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.
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
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
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