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How to Choose the Right Mobile Video Conferencing Solution

Business quality video communications from the laptop are all about mobility, meaning users can connect visually anywhere, anytime.  This notion had me wondering: what are the top factors a business should consider when choosing a mobile video solution?  Based on my experience, here is what I’ve heard and seen the most…..

For the User:

  1. Interoperability – Ensure that a video solution for the computer is completely interoperable with any standards compliant video device.  This means users can call MCUs, appliance based endpoints, telepresence, and any other standards compliant device.  Interoperability is critical because it ensures that any deployment can grow beyond the laptop.
  2. Compatibility – It is critical that any solution supports multiple platforms like Windows 7, Mac, etc.  This means that as many users as possible can be supported.
  3. Telepresence quality – when it comes to a business quality solution, it’s critical that both video and audio are superb.  Remember, this is especially important when someone is communicating from a PC to a larger video device, such as a telepresence room.  The solution must also work with such things as a high definition USB cameras.
  4. Performance in challenging bandwidth environments – A mobile solution must be able to function in any environment, including coffee shops, hotels, airports -- you name it.
  5. Lightweight – The solution can’t consume too much of the user’s CPU power.  It has to work on machines that are lean and mean, meaning mobile processors and dated machines.
  6. Collaboration – The ability to share content and presentations while on a call is critical.  Remember, it’s all about business continuity and a quality experience.
  7. Multipoint – Any business quality solution is about much more than point to point calls….there must be the capability to meet in groups

For the Admin:

  1. Security - No snooping allowed…ensure that the calls that need to be encrypted can be.  Also, when considering a consumer grade solution consider this: do you really want anyone that can get the CEO’s address to be able to call?
  2. Bandwidth Management and Call Control -- Maintain control of organizational network.  Prevent users from consuming more bandwidth than they need to and give those that need it the access.
  3. Phonebooks -- Ensure that all users have access to the same corporate phonebooks. This enables complete communication throughout the organization.
  4. B2B Communications and Firewall Traversal – Ensure that the organization can safely and securely communicate with the outside world in a manner that is standards compliant.
  5. Scalability and resilience – Solutions have to have the potential to grow easily to the hundreds and thousands, and have a fail-over solution ready
  6. Ease of deployment – Business quality features are great, but all is lost if a solution is too difficult to deploy.  Mechanisms such as AD import, automatic software updates and provision are imperative to maintaining or adding to any deployment

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