How do I budget for videoconferencing?

You can add videoconferencing in your budget the same way you add any capital equipment or infrastructure investment.  There are ways to calculate return on investment and measure improvement in productivity.  Early budgets including video conferencing, considered savings against travel — It’s very easy to calculate. Click on the following link and get our R.O.I. calculator that will clearly show you savings against travel and measure depreciation on the equipment. video conferencing vs travel ROI calculator.

Many companies ignore the tremendous impact video conferencing technology has on productivity. Productivity is a much larger factor in relationship to the implementation of videoconferencing.  Here are some real life examples we’ve seen in the field.   A not–for-profit client has counselors spread between three offices in the State of Ohio.  Counselors can easily visit clients located throughout the State via video conference.   They can visit 10 times more clients in one fourth the time because of video conferencing. The technology has a profound impact on their productivity.    Another client has technical field engineers spread very thin.  Through the mobile app, sales personnel can solve the same technical problems in the field as the highly qualified technical field team.  Through their iPads sales people connect in real time via video conference to the technical department at the home office where they guide the sales people through the technical trouble shooting – More problems are solved with less technical field reps.  The other benefit is sales people have an opportunity to build relationships with key accounts — Key accounts are impressed with the efficiency.

Budgets can vary greatly – Video conferencing technology is getting better and less expensive. A boardroom system can cost as little as $3,000.00 not including the flat panel display.  Conversely, a video conferencing multi-point unit with a mobile app starts at $50,000.00 dollars and goes way up from there.   The multi-point unit with the mobile app, however can be great investment for companies who need to conference with multiple participants who do not have video conferencing.   You can have simultaneous meetings with the multi-point unit.  For example if you have a 20 port bridge you can have two simultaneous meetings with 10 participants each in the morning and 4 simultaneous meetings with 5 participants each in the afternoon.  Imagine the increase in productivity if your firm has teams working together but spread out all over the world.

The budget consideration needs to be tied to your primary objective using video conferencing in the first place.   When looking at travel efficiency, look at how this technology impacts productivity.  It’s much easier to develop a budget when you consider more efficient ways to manufacture items and service customers.