Can I use Skype for Business as a VC solution?
This week we caught up with our audio visual manager, Dan Copeland, to hear the answer to a question that keeps popping up…..Can I use software programs such as Skype for Business as a videoconferencing solution for meeting rooms?
Dan says “The short answer is yes, but there are several facets of the technology you need to consider in the planning stages when integrating into a boardroom or meeting space environment.
“As our working lives become more fluid (moving between the office, home and in-between) many businesses have gravitated towards unified communications platforms by Cisco and Microsoft, among others.
“Having video and audio conferencing on the desktop is far more common than it was ten years ago. This, in part, is helped by the popularity of consumer-oriented software, such as FaceTime and Skype. People now expect that same level of convenience and usability at a corporate level. And given the correct preparation, that goal is achievable.
“Many of these software programs can be augmented with additional components to increase their capability, from table microphones and ceiling speakers to PTZ cameras and multiple content sources. It allows us to offer business-grade conferencing and tight integration with a Windows PC at the heart of the system.
“Moreover, the popularity of soft-clients has not gone unnoticed by the leaders in VC and AV technology, who are all vying for a piece of the pie. Polycom has offered call-compatibility between its hardware and Microsoft platforms for many years now. Recently, it has extended its reach with Skype for Business native hardware, such as the RealPresence Trio and Medialign ranges.
“Lifesize too has compatibility with SFB through its innovative Icon series, combining the best of dedicated VC hardware with cloud-based bridging to offer great flexibility when connecting people.
“Crestron’s RL2 system offers a complete SFB solution that, much like the Polycom RealPresence Medialign, allows users to control calls and content through large format touch-screens. In addition, it uses Crestron’s renown Series 3 and DigitalMedia technologies to expand the system, with a dedicated control touch-panel and additional video inputs for laptops, computers and other devices. All in all, it’s a very slick bit of kit.
“Whatever the scope of the project, whether it’s a single PC running Skype or a business-wide integration of software and hardware, it is important to consider all the functionality that you may need now or in the future. Making the correct choices in equipment at the start is fundamental to getting the best out of the kit and your chosen UC program.
“So, when you have the idea that you want to refurb your boardroom with the latest presentation suite, contact me to kick off the consultation process to ensure you get a suite that works – for you.”
If you have any queries about videoconferencing, contact our support team here.