Software Based Conferencing – Are You Realising the Potential?
Guest Blog by Stuart Davidson, Technical Services Director at AVMI
With the current trend for software-based conferencing platforms being utilised for room-based video conference environments on a high volume, low-cost basis, what are the benefits, what are the risks?
The benefits are clear – an agile workforce, supported by an effective soft conference communication platform focused on connecting users rather than rooms allows businesses to engage with clients and resources on a global scale while supporting reduced operating costs through savings in travel and real estate requirements.
A consistent user experience (UX) when mobile, or in the meeting room, aids adoption and utilisation of the technology investment.
The risks, however, are less considered
We have to accept that there are limitations in quality and experience when joining a video conference from your laptop in a busy coffee shop. However, for those important discussions, or when collaborating with a broader team, dedicated meeting environments with high-quality room-based solutions are essential.
All too often, we speak with businesses who see the benefits that a communication strategy utilising soft conferencing solutions can bring, but the experience is often less than optimal because the video experience is poor, or team members are missing out on what the quieter speakers or those furthest away from the microphone are saying.
The bottom line is, when communicating your message to a client or colleague via video conferencing technology, it is essential that they can see and hear you just as well as if they were sat in the meeting room next to you, or you risk the message not being delivered effectively, and at what cost?
It is often assumed that because cameras and microphones connect to the device running the in-room soft conferencing platform via USB, they should be super cheap.
It’s true, the cost of these devices is falling, however these still need to be carefully selected and optimised to provide the best quality video and audio experience possible.
Across all spaces, the same rules of design apply with soft conference solutions, as they always have with traditional video conference solutions:
- Video solutions should provide facility to frame participants as required, at high resolution
- Microphone solutions should effectively pick up audio from all participants at the conference table with effective rejection of unwanted noise
- Speaker systems should ensure everyone in the room can hear clearly and comfortably
- The environment itself also needs to support communication, with consideration made towards lighting, acoustics, furniture, and finishes
At AVMI, we have extensive experience in successfully advising, designing and deploying meeting space technology that integrates with soft conference platforms, ensuring we support your budgets, and most importantly your business.