video platforms; some use an a la carte approach which allows you to ADD audio packages. It’s a matter of shopping around to see how the service is offered. But if you’re transitioning from audio TO video, this is a great approach to take. Especially if you hold a lot of calls.
This is a nice way to test the waters with video, too. Businesses don’t have to take a leap. They get to move to a platform that can still be used to hold audio calls, while having the option to try video any time. The best of both worlds for LESS money.
User experience is key in the days of simple apps – developers know that if it’s NOT easy to use, customers will not use it. Modern video conferencing providers operate with the understanding that their platform must be simple, and it’s gotta work.
And they do. Platforms like RP1Cloud allow participants to join a video call entirely in-browser over the internet, without having to download or install anything. And you can join via any device: browser, telephone, room system, you know name it. That’s the power of the “cloud” in cloud video conferencing – providing a place where every device, regardless of technology or protocol, can join the same meeting.
There are several reasons why video will become the ubiquitous method of communication over distance.
One is the rise of “remote workers.” Employees are demanding more flexible work options, and video is one of the ways that employers can facilitate this without sacrificing productivity, collaboration, or culture. A cloud video platform connect colleagues face-to-face and lets them share and collaborate on materials using whatever device they have available.
Another reason is that businesses are likely to scale back travel for a host of reasons (saving money not least among them). But at the same time, they know that nothing can replace meeting face-to-face. Video conferencing bridges the divide, and with increasing quality and ease-of-use, it’s getting pretty close to feeling like you’re all in the same space.
Moving to video conferencing from audio isn’t the all-or-nothing it once was. Instead of paying for audio conferencing AND video, you can now pay one reduced price for both. Move to a video platform to save an audio costs, and test the waters with video when you feel the need. Or not.
But it’s getting real easy, video. It’s intuitive enough to figure out with an IT professional. Even if you’re curious, it’s worth signing in and seeing what it’s all about. Right from your computer. It’s worth figuring out now to keep up with the demands for the modern and evolving workplace.Recent Posts