Video conference software is the glue that makes conferencing possible in the first place, and it’s just as important as having reliable, highly functional hardware. There are many programs on the market designed for this purpose – some of them free and some of them engineered for enterprise level applications. In general, free options are only appropriate for individual and personal use, and will not provide the deep functionality that companies need from their meetings. But this only narrows down the available options partially, as even among business-class programs, there is still a great deal of variability in function and scale.
How does video conference software ensure productive communications?
These programs are a portal into the world of remote communications, and can provide a number of additional tools to improve those communications. This can be scaled up or down, from a simple browser-based option that is designed for quick setup, security, and ease of use, to extremely robust technology intended for use with immersive room systems. Every solutions provider has their own suite of programs designed to be paired with certain hardware, and company leaders will need to shop around for the option that works best for them.
To do that, it helps to know what the technology actually does, so this is how video conference software affects communications:
- First, it establishes a connection between the relevant parties, using either point-to-point or multipoint. Point-to-point connects two parties together, much like a telephone call, while multipoint allows multiple parties to connect into a single conversation. Business-class programs are designed to be bandwidth efficient, preserving the integrity of the call. Enterprise-level technology is also a must if a company needs a lot of resources for the connection, which is usually the case when working with HD quality outputs.
- Once connected, the program monitors the connection and compensates when possible to maintain call integrity. Proper audio and video compression is key to maintaining call quality and function, and also ensures interoperability.
- Beyond establishing and maintaining the connection, video conference software can impart additional functionality into the call, some of which is essential for collaboration purposes. For example, a program can allow parties to share files and media with each other through a simple interface, and it can allow meeting members to present the media to all parties at once. Higher end systems, like room solutions, often come with interactive whiteboard technology that allows meeting members to make annotations on a presented piece of media. A program can actively compensate for poor lighting, which is important for mobile communications solutions, and can help eliminate background noise, which is important for any solution.
It is this functionality, along with interoperability and scalability that companies should keep in mind when looking for the perfect solution for their communication needs.