Weighing Your Videoconference Options

Videoconferencing technology allows people from one corner of the globe to connect with another without leaving their country, city, office, or even their living room sofa in some cases. But when you’re planning a virtual meeting, your options may leave you more confused than ever. Google+ Hangouts, Skype, Facetime, Adobe Connect, and videoconference suites services all offer pros and cons to be considered.

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FREE SERVICES
Free services are conducted via your own internet-connected computer or mobile device. These services, such as Google+ Hangouts, Skype, and Facetime often require downloading a free piece of software of or a plugin to your device. After a short configuration, and accepting some sort of friendship/connection with one or more parties, you’re ready to get started! It is, however, very important to note the cons associated with some of the free services. These services may not be as secure as needed if not used properly, as was recently seen in the murder trial of George Zimmerman when a witness’ Skype testimony was interrupted by some intruders.

PROS
-Self service. You can initiate or join an existing call at any time: 24/7.
-With a solid internet connection, you’ll be able to easily connect
-No subscription costs or pay-per-use.

CONS
– If your internet connection is less than top speed or your device is lacking available memory, you’ll likely struggle to maintain connection to the call. If you do, it’s likely audio or video or both will be pixelated at best.
-Your device and configuration must meet the minimum requirements, which vary for each program but often include recent versions of one of their supported browsers, a minimum connection speed to the internet, and
– Limited Support. While these companies have help centers and forums, if you need help in a timely matter, it’ll be hard to get it.
-The number of attendees who can join varies by product, but is generally limited to 10.
– Cannot be connected to professional VC equipment, such as a law firm / reporting firm’s Polycom machine with an HD camera adjustable to best capture the witness, as well as a professional-level conference microphone that can handle a wide range of volume that may occur.
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PAID SERVICES
Paid services come in two options- either through private remote VC connections or through visiting a provider’s physical office. Private providers like Gramann Reporting offer brick and mortar locations worldwide that can accommodate any size group using hard-wired videoconferencing equipment connecting to others via dedicated broadband internet connections. These staffed locations will make the process easy on you – just show up and you’re ready to go! Other options we provide, like Adobe Connect (see photos above) offer the conveniences of the free services, but with the added security, support, and a robust set of functionality. That means options that can fit a deposition into nearly any schedule, travel limitation, and flexibility of appearing from a computer or a mobile device.
PROS
– Security. Your call cannot be intercepted or joined by an unwanted party
– Support. Live humans, generally on-site, or at least via phone, are able to address any issues/concerns.
– Leave your session with full documentation of the event – video and audio recorded!
-Rooms to accommodate groups of most sizes
– Mobile device, tablet, or computer through Adobe Connect
CONS
-May need to leave your home
-Costs associated can range from a few dollars to $50+/hr for private remote connections; up to $150 or more per hour per site for brick and mortar sites.

Schedule a videoconference with Gramann Reporting in Wisconsin, or let us assist you in finding a partner firm to host you in nearly any location worldwide.

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