How do I videoconference w/key clients and the supply chain outside of my network?

The first thing you need to do is find out what key clients and vendors in the supply chain have in the way of videoconferencing capability. More often than not larger firms already have standards based video conferencing. If they do you only need their public video IP address in the H.323 standard, and you simply connect. If you’re key clients and vendors in the supply chain don’t have video conferencing equipment, that’s ok –You can still video conference with them. This is explained later.

Assuming you have video conferencing equipment, you need to makes sure you can connect to those outside of your network. This means connecting video outside of your firewall. Talk to your IT staff or network provider to see the best way to configure your network. Generally they need to open ports in the firewall settings or place your videoconferencing CODEC or router connected to the CODEC in what is called the DMZ. In any event make sure your IT staff and networking specialists are involved so your network is not compromised. Once your network is configured you can now connect to key clients and vendors in the supply chain outside of your network. If you have video conferencing equipment you may need to set a “NAT” address in the equipment.

You can have a video conference with those who don’t have video conferencing equipment. In fact you don’t even need to have video conferencing equipment. You can subscribe to a video conferencing bridge service. You only need a PC or MAC with a web cam, or an iPad, iPhone or Droid and you are good to go. Some videoconferencing bridge services offer virtual conference rooms that accommodate from 2 to almost a limitless number of participants. A participant would be considered a port. The good news is that these ports are “floating ports” which means any participant from anywhere can be in a video conference if they are invited. They don’t need to subscribe to any service and the app is a free download from the apple store or from the bridge service. They key here is simplicity and flexibility.

Some companies are renting only two ports and using them to meet with all of their key clients and the supply chain. Remember, with some services the ports are “floating ports.” You can meet with a key account in Chicago in the morning and a vendor in New York in the afternoon. If the service offers a free app to the other end you can meet anyone anytime anywhere in the world on a video conference with no equipment purchase.

Download a free video conferencing app at: and call us to see how a mobile app with a “floating port” might work in your company, 330-677-5566 — We will send you credentials to our virtual room and we can meet.