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The Top Video Conferencing Options for New Businesses and Start-ups

Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Woman with headphones writing on paper with a laptop in front of her.

Given that the number of employees working remotely has increased by 400% since 2010, video conferencing has become an essential tool for the majority of enterprises. As a result, 98% of meetings now anticipate the presence of telecommuters.

Companies of all sizes, but especially start-ups, may benefit greatly from video conferencing. Please take into account the following:

  • Meeting electronically allows you to cut costs on ever-expensive business travel and is also a sustainable choice.

  • If the majority of your employees can work from home, you won't need much office space at all.

  • With the aid of video conferencing, you can establish and maintain relationships with clients and coworkers on a more personal level.

Choosing the best alternative, though, can be challenging given the wide variety of possibilities. Cost is a crucial factor to take into account because startups often have fewer funds for new technologies.

Assess the Needs of Your Business.

Every company has unique requirements. It is important to carefully analyze these demands in order to choose the video conferencing solution that is best for you. Do you see engaging meetings that include both in-person and remote conversations amongst participants? What kinds of conference rooms do you have available? What virtual cooperation circumstances do you anticipate?

These examples may include doing hiring interviews, making sales pitches to clients, or conducting training sessions. They could also include having weekly status meetings, brainstorming, or just casually discussing a topic.

Understanding your requirements will enable you to choose the right screen, microphone, and camera arrangement, as well as the features your conferencing program should have.

When evaluating solutions, features, and return on investment, it's critical to take cost into consideration because it will undoubtedly be a top concern for small firms.

Soft vs. Hard Codec

A codec is a piece of hardware or software that encrypts and decrypts audiovisual data so that it may be sent between parties. Hard and soft are the two main divisions.

Hard codecs encrypt and decrypt data using specialized hardware. If you're not utilizing an integrated system, they mandate that you buy and install equipment, as well as a camera, monitor, and microphone, in your meeting room. They operate via specialized back-end servers. Hard codecs are the conventional video conferencing equipment you're undoubtedly used to seeing in conference rooms at big businesses.

Without specialized hardware, soft codecs employ software to encode and decode audiovisual data. Only an internet connection, the program, and a gadget like a computer, tablet, or smartphone are required for web-based video conferencing. Programs like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet are examples of soft codecs. Their use has increased significantly since the pandemic's inception. While Microsoft Teams just crossed 270 million monthly active users, Zoom users climbed by 2.900%. (up from 250 million in July 2021), according to the businessofapps website.

Each of these solutions has advantages and disadvantages.

Hard Codec Advantages

Greater dependability: Hard codecs have fewer bandwidth hiccups and are more reliable because they run on their own hardware. When compared to competing products on the market, MAXHUB's variety of UC solutions offers true value for money, making them ideal for small enterprises even if this normally entails a higher price point that start-ups cannot typically afford.

Better quality: Unlike a computer, tablet, or smartphone, the hardware is just used for audiovisual transmission, with no additional background operations or software updates active. It may thus provide higher-quality calls. This results in a very professional video conference experience when combined with a top-notch camera.

Stronger security: Hard codecs are excellent for conveying sensitive information since they have enterprise-grade security and fewer weaknesses. The MAXHUB UC S10 offers advanced encryption in addition to conferencing platforms that are compatible with all popular meeting platforms.

Hard Codec Drawbacks

Dedicated video conferencing systems are often more expensive, making them out of the price range of the majority of start-ups.

Problems with compatibility: Hard codecs have generally been less system-compatible than soft codecs, while competitive current offers should connect to other systems more easily.

Soft Codec Advantages

Cost-effectiveness: Soft codecs offer a scalable, cost-effective video-conferencing option for companies on a restricted budget. The big options each include free versions with a good amount of capability, but you'll have to pay extra for longer sessions or more sophisticated features.

Usefulness: Non-technical users are taken into consideration while designing solutions like Zoom, Teams, Meet, and Webex. Some can simply operate through a browser and don't even need program downloads.

Soft Codec Drawbacks

Problems with quality: Soft codecs operate on hardware that is continuously juggling a variety of different tasks, which might lead to possible bandwidth and computation constraints. Meetings may be interrupted by the resulting poor audio or visual quality.

Less security: Despite their improvements, soft codecs often have weaker encryption than hard codecs. Zoom gave $85 million to consumers whose meetings were ruined by aggressive pranksters as part of a class-action settlement.

How to Spot a Red Flag

As a start-up, you want to receive the best deal possible while also making sure that the solution you choose will be suitable for your particular set of circumstances in the future.

Choose a non-interactive screen like MAXHUB's Digital Signage if your business is on a small budget but you don't want to sacrifice image quality. Keep in mind that smooth screen-sharing and excellent quality are necessary for effective meetings in a variety of settings.

The interactive flat-panel technology from MAXHUB, on the other hand, offers a complete solution for conferences, brainstorming, presentations, and collaboration. This is more costly but doesn't necessitate the purchase of any additional equipment. You need the most comprehensive feature set you can find in order to maximize your investment. Make sure to pick a system that allows for annotation, clever input detection, quick screen-saving, and sharing to best replicate the real working environment.

For start-ups to succeed in the dynamic business climate of today, MAXHUB provides a wide selection of expert video-conferencing solutions.

To know more about the different MAXHUB products in New Zealand, call Merge AudioVisual today.

Merge AudioVisual is the official partner of Maxhub in New Zealand.

As a leading New Zealand Distributor of Digital Workplace technologies, Merge AudioVisual helps businesses to connect and communicate. How the world works has changed, how we communicate has changed and Merge AudioVisual is at the forefront of delivering the digital technologies needed to facilitate that change.

Discover Merge AudioVisual today!

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