Professional Videoconference: what are the differences with Skype?

 May 2014 – On this page we answer some of the most common questions about professional videoconferencing, in particular the ones regarding our cloud-based JOINVIDEO service.

WHAT IS PROFESSIONAL VIDEOCONFERENCING?

Professional videoconferencing is a business tool that allows people, who are often in remoted locations, to communicate with each other in real-time, using high quality video and voice.  When videoconferencing, interlocutors will feel as if they are all in the same room. This is the most important feature of professional videoconferencing, as it makes business meetings as comfortable and natural as face-to-face meetings.

WHO PROVIDES PROFESSIONAL VIDEOCONFERENCING?

Generally, professional videoconferencing is delivered as a service by CSP (Conferencing Service Providers), specializing in high definition group videoconferencing. Usually, it’s a cloud-based service available in the Internet and accessed through a web portal.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SERVICES LIKE SKYPE AND PROFESSIONAL VIDEOCONFERENCING?

Free services – like Skype and many others – are usually created for non-professional use and the most widespread way to employ them are point-to-point video calls, i.e video calls between two people. When you need to connect more people simultaneously in one videoconference, or when you want to unlock some additional features of a service, usually you have to activate the premium version, so the services are no longer free. In any case, it’s unlikely they will provide you with the qualityreliability and safety of professional services. Another key aspect for any business to consider is interoperability, i.e. the possibility to participate in a multi-videoconference from any type of device, using different communication protocols (eg H.323) and different videocommunication systems (endpoints or codecs), which company’s meeting rooms are equiped with. Moreover, professional videoconferencing can be combined with other services, such as recording and streaming, which allow you to satisfy the most diverse requirements of your business: from recording of a conference for the Board of Directors to distance learning and broadcasting of your events on the web. These are features that free services like Skype can not normally offer. In summary, quality, safety, reliability, flexibility are the features that have a price. The professional videoconferencing is not free, but its small price is fully compensated by the benefits it provides.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO USE A PROFESSIONAL VIDEOCONFERENCING SERVICE?

We are asked this question quite often, as it’s a common belief that professional videoconferencing has high prices. For this reason, before answering, we usually invite people to ask another question: “How much do you save with professional videoconferencing”? If you adopt this point of view, which is, we think, the correct one when evaluating any service, you can, for example, compare the average cost of a trip from Milan to Rome, which is around 500 euro, to 120 euro you pay for renting our videoconferencing rooms in both cities for two hours. So you save almost 80%. If you then decide to purchase a subscription to our JOINVIDEO videoconferencing service, which can be used from your PC, tablet or smartphone wherever and whenever you want, the cost becomes extremely small: less than 2 euro per day for videoconferencing with no time limit and 6 points connected at the same time. That’s why it makes little sense to talk about the costs of professional videoconferencing.

WHAT TOOLS ARE NEEDED TO START USING PROFESSIONAL VIDEOCONFERENCING?

The easiest and the fastest way to start using professional videoconferencing is to do it directy from your PC or tablet, which are equipped with a built-in webcam. Using a PC, you can also connect an external USB webcam, especially if you want to send your video in high resolution, for example HD 1080p. For better audio quality it’s better to use a headset or even ordinary earphones for mobile phones. To organize or participate in a videoconference you will then have to connect to a professional videoconferencing service.

WHAT ARE THE RULES OF ETIQUETTE FOR VIDEOCONFERENCING?

From the dress code to the mode of interaction with your interlocutors, the rules of education and common sense that you follow during traditional business meetings also apply to those held in videoconference. To these rules we can add some technical precautions to follow during a videoconference to make it pleasant for your interlocutors: the absence of external noise, a good lighting (the frontal one, if possible), face-centered framing, upright position and the look in the direction of the webcam.

WHAT IS THE “KILLER APPLICATION” IN THE FIELD OF PROFESSIONAL VIDEOCONFERENCING?

If by “killer application” we mean services that have revolutionized the way we work, as it happened with fax and e-mail, then we can consider videoconferencing a killer app in itself, even if for a long period of time it remained isolated in the conferencing rooms of big companies. Today, thanks to the availability of broadband internet connections and powerfull PCs and tablets, professional videoconferencing is available for everybody. In fact, analysts predict a rapid spread of professional videoconferencing over the next few years. If we think about a vertical application of videoconferencing, there are many examples: telemedicine, remote working and interviews at a distance aimed at personnel selection. We would like to mention an innovative service that we have just launched: LangPlaza, an online interpreting service that provides you with the services of linguistic mediators and interpreters connected to the videoconference. Via a dedicated web portal this service allows you to book a videoconference and an interpreter, selected by language and sector specialization. With this service you can break down geographical and language barriers, which are often encountered by companies wishing to operate in the global market. For example, an Italian company can in a few minutes organize a videoconference with a partner in Japan with the assistance of an interpreter who will participate in the videoconference directly from his/her home.

WHY TO CHOOSE JOINVIDEO AS PROFESSIONAL VIDEOCONFERENCING SERVICE?

To summarize the answer in one sentence we might say: “Because JOINVIDEO is the state of the art  in professional videoconferencing”.

Still, let’s list the main features:

– its video quality is superior to that of any other videoconferencing service available on the market today

– it adapts in real time to available bandwidth and devices in use, in order to offer the best possible quality

– it does not require any specific hardware

– it supports WindowsMac OSX and Linux operating systems

– it can be used on tablets and smartphones (iOS and Android)

– it’s compatible with all H.323 and SIP videoconferencing endpoints available on the market

– the access to your videoconference via the web portal of the service is simple and intuitive

– during a videoconference it’s possible to share data: documents, presentations, charts, tables

– it allows you to record your videoconferences and broadcast them in streaming (live or on demand)

– the service is available 24 hours a day

– the price is affordable for everyone

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