Few companies today operate within a single space. In some industries, more than half of workers are remote.
82% of these workers say they need to collaborate with others to do their work; if over half of these people work off-site, your video conferencing room quickly becomes the most valuable piece of real estate at your organization.
Even if you already have a conferencing solution in place, upgrading to a system designed for your use and space has numerous benefits, from easier use and faster problem-resolution to improved productivity from distraction-free communication.
As AV technology evolves and improves, the options available on the market do too; today, there are hundreds of viable products and options which can produce highly functional conferencing solutions.
“Telepresence” is one such invention.
Telepresence – Sci Fi to Reality
Telepresence began as a science-fiction dream in the 1960s: what if you could attend meetings and interact with people as if you were actually there, but from anywhere on the planet? Since the 1990s, numerous breakthroughs in AV technology have made this idea closer and closer to reality.
We don’t (yet) have the option of projecting holographic images onto thin air, but we are getting remarkably close to creating the exact sensation of speaking to a group of people as if you’re all in the same room. With telepresence technology, participants in the conversation will look and sound as if they’re sitting right next to you.
Telepresence vs. Video Conferencing: What’s the Difference?
Telepresence conferencing provides the most high-definition experience possible during video conferencing. While “video conferencing” and “telepresence” are often used interchangeably, the underlying technology is slightly different.
Modern video conferencing provides crisp visuals and reliable, clear audio, over IP or internal networks.
While video conferencing works very well for many companies, one area where video conferencing can fall short is when presenting entire conference rooms of speakers with the same level of clarity you’d see if you were all in the same room. When participants are farther or closer to the microphone(s) and camera(s), most systems have a hard time portraying them with equal clarity.
Video conferencing solutions flatten whatever room you’re in – wherever that is – and portray it as is. When more than two or three people are participating in a video conference, it can quickly become difficult to distinguish who is speaking. They also require more end-user involvement in the operation, and can therefore also be more prone to glitches if improperly configured.
Telepresence conferencing provides the most high-definition experience possible during video conferencing.
“Telepresence” refers to tools which allow participants to feel as though they are actually in the same room as whoever they’re talking with.
One way to think about this is as a built-in, room-specific situation. Telepresence solutions take into account the dimensions, lighting, and acoustics of the space and replicates them accurately instead of just capturing data from a camera and microphone and reproducing it exactly.
Some solutions may replicate the appearance of the room on each side to create a more immersive experience – same chair in each room.
Telepresence solutions adjust the video to provide accurate, clear focus on each participant, even at a large conference table.
They also adjust the sound, with embedded spatial audio so that it’s always clear where sound is coming from. Instead of confusing sound coming from each participant on top of another, it becomes obvious who is speaking at all times.
In short, all people are clearly visible, and the focus doesn’t vary depending on how far they are from the screen. You’ll also hear them the same way you would in the room, instead of at varying volumes depending on how far they are from the mic.
Finally, telepresence doesn’t generally require as much end-user configuration, headsets, or other devices; this makes them easier to operate day-to-day, but also less portable.
Which is Better – Telepresence Solutions or Video Conferencing?
In general, you will see the best quality and realism using a telepresence solution.
However, if you plan to regularly change which rooms are connected, it can be extremely costly to set up telepresence solutions in each room you’ll be using.
Cost is the biggest drawback in a telepresence solution. Simple video conferencing solutions can often be installed for as little as 5% of the cost of a high-end telepresence solution.
Interoperability may also be an issue if you need to communicate with others using multiple different vendors or solutions.
Just like high-definition movies, you’ll only see the quality supported by the lowest common denominator. (Think of watching a movie from the 1960s on a modern television set, or watching a HD movie on a 1960s television). A video conferencing solution communicating with a telepresence solution will only present the maximum quality supported by the lesser-quality equipment.
You’ll still be able to communicate as long as there’s a basic level of compatibility, but you’ll get the most bang for your buck by pairing two telepresence solutions.
The bottom line is that if your business relies on closing distances and impressing clients with the visuals etc., telepresence will provide the most impressive and realistic, high-definition solution. However, if you operate in many locations or are a smaller business, video conferencing can fulfill many of the same needs.
Regardless of your needs, VSSi will work with you closely to develop a visually stunning and highly effective conferencing solution to bring members of your organization to you. Check out our recent installations here, or get in touch to schedule a consultation.
You can purchase most of the components almost anywhere and anytime. But the reason you want to work with a top-quality Audio Visual System Integrator like Visual System Solutions and Integration, is for the services we provide that make it all come together.
Discussed further down the page in more detail, these services provide you the following benefits:
- You will receive a quality system that will work as expected. A proper system is far more than the sum of all of its parts. It takes careful design, combined with extensive real-world installation/integration experience, to create a system that is engineered to work as needed and expected.
