Video conferencing conducted via the internet is a relatively new technology. Even so, for many businesses it has already become locked into an operational model that calls for hardware and software to be installed, maintained, and operated at each of the physical locations where a conversation participant will be situated. Now that cloud computing has become so widely available in the business world, fully accessible to even the smallest of organizations, it may be time for those organizations to consider a new model for video conferencing services by outsourcing your IT.
Migrating video conferencing onto a cloud-computing basis can provide SMBs with at least three significant benefits:
A More Efficient Cost Structure
A business-owned video conferencing system typically costs thousands of dollars at absolute minimum, and it is possible to spend much more. When a system needs replacement, instead of spending funds up front, an SMB moving toward a cloud solutions paradigm can pay only for the services actually consumed, leaving the cost of hardware, software, installation, and maintenance to the cloud provider.
This model may lead to a lower total cost, but another strong benefit it offers is the chance to ‘spend over time’ instead of front load all costs associated with a system. This can be invaluable to the SMB struggling to make budgets work effectively from one quarter to the next.
Greater Device Support
As any SMB knows, the devices that businesses depend on change with ever-increasing regularity. An on-premises video conferencing system may represent financial outlays that need to last ten years, but at the same time, such a system may lock a business into using certain devices that become obsolete long before that time.
A video conferencing system in the cloud can much more quickly adjust to the changing world of end-user devices. With an IT company providing support and integration for dozens of different cell phone vendors making literally hundreds of varieties of video-enabled smartphones, an SMB can remain confident that their video conferencing services will stay current with the times.
The nature of video conferencing means that sessions may be set up with little or no advance notice. In the past, this could create a headache for on-site IT staffers who may not have the system ready in time for a suddenly announced meeting. IT outsourcing hands those responsibilities to an IT company dedicated to keeping the service up and running on a continuous, as-needed basis.