Videoconferencing pains

Having recently founded my company the time has come to implement videoconferencing. Having procured and implemented large scale videoconferencing solutions I am no rookie at this and thought it would be like a walk in the park.

Founding a company is an asynchronous journey. While It doesn’t surprise me that expenses easily get ahead of income, I have kept my shopping spree to a minimum. My company account was activated yesterday, and my company credit card is some days down the line.

Getting a videoconferencing platform up and running is essential for my business. Otherwise I would work less efficiently, and my car would add unnecessary costs to my company and customers.  

Basic videoconferencing goals

I will be choosing my future videoconferencing platform based on the following goals:

1.       A videoconferencing solution that a decent share of my customers already use

2.       A videoconferencing solution that allows customers using other platforms to join

3.       A hassle-free platform for my customers and myself (or as close as I can get)

4.       A platform that I can afford

The shortlisting begins

A simple approach to the problem is to rank possible solutions I have frequently used in my professional life according to their “fit-to-task” status. 

The choice was easily reduced to two competing Microsoft platforms. I expect to have an equal number of customers on both platforms but expect Teams to gradually expand its base.

The solution

I will be installing Teams as an online service (no servers and probably no client). However, the path to a hassle-free setup is not going to be easy. Some of the pains will be self-inflicted, but most of them are due to the videoconferencing market in general.

The self-inflicted pain is due to my company’s transition from a private Office365 to an Office365 Business Essential version. I managed to install a Teams client, but this has only led to difficulties in logging on to videoconferences hosted by others and total inability to schedule and host my own videoconferences.

The general pains are due to the lack of interoperability of videoconferencing platforms in general. To mitigate this, I expect to purchase an add-on from Pexip that will enable non-Teams users to join conferences using their own video clients or hardware. That journey will probable call for a follow-up article.