- Your system will be easy to use. A thoughtfully designed system will put a tremendous emphasis on the user interface as well as the serviceability of the equipment. A well-crafted and flawlessly programmed user interface, combined with critical end-user and technical training, will make the difference between you getting tremendous value out of your system or just wondering why you spent so much money on a confusing contraption.
- Your project will be well executed. There are a myriad of factors that can frustrate the successful completion of a project, and something can always be expected to come up during a complex construction project. But with savvy, experienced Project Managers following an actual process – we call ours, “The Visual System Solutions and Integration Way” – you can rest assured that you will know exactly where your project is throughout its duration and you will be helped to complete it successfully on-time and on-budget.
- Your system will KEEP working. With a proper maintenance plan in place, you can have peace of mind that the system will work as it was designed to do.
Visual System Solutions and Integration
is a full-service audiovisual provider. From our initial AV consultation, through design, installation, programming and long-term support, all services are provided in house by our extensive and knowledgeable staff. Visual System Solutions and Integration has completed hundreds of projects for some of the most influential and innovative companies because we can be trusted to get the job right, on time, and on budget.
It is widely known fact that an image is worth more than thousands of words. A crisp HD video conferencing powered by Visual System Solutions & Integration is a pointer to that fact. A lot of businesses, for instance, are interested in presenting a product to their international sales executives or solve a problem with their clients. With video conferencing, businesses have found an audio visual means of revealing their products to their team members as well as solving their client’s problems by audio visually taking them through the steps involved in the problem-solving process. Broadly speaking, there are many benefits associated with using video conferencing for your business but we will discuss some of the benefits below:
Businesses have two major responsibilities which are to reduce cost and to increase revenue. As far as cost reduction is concerned, the role of video conferencing cannot be overemphasized. Video conferencing has made it possible for businesses to be present in many locations at a point in time without leaving the four walls of the office. When you do an estimation of what you will incur on traveling to these locations, you realize that the traveling cost is far higher than what you will incur on video conferencing.
At Visual System Solutions & Integration, we offer your business video conferencing solutions that are compliant with existing infrastructure. We possess software that can be downloaded and aid virtual meetings on your smartphone, PC and other devices.
Relationship Enhancement Through Effective Communication
When video conferencing solutions are used, you can visualize the facial expression as well as the body language of your employees and clients. This brings about a collaboration that is quicker and highly effective, thereby enhancing a relationship. Provision of a platform by video conferencing where businesses can have meetings with officers around the world creates a situation through which employees feel they are closer to the head office. From the wholesaler/retailer’s point of view, manufacturers can be spoken to wherever he is and he can be shown through audio-video means the exact prototype he must reproduce in crisp HD quality. This improves the relationship between manufacturers and wholesalers/retailers and in the long run impacts on the level of sales.
It Aids Telecommuting
According to research, over 75% of employees love to embrace a working plan that is more flexible. This more flexible working condition is telecommuting. Video conferencing has so much aided telecommuting to the extent that workers at home can maintain the connection with co-workers and clients. This has aided businesses with the provision of more comfortable work environment which has, in turn, led to retention of company’s top talents.
Better Staff Training Experience
Before the advent of video conferencing, it was very difficult to organize training sessions for employees. Members of staff of business establishments had to travel to training centers, lodge in hotels and travel back after each training session while employers had to book training venues, arrange for hotels and approve traveling bonuses. However, since the advent of video conferencing, staff training has taken another dimension as thousands of employees can be trained simultaneously regardless of their locations. Rather than being crammed inside one venue, employees can be seated in front of their personal computers or other audio visual devices and be part of the training session. Video conferencing has also made it possible for employees to record the whole training session and watch it over and over again.
Improved Recruitment Process
According to a research carried out by Redshift Research, video conferencing ranks third in human resources business communication channels. Through video conferencing, the possibility of consummating job vacancies quicker and leveraging on opportunities to contact prospective employees around the world has increased. Job interviews are now done through video conferencing and it allows the interviewers to communicate better with the applicants wherever they are located.
With a host of video conferencing solutions, Visual System Solutions & Integration offers a potent way of enabling conferences or video contents to be streamed live or shared across the globe. Visual System Solutions & Integration has made it possible for customers, partners, employees, business owners and students to use video conferencing to interact with other people anytime, anywhere.
To learn more about Visual System Solutions & Integration’s video conferencing solutions, click here.
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Advantages of Preventative Maintenance
Manufacturing companies that add maintenance recommendations for audio visual equipment add it for so many reasons that are good. Though preventive maintenance does have its productivity and financial costs, more often than not, embracing an approach that is proactive to maintaining audio visual equipment has unique advantages. Some advantages impact your business directly while other advantages affect your business indirectly. It should, however, be known that all these advantages boost a business’s profitability level.
Unplanned Maintenance Can Derange Productivity
One of the benefits of possessing a preventative maintenance scheme for your AV systems is that you can schedule when your equipment will be checked. Scheduled maintenance of equipment will in addition to improving equipment life avoid maintenance activities that are not planned during precarious times when you need your AV system to carry out business.
