Thursday, April 03, 2008

Video Conferencing for Small Businesses

Video Conferencing for Small Businesses: "Communicating through video has finally become a viable option for small businesses. And hey, it only took 44 years.

Videophones were the talk of the 1964 New York World's Fair. Though the videophone never took off, today’s video chat and video conferencing systems are gaining traction with small businesses. Low Webcam prices and more Web-based services aimed at small businesses are two reasons for video conferencing’s growing popularity.

Helge: We are living in 2008 and broadband is available. Teleconferencing is a possibility even for small companies.

Another reason: More businesses use Internet Protocol (IP) networks, which can support the heavy bandwidth demands of sophisticated video conferencing systems, according to research firm In-Stat. Also, In-Stat notes that the growing desire among businesses to 'go green' (through reduced travel and other efforts) is also fueling interest in video conferencing.

Helge: The option for traveling less and doing things over IP is boosting SME's productivity in many areas.

Video Chat, Videconference or Telepresence?

First, it’s important to understand the difference between video chat, video conference and telepresence. Video chat: Usually, video chat refers to two (or more) people informally communicating online through an instant messaging (IM) service, including Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger. Some voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, such as Skype, offer video chat too. Most video chat services are free. They can be used for business, but they’re primarily tailored to consumers."

Helge: Videoconferencing isn't a necessity in all cases. 80 % of telecommunication can be done with FREE or low-cost "videoconferencing". Big companies might not agree.
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