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Note to Self: "Not All Video Conferencing Clouds Are Equal"

June 2, 2014 | Telepresence Options


William MacDonald

Story and images by William MacDonald / No Jitter

What to put on your checklist when considering a cloud video provider.

As video infrastructure starts its steep decline in sales, the Lifesize Cloud announcement and Cisco's impending Collaboration Meeting Room, come as no surprise to me. In both cases, the transition from "big iron" to services is designed to maintain market share. It's great news, and a coming of age for all of us with established cloud video services. And here's the "but": Just like the infrastructure they aim to replace, not all cloud services are equal. There are many variations that can trip up the end user, so here are my top tips for what to demand from a cloud service:

1. Scheduled conferencing and ad hoc calling--In one service please! Seriously, choose a service with both capabilities. Scheduling has to be easy, via a Web portal, and accessible to all employees at no extra cost. Calendar integration is essential (and somewhat obvious), and so, too, is global-audio dial in for conferences.

What made the telephone so pervasive? The ability to simply call someone without pre-arrangement; this is just as important for video. Users must be able to instantly video-call anyone at anytime. Without this, you have restrained video and have no way for users to jump on a video call straight away. You might as well stick with the phone!

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