Affordable Video Conferencing

By Lauren Simonds | Posted July 22, 2004
Tight budgets, rising travel costs and increased security procedures make face-to-face business communications a challenge for an SMB with a scattered workforce. Although video-conferencing has been available for years, the cost has generally been prohibitive to all but big enterprise players.

Now, thanks to GlowPoint, the nation's first carrier-grade, IP-based video communications service provider, SMBs can collaborate in real-time with enterprise-quality video-conferencing at a fraction of the cost.


GlowPoint Logo

The company recently announced its Individual Video Access (IVA) service that provides SMBs with many of the same features found in GlowPoint's Business Solutions service. For $299 per-month-per-location subscription, customers receive what GlowPoint calls "all-you-can-see" unlimited video conferencing at a transfer rate of 256kbps and 30 frames per second.

"Historically, video-conferencing was based on ISDN, an expensive technology that produced unsatisfactory quality," says Stu Gold, GloPoint's vice-president of brand and product marketing. "It used to cost about $85,000 to properly outfit a location. Today, using IP technology, our enterprise level service offers TV quality for about $2,000 per location. And our IVA service costs even less."

Technology Makes It Affordable
Two trends in video communications make this lower-cost advance possible. First, video equipment has become less expensive, and second, a new video transport protocol (H.264 ) significantly improves the quality of calls made in the lower bandwidth range.

GlowPoint's IVA service includes:

  • Unlimited calls between other GlowPoint locations in U.S., U.K., Canada and Puerto Rico
  • 256Kbps maximum call speed
  • Patent pending Dial "000" Live Video Operator assistance
  • GlowPoint Direct Dial Video Number
  • Seamless access to legacy ISDN video conferencing users
  • GlowPoint Bridging on Demand conference pass code
  • Access to the GlowPoint Global international calling plan savings
  • 99.99 percent GlowPoint Quality of Service

In Addition
Remember that GlowPoint's IVA is a subscription service and to factor in the cost of your video equipment to calculate your total cost. For example, you'll need an IVA subscription, a video camera, a TV, an Internet connection and set-top video box for each location — i.e., the main office in Pittsburgh and the sales office in Chicago.

GlowPoint sells its products through resellers and channel partners.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor at SmallBusinessComputing.com

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

Comment and Contribute


     

    Get free tips, news and advice on how to make technology work harder for your business.

    Submit
    Learn more
     
    You have successfuly registered to
    Enterprise Apps Daily Newsletter
    Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date