Who should I buy videoconferencing equipment from?

The most important part of your purchase decision is not so much what video conferencing equipment to buy, but whom to buy it from.  The potential vendor really needs to know their products and all the unique feature sets.  They should also know their competitors products and the competing system feature sets.  The main thing is that they support what they sell.  Unfortunately more often than not local resellers do not focus on the video conferencing product line and they drop the ball on support, especially on the training and roll outs.  If the vendor does not have a formal training program and does not give you an outline that specifically illustrates how they will train your staff, avoid purchasing the product from them.  If the vendor does not use video conferencing technology in their day to day operations, i.e. sales calls, support calls, etc. definitely do not purchase video conferencing from these vendors — They do not believe in the technology.

The first thing to look for is on the salesman’s business card.  If there is no public video number, (IP address), or link to a video conference app on the salesman’s card do not purchase from them.   If you were buying a company aircraft would you make this major purchase from a salesman who didn’t use this aircraft to see you?  This is the same with video conferencing.  No obvious video access on the salesman’s business card is a leading indicator of the lack of service and support you will subsequently get after installation.  They are telling you to believe and purchase a technology that they themselves do not use.

Who is selling video conferencing technology?

The local phone company is one source, however many client’s experience a lack of product knowledge and support.   The phone company wants only to sell local loop; long distance and circuits they often look at video conferencing as a lost leader and thus very little attention is given to the product line.

Audio Visual Integrator’s are another source.  Again very little attention is given to video conferencing by A/V integrators.  They want to automate the conference room with the latest presentation technology.   They are often intimidated when the client asks about video conferencing.  A few A/V integrator’s however are very knowledgeable and definitely worth working with.  Ask questions on their experience and ask for references from clients who purchased video conferencing.

Computer companies are another source, however if their main revenue comes from computer support — You may not get the support you require for a video conferencing roll-out.  The best source is a company who focuses on video conferencing and uses it every day.

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