Also, preventative maintenance also decreases the chance of emergency repair calls that can heavily impact the productivity of your business.
A System That Is Unreliable Can Make You Lose Customers
If an element of your AV system ceases to work while it is being utilized by a customer or while helping a current or prospective customer, you can incur costs that are hard to document and these costs are in most cases more severe than the cost of fixing your system. For instance, imagine the set back you would encounter if you were trying to seal a lucrative deal with an important customer and it happens that your AV system went off while on a video conference with the customer and the AV system could not be restored immediately. You will not only miss an opportunity to convince the customer that the services you offer are top notch but encounter the risk of not earning the customer and other prospects trust as regards your business’s reputation. This is an unquantifiable risk you should endeavor not to encounter in your quest to maximize profit and create a good impression on all existing and prospective customers. Preventative maintenance is a cost-effective means of meeting your customer service aims and building your company’s public image.
Read more about VSSi Solutitions here.
Preventative Maintenance Makes Systems Work Better
AV systems are made to function in an unquestionable way that must be maintained. Updating hardware and software is an essential aspect of preventive maintenance. This update is a fundamental part of keeping AV systems functioning the way they were made to work. This also makes it possible for the equipment to operate at higher capacities, thereby allowing you to benefit most from your investment. At VSSi, our preventative maintenance program will protect assets, keep systems functioning in optimum condition and help guarantee that extreme life expectancy is attained.
Maintenance Services for Your AV Business Needs
If you need maintenance services for your audio visual business, Visual System Solutions and Integration is your best bet. Visual System Solutions & Integration (VSSi) provides ongoing support through PROactive Maintenance Service Contract for your business needs to ensure your technical equipment performs at the optimum operational level. VSSi implements its professional support for audio visual and unified communication systems. The contract of VSSi allows to maintain the equipment at the top level of performance and guarantees the resolution of any technical issues that might emerge anytime in the future. The company’s highly-trained and knowledgeable technicians inspect your AV system and look for any AV problems that may arise.
Furthermore, VSSi ensures that technology works at optimum performance and will not create any problems in the future. At VSSi, a wide spectrum of AV services which avoids any technical interruptions at an opportune moment is offered.
Audio visual maintenance services offered by VSSi include preventative AV maintenance service, replacement of interconnects, system orientation training, software and firmware updates, audio and video systems, calibration and troubleshooting, management of equipment, upgrades, technical support, customized service agreements and 24/7 service support.
You maybe interested to read our other blog post Boosting Business Productivity with Huddle Spaces
Wireless Presentation Solutions
With a few clicks, wireless presentation solutions allow you and up to three other colleagues can present Audio Visual materials without dealing with cord connections, cumbersome wires, and the need to be directly in proximity.
There are many options on the market, but they don’t all offer the same capabilities. In this post, we’ll review Crestron Airmedia and Barco Clickshare, two well-known and reputable manufacturers. Both Crestron and Barco produce highly functional wireless presentation solutions.
Each company also offers a 3-year warranty and their products work well on WiFi or corporate networks; both are well-suited for enterprise clients with large meeting rooms or who need remote access and presentations.
However, there are some differences between the two products which can make a difference depending on your specific needs.
Here’s an overview of considerations for each option:
1. Crestron Airmedia
Crestron Airmedia was one of the first players in the wireless presentation arena, and continues to develop innovative and user-friendly products. This device connects via wifi to most smart devices, including iPods, iPhones and Androids, and Windows or Mac laptops and desktops.
Crestron Airmedia’s selling feature is that no dongle or USB connection is required; that means no wires at all are necessary. It supports four users with a “quad screen” and allows up to 40 people to remotely view presentations.
It offers functional integration for larger systems and a customizable welcome screen. AirMedia it uses existing LAN and leverages standard network security protocols. Because it introduces no new wireless networks, it has a security advantage over some other wireless presentation options.
2. Barco Clickshare
Barco Clickshare comes in several different models designed for different sized rooms. It supports a large 4K screen for HD quality visuals, and can support touchscreens.
It does require a USB button, instead of being totally wire-free, but this can sometimes be an advantage, as it requires no software and can therefore be easier to set up and use without the need for any training.
Barco Clickshare was designed as an enterprise product; the developers include a number of security features. It’s possible to add a conference monitor, and includes the option to transmit information completely off network. Most models are slightly less expensive than the Crestron Options.
In short, Crestron Airmedia supports more types of devices supported, includes more robust options for remote viewing, and doesn’t require a USB connection.
Barco Clickshare is typically a more affordable option, offers an off-network functionality for increased security, and offers resolution adjustability and HD visuals.
Both options provide a high-quality, professional remote presentation service AV system that work beautifully in the majority of corporate settings.
VSSi is a design-build Audio Visual solution company which provides individually customized professional and corporate AV technologies. For more information about the best product for you, or to schedule a consultation regarding wireless presentation systems or any other audio visual needs, get in touch here.