Guest Column | May 25, 2009

Videoconferencing: A Vital Component In A UC Strategy


Written by: Buck Baker, president, ScanSource Communications

Unified Communications (UC) is certainly the buzz word for the moment. As well it should be, as the value it brings is undeniable. The ability to contact someone any time and in any place brings a new level of productivity to the workplace. And now, even more importantly, many aspects of unified communications provide the cost and time savings that so many users need. And for a total unified communications solution to be the most successful, all components must be fulfilled – from voice and video to data and mobility. Today, the video aspect of unified communications is where much of the cost savings can be achieved.

As a distributor of one of the industry’s leading videoconferencing solutions, we have had ample opportunity to speak with resellers about their end-users’ needs. And what end users are looking for are ways to save money, reduce travel costs and enhance productivity. What better way to do that than videoconferencing?

Today, more end users have to do more work with, unfortunately in many cases, less people. To that end, the time and money for travel might not be available. Thanks to the continued enhancement and improved infrastructure of videoconferencing, as well as the quality of high-definition video and voice, the user feels as if they are in the room with the other party. Videoconferencing is as close to actually being there, and the reduction of travel costs is easily calculated. The ROI for videoconferencing solutions is simple – calculate the number of trips taken annually, multiply that by the cost (transportation to and from the airport, airfare, per diem, salary of time lost in traveling) versus the investment of the videoconferencing solution (equipment, service, training, network). Generally, it only takes about three trips to pay for the unit!

In addition to the great savings in cost and productivity, today’s videoconferencing solutions are created to deliver excellent IP video and audio at low bandwidths – contrary to what many have come to believe about videoconferencing solutions. This allows even the smallest of businesses to utilize the benefits of this technology from the desktop to the grandest high-definition telepresence suite. Add to that, videoconferencing solutions provide an inherent ease of use that enables them to quickly ramp up and take advantage of the technology.

Equally important to understanding the benefits of the technology, resellers need to work with distribution partners who understand the ins and outs of the technology and have the ability to support the solution from a product and technical perspective. A distributor dedicated to the success of the reseller is critical.

With the support and knowledge of their distribution partner and the arsenal of selling points that communicate the value of implementing videoconferencing solutions, resellers should be fully equipped to make the solution sale, which not only touts the benefits of the product but provides the true business case for implementing such a solution. Providing a comprehensive unified communications solution ensures resellers continued success in a competitive market – and there is no better time than the present.