13 Jan 2023

Video conferencing: How it works and which platforms to use

What is video conferencing?

You may hear video conferencing being referred to as ‘video calls’ or ‘video chat’. It’s all the same thing; allowing two or more people in different locations to have a virtual face-to-face meeting, using digital technology.

Users could be in different rooms of the same building, the same country, or at opposite sides of the world – the tech is all the same. Video conferencing makes business easier, cheaper and more convenient, by allowing users to connect whenever and wherever they are.

There’s no doubt that video conferencing platforms such as Zoom rooms, GoTo Meeting, and Microsoft Teams, have become a crucial part of everyday work life, supporting everything from presentations to the board and team meetings, to 1:1 performance reviews and making hybrid working work.

We have fitted ‘out of the box’ meeting room solutions, right through to full curved conferencing media walls for our clients.

So, if you’re ready to up your virtual meeting game, how do you know which platform is right for your business?

What are the advantages of using video conferencing?

There are many advantages of using video conferencing, firstly users can see each other, making communication much easier as body language can be read, this can be especially helpful if users are not communicating in their first language.

Video conferencing can also have a positive environmental impact, helping to save the planet through less employee travel.

Using video conferencing solutions can also be a huge cost and resource saving for businesses, whose employees can use video conferencing in place of travelling to meetings.

What different kinds of video conferencing can be used for business?

Most smartphones have an inbuilt camera and this can be a great easy-fix for video conferencing on the go or at home.

For more advanced solutions, there are some high-quality webcams and external microphones that can be attached on and around laptops and monitors, acting as a higher resolution alternative to your computer’s built-in camera and microphone.

For most businesses today, dedicated video conferencing spaces and rooms are a must-have in the office building.

But as technology evolves, the traditional ‘conference room’ has too.

Today we see video conferencing spaces in hallways, on-site cafes, auditoriums and relaxation areas spread throughout the building, as well as dedicated meeting rooms. The idea is seamless connectivity for increased productivity, wherever you or your employees are.

Which video conferencing platform should I choose?

The ‘big 4’ when it comes to video conferencing for enterprise are Zoom Rooms, GoToMeeting, WebEx and Microsoft Teams.

What’s the difference between Zoom and Zoom Rooms?

By getting a Zoom Rooms license you’ll have the ability to integrate conference room AV equipment into the Zoom ecosystem.

Most conference rooms contain AV equipment, such as TV screens, projectors, and voice conferencing hardware and software. Using Zoom Rooms enables participants to easily share content to their screens, use digital whiteboards and communicate with other meeting attendees who are not physically in the conference room.

We always advise our clients not to go with the freemium option of the video conferencing software, as with the lower price comes high security risks from hackers and trollers.

Here’s our quick-glance comparison of the ‘big 4’ video conferencing solutions

 

Teams Zoom GoToMeeting WebEx
Platform support Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Mobile (Android & iOS)

Web Application

Desktop app (Windows & Mac)

Mobile (Android & iOS)

Web Application

Desktop app (Windows, Mac, & Linux)

File, screen, and app sharing Extensive collaboration features, including:

Robust chat

Whiteboard templates

Action item lists, and a Wiki

Screen sharing


Remote control access

Basic whiteboard and chat features

App sharing

Desktop sharing

On-screen annotations sharing

Notes sharing

Keyboard and mouse sharing

Give/take controls when sharing

App sharing

Desktop sharing

Give/take control when sharing

Share system audio

Document co-authoring

Virtual whiteboarding

Security, administration, and reporting 256 bit TLS encryption

AES-256 encryption

 

End-to-end encryption

Passcode protected calls

Teams Admin security dashboard for external sharing and guest access 

End-to-end encryption 

Encryption at rest 

Multi-factor authentication

Compliant with all major regional data management initiatives (GDPR, HIPAA, SOC, etc.)

Easily managed security and privacy dashboard

Encryption options for all collaborations

Admin controls

Reporting and analytics tools

Device management portal

Encryption options for all collaborations

Reporting and analytics tools

Monitoring and alerting features

Admin controls

Device management portal

Integrations 700+, tightly integrated with Microsoft 365, and Zapier Nearly 2,000 and Zapier 20+ integrations  270+ integrations

 

If you can’t decide, we can consult with you and design a solution that fits your needs.
We can also tutor you in using Video Conferencing on your smartphone, tablet, browser or room system. When it comes to Video Conferencing we care and we want you to enjoy the experience, not be frustrated by it.
Get in touch today to discuss your video conferencing needs.

