Videoconferencing on Who’s Budget?

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I have a bone to pick with the article Videoconferencing On A Budget, by Bruce Gain at Processor.

Its title sounds like I should wholeheartedly support it, but the devil is in the details.  For every statement I agree with, there’s another statement that is wholly misleading.  Here are a few examples:

“Most laptops and PCs do not offer telepresence quality, but it’s questionable whether you need that level of quality all the time,” Swensen says. [I agree completely.  Many studies and anecdotal evidence support this.]

“These high-end systems generally run $2,000 to $3,000 per user, Nutley says. “When you see prices of $200 to $500 per user, that usually is just software for your PC,” Nutley says. “I would be wary of these low prices for enterprise- and teleconference-grade quality.”  [What?  Why be wary?  Didn’t we just establish that telepresence quality video isn’t needed?  Granted, the video has to be good, but you don’t need full-size 1080p or 2k to successful get work done…  See my Telepresence Illusions for more on this.]

“The problem for smartphones is that video requires a lot of data and takes up bandwidth,” says Stan Schatt, an analyst for ABI Research. “It’s not really practical right now, but it definitely will become more practical as there is a movement toward spreading low-bandwidth videoconferencing across different platforms.” [I know they’re discussing using smartphones themselves, but the argument is applicable to EVDO cards.  Well, guess what?  We use EVDO successfully to collaborate all the time.]

[Finally, something I can back:] “In general, it is best to start with low-cost solutions, surround them with policies that force use, and then monitor the results,” says Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group. “If they support the expense, they can then move to higher-priced and better-performing options, but if [it doesn’t work], then they can fall back on the old ways of doing things.” [Once again, I don’t think think that switching to telepresence from a working video collaboration platform is necessary.  It’s not only unnecessary, but would defeat the purpose of keeping to a budget.]

Comments ( 2 )
  • admin
    mike_brown says:

    So is there a slight suggestion that VSee may start to pursue mobile application development for smartphones ? I realize that there aren’t very many (currently none on the market) phone manufacturers developing a video portal that actually sees the client, but with an additonal peripheral, that could change the way we use the phone entirely.

  • admin
    john says:

    As of this moment, we have no plans for a mobile app, although the idea gets tossed around from time to time. We simply have other, more pressing priorities. Despite how cool it would be, it’s debatable how useful a phone would be for the kind of work that needs to be done in video collaboration. For instance, how would you deal with application sharing and annotation with a phone? And we have discovered/developed functional workarounds for “call in” cases. That said, who knows what the future holds?

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