Video conferencing is an interactive form of communication between 2 or more people. Video conference participants connect in a live video meeting environment where they can see and hear each other, as well as perform other functions such as write messages or share screen content. Video conferences have several advantages for individuals and businesses; however, it requires the right equipment and digital infrastructure to support it.

Video conferencing equipment & solutions


‘Video conferencing’ and related terms can be considered as industry jargon. For many people, video conferencing solutions’ brand names act as a verb, describing a video conference as a ‘Skype call, ‘Skype meeting’, ‘Zoom meeting’ etc.

Video conferencing is a lot broader than that, however. Here is a description of different types of video conferencing solutions:

1. Hardware – Also called hard codec technology, these devices are dedicated to audio or video conferencing, meaning that users do not need to bring their own laptops to be able to participate in a call. Examples range from IP phones to high-integrated collaboration room endpoint solutions from providers such as Cisco and Polycom. 

2. Soft client – video conferencing software that needs to be downloaded and installed onto users’ audio-video capable devices (laptop, tablet, smartphones) and a company’s IT network to be used. Can be used in conference room systems but requires additional hardware (microphones, cameras, display etc.) to operate. IT departments are responsible for set up, configuration, system security, maintenance and software updates. An example could be Skype for Business Server Edition. 

3. Cloud services – Cloud-based video conferencing applications that have solved previous issues with older versions of video conferencing applications that required on-site data storage and network security. Cloud services are typically subscription-based; reducing upfront costs, are compatible with any deviceare easily scalable (increase the number of users on the subscription), and the service provider is responsible for maintenance, updates and security. Examples are Skype for Business Online, WebexBlueJeans, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, Zoom etc.