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09 Feb 2022

The struggle with our mindset returning to the office, post-pandemic. Learn from the experience & leverage efficiency.

A great disaster in this period of our lives, is to return to the way it was before March 2019. Our habits and behaviours must realign. Einstein’s theory of madness comes to mind. Knowing the time, we have wasted in the past, simply for the comfort of habit, can no longer justify its return.

We dread change. But we must negotiate a deal. First let us look at what was, pre-pandemic. Then let us study what worked during the pandemic and compromise between. What was pre-pandemic was a commute, distraction, and busy all the time. But there was subliminal learning and instinctive entrepreneurship. This led to growth. We just weren’t particularly good at recognising the moments that led to this evolution.

At home eliminated distraction. Created comfort in our own environment and gave us time back. For the family. For the dog. For our health. We became institutionalised in our new conveniences. But there was no networking. No water cooler moments. A chat became a scheduled Teams call. Managing tasks was easier. But there was no socialising. Our inner landscape became more comfortable as an introvert, rather than and extravert. We were heading off course and to the rocks of isolation.

Today we must recognise the office as the place of creativity, socialising, learning and energy. Single task hours can be confined to the workplace of the home. But to see growth, manage change beyond our control and retain a positive culture, we as people need interaction. This is the point of inflection we need to grasp. This is where the need of technology has brough us. But the need of us humans, has not changed.

So, plan for the blend. Accept the change. But most important keep collaborating between the technology and the people. Your business must strive for meeting equity and focus on retaining its values. I remember a man who kept insisting on making handkerchiefs and would not change. Even though paper tissues stormed the market. That is where we are. The technology genie is out of the bottle. It is how we plan to change the behaviours and habits of our people that will result in the success of our dynamic business to come.

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02 Jun 2021

Digitise your Documentation to the Cloud with Ricoh Smart Integration

Do you have a need to use cloud services such as Microsoft, Google or Dropbox?
Has your organisation adopted a cloud strategy or are you planning to do so in the near future by embracing services such as Office 365 or GSuite?
How do you and your fellow employees access and share content from these cloud services? How can you print and scan directly to and from MS Teams, One Drive, SharePoint etc. while adhering to local policies?

Join us at the Ricoh Smart Integration webinar on 23rd June at 9.30 am

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16 May 2021

Planning the Office Workplace of the Future: Webinar Part 2

Creating a Fusion out of the Confusion:

Planning the Office Workplace of the Future – Part II

Free Online Seminar | Thursday 27 May from 13h00 to 13h45 GMT

 

Building on the success of the first in this series and your feedback we’re pleased to invite you to the second part of the discussion.

On the agenda:

Digital Transformation is Powering the Latest Industrial Revolution Where Organisations Get to Set a New Path Based on Their Purpose Versus Their Workplace

Learn How the New ‘Dropbox Virtual First Toolkit’ Relates to You and Your Future Workplace

Deploying a Data-Led Approach to Building the Agile and Resilient Workplace of the Future

 

Speakers:

Julian Philllips AVI SPL

Julian Phillips Senior Vice President, Global Workplace Solutions at AVI-SPL (Digicom Global Partner)

Julian and his team bridge the gap between architecture, design, corporate real estate and technology, delivering integrated experiential solutions for customer engagement and workplace transformation around the world. He was chairman and a board director at AVIXA (the Audio Visual and Integrated Experience Association) for 7 years. Living in Philadelphia, Julian is a frequent speaker and writer on digital transformation and emerging technologies.

Neil McMahon Dropbox

Neil McMahon Head of Collaboration Technology at Dropbox

Neil has been working in technology for almost 25 years and is passionate about creating a great user experience. Currently at Dropbox, Neil is Head of Collaboration Technology and focused on how tools can be used to empower teams to do their best work in a Virtual First world.

Laura Phelan AON

Laura Phelan, Director, Human Capital Solutions, AON

Laura is an Occupational Psychologist and has over twenty five years’ experience working with organisations ensuring that their HR strategies and practices support the achievement of the business agenda.

Who are we? Read more about Digicom here

How can we help? Find out how others have benefited from our expertise here

Did you know?

