Video conferencing as easy as picking up the phone

The means of communication in the business world have changed dramatically in the last decades

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Boardroom video conferencing, once the domain of Fortune 100 executives, is now available for ordinary meeting rooms and even PC desktop users worldwide. In the near future, video conferencing will take its rightful place, next to phone and email as essential business tools. So far, hardware and software components for video conferencing have been sophisticated, innovative and expensive technology. However, increased competition has forced equipment manufacturers to introduce solutions with continuously lower price points. The video conferencing market has matured, and now consists of a wide variety of solutions and pricing models to fit companies of all shapes and sizes. As an example, ‘HD video conferencing solutions have reached a price point that’s low enough (less than $10,000 per endpoint) to appeal to most businesses that are considering updating their video conferencing technology’ (Gartner).

The vision of placing high definition (HD) telepresence video conference calls in the same way as picking up the phone is close at hand. The major issues today among video conference and telepresence users, are interoperability and good network connectivity. The unreliability of the open internet and the costs and rigidness of the fixed telecom lines are fortunately obstacles of the past. Video conference networks offering guaranteed-capacity at affordable rates are emerging, enabling any business, regardless of size and budget, to maximise their video conferencing experience.

Unprecedented return on investment
Most new PCs, laptops and even mobile phones are equipped with cameras and ready-for-web conferencing, rapidly enabling internet video conferencing by service providers such as Skype, MSN, Yahoo and Google. Just see how teenagers are highly connected using such services, always interacting using a laptop or mobile phone. Why should corporate communication be any different? Why is an entire IT department needed to set up a video conference call for business meetings?

Corporate users are getting used to document sharing by applications like WebEx over the internet. Some companies have invested in professional video conferencing meeting rooms to facilitate collaboration between office locations. Why are more productive communication tools, such as video conferencing, only available for internal use in a corporation? Taking example from the internet generation, efficient tools for visual and interactive communication will in the future be the standard in all offices. Visual communication over the internet is the next wave of business productivity tools, and will soon become a standard just as phone, web and email on all levels of the organisation.

Companies worldwide have accepted the arguments of travel cost savings (reduced travel and accommodation expenses and lost working hours), reduced CO2 emissions, and corporate social responsibility. Gartner predicts that ‘high-definition based video meeting solutions will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually, costing the travel and hospitality industry $3.5 billion per year’ by 2012.

Businesses integrating visual communication into the core of their business strategy are experiencing unprecedented return on investment (ROI), not only from travel costs and time savings, but also from greater productivity, e.g. faster product development cycles and shortened time-to-market.

Video conferencing only as good as the network
As the market for video conferencing is maturing, businesses’ requirements are evolving from standard definition (SD) to high definition (HD) in order to enjoy a true telepresence experience. In the high-end of the corporate video conferencing market, businesses utilise several conference rooms with multiple HD monitors and HD cameras into one telepresence meeting session.

These advanced video conference and telepresence solutions demand extreme network capacity and reliability. Many corporations extend their infrastructure to support video in their intranet using dedicated links. Besides being very costly and demanding to operate and maintain, the low flexibility and interoperability doesn’t match the expected experience for high quality internet-based visual communication.

A corporate telepresence session should be as easy as picking up the phone, to any customer, partner or employee.

The new internet dedicated to video conferencing
With the fast growing demand for high-quality and HD video conferencing, Media Network Services (MNS) recently launched a new global network service dedicated to video conferencing, providing businesses with full interoperability, guaranteed connectivity, network capacity, even greater ROI, and ultimately a maximised video conferencing experience.

In a world with various video conferencing vendors and standards, interoperability and sufficient network capacity is key when wanting to video conference with any customer, partner or employee. MNS’s network service supports any video conference equipment and thus represents the missing link in full video conferencing interoperability. There are today more than one million video conference end-points worldwide. Imagine if you could dial up any of them with the push of a button.

The open internet was not designed for video conferencing traffic. As a result businesses often experience HD video conference or telepresence sessions to freeze, jitter or break, disturbing your meeting and diminishing the value of visual communication. MNS’s network service comes with guaranteed connectivity enabling you to gain the value of visual communication you expect.

In the past, high-quality to HD video conferencing has been reserved for businesses investing in expensive dedicated telecom lines – primarily for internal use. With MNS’s network service, these businesses can lower their network cost and gain an even greater ROI. MNS enables any business, regardless of size and budget, to experience the true ROI of video conferencing.

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