GSA Video Call For Four Costs $3500


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Video conferencing i s supposed to save you money, but this is only the case if you’re in it for the long haul.  If you’ve ever looked into getting a traditional Cisco/Tandberg or Polycom system, you know how ugly the upfront cost for equipment and set up can be, easily running into hundreds of thousands of dollars.  As nice as such a video experience is, it doesn’t come cheap, and it’s certainly not a good idea for a one time deal.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out  the way we plan, and the General Services Administration was forced between a rock and a hard place when it had to make some last minute changes in their plans to meet with the green company Solyndra.  It ended up that  the GSA  had to spend a whopping $3500 to set up a video conference for the Solyndra meeting just so 4 administrators could present by video link.  The original travel cost would have only been $1500.  The high fee actually isn’t too surprising.  While Cisco makes beautiful and high performing video conferencing equipment from telepresence to Tandberg to Webex, unless your network is ready for their heavy video load, complicated engineering is required to make a video call happen.  Needing a video conference rush job could definitely make a money-saving video conference call an eye-popping expense.

Moral of the story:  If you ever need to do a last minute video conferencing meeting, remember to shop around for an alternative to the traditional Cisco/Tandberg and Polycom videoconferencing systems, unless you’ve  already paid your dues and have the equipment and set up for the job.  Otherwise, be ready to spend an arm and a leg!


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photo credit: via Flickr