We have built the largest video wall in Europe at the Motorway Traffic Control Center in Dublin: find out more here

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07 Mar 2021

Creating a Fusion out of the Confusion: Planning the Office Workplace of the Future

This complimentary 45 min. online seminar will answer these questions:
How best to plan the return to the office for your teams and what needs to be thought through?
How to successfully manage a distributed workforce (i.e. in the office, at home, sitting in the coffee shop)?
How to blend technology with a new workspace?
How can you retain your company values while transforming your workplace?

Speaking at the event are John Moran, CEO of JLL Ireland and also Head of Capital Markets; Theresa Daly Managing Director at Wilfield Consulting; Dr Frank O’Donnell heads up Public Sector as part of the Microsoft Ireland leadership team.

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05 Feb 2021

Ireland’s largest insurance brokerage improves efficiency & security with managed document solution

Arachas wanted to replace their current fleet of MFDs with the latest in MFD technology while implementing a more consistent user experience across their locations. Digicom supported by Ricoh Solutions Architects investigated Arachas’ capture and index workflows and designed a bespoke solution that combined the Ricoh devices with Kofax Equitrac in conjunction with Kofax Autostore to create a single, integrated and managed print/scan solution to address all their challenges.

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13 Jan 2021

Five Outcomes for the Office Workplace Post Pandemic – Be Ready

 

  1. The Future is Hybrid: A majority of participants believe there will be an increase in hybrid work, wherein employees will spend part of the week working in the office and the other part working remotely, whether in their home or in a third location.
  2. 100% Remote will be Rare: While some companies are considering allowing employees to work completely remote for as long as they would like, this model will likely be an exception.
  3. Building Flexibility: Office tenants will want flexible office offerings to expand space on-demand. Additionally, tenants will value more flexible, communal space, as needed.
  4.  Layout Changes: The expectation is for expanded communal space such as conference rooms of various sizes, huddle rooms and social areas for people to congregate—cafés, hospitality-style sitting areas, village greens and more.
  5.  Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Influencing Choice: Workers will potentially worry that their colleagues in the office are having a better experience and that they—remote workers— are “missing things and their career is suffering because of it.” (Source:C&W-Jan 2020)
    #digicom #futureofwork #workplace
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28 Nov 2020

Choose the services you want, only pay for what you need

In many ways, companies have found that when buying a new computer for their organisation, the device they have purchased will only fit their requirements for that moment in time. A reason for this is that the manufactures of our operating systems and the applications that we use on a day to day basis are continuously bringing out new features that either require more space, more memory or more processing power.

You then get caught in the cycle of your computer slowing down and becoming cumbersome to use. Productivity decreases, reports become slower to run… When we might have been waiting a few short moments for our computer to start so we can answer that urgent email our devices are now taking ten minutes just to get all the services to start in our operating system. Companies now have a depreciating asset that is no long fit for purpose and is expensive to maintain and support.

So what is the solution? The short response is: PC as a Service.

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25 Sep 2020

Time to Plan for a Pandemic Preventative Workspace (PPW)

It is becoming clear that until the pandemic has weakened its in presence in Western Europe, we have little hope of returning to our office. Our government has issued guidelines, which from levels 1 to 5 have some level of instruction, not to return to the office. In the meanwhile our economy will struggle and our mental health, challenged. In particular, younger employees, whose right of social passage has been denied and learning by osmosis deferred. 

There is no denying and the research proves that the office environment will return. But not in the guise of its old norm. The culture and values of an organisation will be exercised in the community of the new norm office. But it will be different.

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18 Sep 2020

Zoom vs. Microsoft Teams: which should you choose?

Zoom and Microsoft Teams have established themselves as the dominant players in the Video Conferencing market. Zoom as the once up-and-comer now giant and Microsoft entered the video conferencing space with the purchase of Skype in 2011.

The main difference between Zoom and Microsoft Teams is that Zoom is a stand-alone service with a primary focus on Video Conferencing, while Teams is packaged in Microsoft’s Office 365 suite and is designed for collaboration in general (chat, file-sharing, project planning, etc.) with audio and video conferencing ability included as well. In this blog, we will be giving you an overview of the two services with a focus on hardware integration as that is often a major deciding factor for which video conferencing platform an organization uses predominantly.

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