For a meeting to be considered successful, three things must occur: each person should know what they need to accomplish and by when the agenda needs to be followed, and the meeting needs to be run efficiently and securely. This can be accomplished using video conferences instead of regular meetings.
An efficient and secure video conference makes it easier to follow the agenda and delegate tasks. Without disruptions and digressions, people can stay present and on task. One of the best ways to eliminate disruptions and digressions is by using managed video conferencing as opposed to running your own equipment in-house. Here’s why.
1. In-House Equipment Is Expensive To Buy And Maintain
An in-house, high-quality video conferencing system isn’t a small purchase. You’ll spend between $10,000-$100,000 for a good integrated conferencing system. These systems aren’t just glorified webcams; they provide high-quality, omnidirectional microphones and high-definition video cameras that can be controlled to pan in any direction and zoomed.
Even if you do have the budget to purchase one of these expensive systems, you’ll need to maintain it on your own. This means paying someone to fix it when it malfunctions and experiencing downtime that could inconveniently postpone your meetings.
You’ll also need to hire someone who knows how to set it up and run it for each of your meetings. If your tech is absent one day and nobody else knows how to get it running, it’s going to be a disruption to your meeting. Your participants will have to wait around for someone to figure it out, decreasing productivity and prolonging your meeting.
2. Managed Video Systems In The Cloud Are Reliable And Affordable
Using a managed video conferencing system eliminates the need to manage physical equipment and handle technical issues. According to IVCI.com, the benefits are vast. Using a managed video system increases adoption rates due to ease of use, and allows organizations to extend the reach of their meetings to include consumer and desktop solutions. If you’ve got remote workers, they’ll be more likely to show up for your meetings when they can fit it into their usual routine.
A well-managed video system hosted in the cloud gives you the freedom to run your meetings without extra technical knowledge. This freedom is especially important when it comes to data security. Although it appears as easy as setting up a firewall and a few passwords, data security is quite complex.
3. In-House Equipment Requires A Specialized Data Security Expert
It takes an experienced data security expert to secure an in-house video conferencing system, and that costs money.
In 2012, a large security flaw was discovered by HD Moore, the former chief security officer of Rapid 7 – a company dedicated to uncovering security flaws in computer systems. Through a feature that automatically answers incoming calls, Moore was able to join critical meetings hosted by law firms, prisons, and medical offices, just by calling in. Once in, he was able to operate the camera to zoom in on incredible details and could have easily gained access to private information from documents lying around.
The New York Times reports that Moore was able to zoom in “with such precision that he could discern grooves in the wood and paint flecks on the wall. In one room, he zoomed out through a window, across a parking lot and into shrubbery some 50 yards away from where a small animal could be seen burrowing underneath a bush.”
Moore was able to access even more videoconferences for other organizations simply by calling up a list of saved conferences from within the systems he had joined. Although he refrained from joining, he was one click away from accessing the boardroom of Goldman Sachs from one of these lists.
Moore uncovered a serious security flaw that prompted many to turn off their auto-answer feature. However, conferences can still be hacked when the auto-answer feature is disabled.
This report published to Blackhat.com details how one video conferencing system – the Polycom HDX – was hacked without the auto-answer feature turned on. The group was able to gain system level access to otherwise closed devices through a vulnerability in the H.323 port, even when the device was firewalled.
It’s All About Ease Of Use And Reliability
The success of your video meetings depends on your ability to maintain your equipment and security. The less you have to deal with technicalities, the easier it is to run your meetings. Your system is only as reliable as your ability to keep it running smoothly. Having your own video conferencing system is great if you can maintain it flawlessly. If you’re looking for ease of use and reliability, managed video conferencing is the way to go.
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