The cloud and mobile have made applications and data more accessible than ever. At the same time, they’ve made people less accessible — at least in terms of physical presence. Corporate teams made up of remote and mobile workers must find effective ways to collaborate and share information when they can’t meet face to face.

Email, phone calls and instant messages only go so far. Human interaction is largely visual, and people process visual information faster and retain it better than they do auditory information. This simple fact has made video conferencing a critical component of the modern IT environment.

Video conferencing has been proven to keep geographically dispersed teams engaged and aligned. Meeting participants are more likely to pay attention, and more work gets done. Team members who may never have met in person feel as if they know one another, improving communication and trust.

Traditionally, video conferencing was limited to the corporate board room, where complex and expensive systems were used only for important executive meetings. Today, the cloud and mobile have made video as accessible as any other app. Most smartphones have video calling capabilities, and numerous cloud-based video conferencing services are available for free.

As with anything else, you get what you pay for. These free and low-cost solutions can be unreliable and tricky to use, meaning teams waste valuable time while users download apps and fiddle with access codes and settings. The quality is often poor as well. In a recent survey, 37 percent of respondents complained of frequent video quality issues, while 40 percent griped about poor audio quality. More than half (53 percent) said they avoid video because of these problems.

Fact is, video conferencing is complex. It requires cameras and microphones, displays and speakers, and real-time applications to make it all work. The good news is that there are now high-quality video conferencing systems to fit almost any budget and use case, without resorting to low-end webcams and consumer-grade cloud services.

Telepresence solutions use high-definition video, multiple microphones, and directional, multi-channel speakers to create the impression that all participants are in the same room. Simpler, more cost-efficient systems can be used to add video capabilities in any meeting or huddle room. Video conferencing can also enhance training, help desk and many other processes.

Choosing the right solution begins with an evaluation of the role video might play in corporate communication and collaboration. Which users might benefit most from video conferencing, and how will they incorporate it into their business processes? Consider integrating the video conferencing system with key applications to make it more accessible. Of course, the system should be easy to use and provide a consistent experience to maximize adoption and ROI.

Proper design and implementation are also critical. Lighting, acoustics and a host of other factors must be taken into consideration.

Rahi Systems has a practice dedicated to audio/visual solutions. Our A/V experts can help you evaluate various video conferencing options and select the right system to meet your needs and budget. Our team also provides professional installation and configuration services that maximize the value of your video conferencing system while minimizing business disruption.

Video conferencing has become a business imperative, but free services and low-quality equipment often limit its impact. Let Rahi Systems help you design and implement a video conferencing solution that will enhance communication and collaboration in your organization.

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