What Is Needed to Set Up A SMB Video Conference Room?

By tmdaviss ·
My business deals with small and medium sized businesses and their IT needs. In essence, I help them manage their IT needs. A lot of my time is spent deciding on their future needs, expenditures, and the projects to implement the solutions.

In the past couple of years I have fielded questions a number of times regarding the implementation of a video conferencing room to allow a company to do business with out-of-town customers as if they were having those meetings in their own local facility. This will eliminate a large amount of travel expense, as well as scheduling conflicts that can ruin a planned trip. Recently the questions have turned to serious inquiries, and are not asking if the implementation can be effective for over-seas calls, or if video delays, sound lags, bandwidth needs will come into play.

In response I have been trying to find other IT professionals whom have already faced this challenge so I can use their lessons as a foundation for my first attempts. I am already trying to respond to questions like: "Can a camera show the entire conference table and its occupants clearly?" "Can we share design ideas via the computer without them being captured on the other end?" "Do we need internet connection that is faster than DSL?"

Do you have any experiences that you would like to share with me? Do you have recommendations of the equipment I should be demo'ing or purchasing? If so, I welcome your input into this discussion.

Terry Davisson
Latreo, Inc.

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I suggest referring an expert

by gechurch In reply to What Is Needed to Set Up ...

I work as a consultant in the SMB field also and it sounds like we do much the same type of work. I get asked the same thing a bit. I like to say 'yes' to everything so toyed with the idea of doing this myself for some of my customers, but I've done enough research to realise how much I don't know. There is a lot more to this than whacking Skype on a PC and pointing a webcam in the right direction. You've touched on some of the issues. Getting the right type and number of microphones is another big issue.

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that this field is too specialised. I also feel that there are too many options out there. Some topics you can do a lot of research on and can pick up what you need to know. I don't think this in one of those fields. I think this field needs experience, and I wasn't going to ruin my reputation with my existing customers by making them guinea pigs. I chose to find a local company that specialises in this field and recommend them. This actually worked out really well. Since this is a complimentary field we have had customers referred to us for desktop/server work by the company we recommend.

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