Skype is a well-known platform for instant messaging used by many offices as the go-to app for communication within the company, mostly because it is a free resource that can be easily set up on any device. Because of the ability to do video conferencing within the application, companies tend to lean toward Skype for conference calls and internal teleconferences. This is especially true for companies that have work-from-home employees or outsourced employees. Skype has become a reliable application many companies use for communication.
Video conference equipment is a necessary asset to any company when it comes to telecommunication. It’s an investment as well, but since most companies have a wide reach for both their employees and clients, it’s not really a bad idea to consider. While there are many video conferencing devices now that offer a wide range of capabilities, it all comes down to how well it can capture and relay the video toward its respective audience. If a big team needs to video conference, it is wise to use such equipment instead of Skype.
So what exactly are the points to consider when using Skype versus using video conferencing equipment?
Single versus Multiple Audience
Skype works better if the calls made are one-on-one. Because of this, companies typically use Skype to interview potential candidates. Most virtual assistant work would prefer the one-on-one approach to video conferencing that Skype has to offer. Meanwhile, for a big group of people, the use of video conference equipment is the better choice. The calls can be triggered using any online service, and since most of these equipment are high-end material, it’s easy to record these conference meetings. The more people involved, the better it is to go for video conference equipment.
This ties to the first point mentioned since Skype eats a huge amount of bandwidth depending on the number of people who join the call. This is why it is better to use Skype for one-one-one sessions versus using it for an actual conference. The maximum number of participants that they allow now is twenty-five people in a single call, but because it takes a lot of bandwidth for a clean conference, call disruptions may come up like frozen videos or choppy audio.
Exclusivity and Credit
Because Skype needs another Skype account to be usable among users, it becomes a hindrance for others to have to get an account and download the application just for a one-time call. Although Skype allows for credit to be used to call a number, this doesn’t become an issue with some video conference equipment since these are directly connected to the internet via VoIP.
Skype only allows for one angle during video calls where the available camera, usually on the laptop or webcam, is used. Screen share is available in Skype, but it cannot show the video of the other participant at the same time. Most video conference equipment today are made for businesses. These devices will have a number of advanced features such as streaming, recording, multiple screen shares and layouts, and even full control of the conference. Specific equipment, like the ones made specifically for conference rooms, uses a high-quality pan-tilt-zoom camera, which is capable of remote directional and zoom control. Some may even have microphones set up to boost the sound it receives from the room.
There are many security issues when using Skype. It uses a web protocol that is deemed unreliable for secure networks. Because it doesn’t ensure a secure line of communication, other companies do not use Skype at all and prefer other communication applications over it. It has been shared in an article in 2006 that Skype will share information they have to government organizations if requested. Precautionary measures need to be taken for any business, so it is understandable that some businesses would prefer a different means of online communication. Video conference equipment are known to have security measures built into each system like firewall, video call encryption, and bandwidth management.
The bottomline is that, either way, these two means of online communication for business has its pros and cons. A company will consider its priorities first before deciding on which one will work better for them. A small company that is still starting out may not need video conference equipment, but learning what the benefits are will help them decide in the future. Both of these, Skype and video conferencing equipment, can be used harmoniously, depending on how they are used in a business. Either way, both Skype and a dedicated video conference equipment can be used in the same company for different reasons.