While companies may have previously been interested in videoconferencing technology, many did not want the hassles that come with deploying and managing the videoconferencing infrastructure. Enter cloud-based services, offering SMBs a wide range of videoconferencing options.
On the low end are companies like ooVoo, Skype, Vidyo, and Vivu, whose services can be free. Vendors such as AT&T, BT, Cisco, and Verizon are pushing more sophisticated conferences, which cost about $10 to $50 per user, per month.
4. Improved Video Quality
What good is a conference if one can't clearly see the participants or their materials? "Previously, issues such as latency interfered with video transmissions," noted Jonathan Edwards, a research analyst at International Data Corp. With the emergence of low cost, high-definition systems and the availability of more network bandwidth, companies now find that video quality -- even with the low-end systems -- is quite acceptable, in most cases.
5. Simplified Conferencing Systems
Traditionally, the underlying infrastructure was proprietary, cumbersome to deploy, and difficult to use. Not anymore. Users can now start a video session by clicking on a link in a meeting invitation, accessing a permanent link on a corporate intranet, or entering an address in a videoconferencing system's directory.