As the video conferencing market expands, enterprises are evaluating the benefits of moving it to the cloud versus keeping these tasks on-premises. Here are five reasons why moving video conferencing operations in the cloud
- Reduce upfront costs: Currently, IT departments are under constant pressure to reduce
operating expenses. Video conferencing systems represent an investment that ranges from a few
thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Instead of paying upfront, cloud-based video
conferencing services enable companies to pay as they go, which means less of a hit on IT
- Deliver flexibility: Changes occur frequently in dynamic business environments, making
it difficult to configure, deliver and support video conferencing sessions that may be scheduled
suddenly. Handing those responsibilities over to third-party, off-premises video conferencing
vendors, like Blue Jeans Networks, Glowpoint and traditional telecom carriers, such as AT&T and
Verizon, can be less time-consuming for IT admins.
- Provide simplicity: IT admins may struggle with the decision to build and manage the
video conferencing system or hand it over to a third party. Video conferencing often introduces new
technologies -- H.323 and SIP -- with which many small and medium-sized businesses may not be
familiar. Using cloud-based video conferencing saves those companies time and money that would be
spent to train IT teams to support new systems.
- Support a range of devices: With the surge of bring
your own device (BYOD) in the enterprise, video conferencing systems need to support a wide
range of end-user devices. For instance, more than two dozen handset vendors have developed
hundreds of Google Android smartphones. It can be difficult for an on-premises support staff to
stay current on all these devices and fast-occurring upgrades, so enterprises hand the
responsibility to a cloud provider who can then handle integration and support.
- Ensure interoperability: Traditional on-premises video conferencing products often lack interoperability. Certain vendors, including Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Polycom, Juniper Networks and LifeSize, have formed the Unified Communications Interoperability Forum (UCI Forum) to improve this issue. However, other big players in the market, such as Avaya, Cisco Systems and IBM, are not UCI Forum members. Moving video conferencing to the cloud enables enterprises to hand these interoperability worries off to their cloud vendors to avoid being saddled with incompatible equipment.
About the author:
Paul Korzeniowski is a freelance writer who specializes in cloud computing issues.
This was first published in April 2012