Allocating Video Conferencing Resources 101

Every organization looking to deploy video conferencing solutions has to decide what technology will be the best fit and how much hardware/licensing they will need. Which employees get their own personal VMR or personal desktop endpoints? Which departments get a new huddle room, or better yet, an immersive video conferencing system? These are big questions IT has to ask themselves because this technology costs organizations a ton of money. How does IT determine who gets what?

We surveyed 143 video collaboration IT professionals across a wide range of industries to discover:

  • 52% said they use both on-premise video conferencing and cloud-based solutions
  • 33.6% responded that they use on-premise video conferencing bridging exclusively
  • 70% of survey respondents claimed to have multi-vendor video technology environments (eg Cisco, Polycom, Acano, Pexip, Vidyo, Lifesize etc.)

Given these trends across the enterprise space, video technology providers have prioritized interoperability(see Cisco’s recent acquisition of Acano). But, for IT, building a unified communications system that works across all areas of the organization is not as easy as it sounds. Large organization typically have to balance many things when planning a deployment of video collaboration technology including cost, adoption, security and interoperability.

Deployment Costs

Meeting the unique communication needs of every department across the organization is a difficult task, especially in the case of organizations with a more video-centric approach. HD immersive video conference room systems are still notoriously expensive, however, there are some organizations that make due with smaller video-enable huddle rooms.

High Five is known for producing low-cost video endpoints that allow organizations to make more small rooms video-ready. Tely Labs also has a similar device. “Large enterprises currently using cloud video solutions or looking to deploy soon may want to consider the benefit of a system that helps leverage those small rooms for video conferencing.”

Personal software VMR’s (virtual meeting rooms) are also expensive deployments when you’re considering purchasing licenses for users across a large organization. Factor in IT man hours and resources it will take to support active users, and you’re looking at some pretty big figures.

Usage and Adoption

Collaboration is great. Everyone from sales to customer support can give you a laundry list of reasons why they need their own personal VMR, but how do organization know who is using the technology and better yet HOW they’re using it? Purchasing a bunch of video software licenses without being prepared to track usage is like rolling the dice for IT. It’s difficult to track adoption and ROI and support a secure video environment all at the same time. But, somehow IT manages to justify the purchase, without much hard evidence to prove that video collaboration is working the way it is intended.

A strategy among large enterprises that I’m more familiar with is evaluating usage and adoption across the organization before purchasing new technology. Imagine being able to see how certain video technology is performing compared to other devices and technology based on geography, or looking at software vs. hardware usage.

This initial evaluation of usage behavior and adoption patterns is not unheard of, however, data and insights are often collected from siloed monitoring tools, which makes it very difficult to merge the data and produce an accurate picture of their collaboration environment.

Looking at how existing technology is being used is key before making the next big purchase. See how IT professionals arm themselves with information in order to purchase the right collaboration solution with vAnalytics.


Interoperable technology is key for user experience, adoption, and upgrading. Devices and infrastructure in multi-vendor video environments don’t always play nicely together. The tangled mess of standards-based video, VMR’s and WebRTC is a nightmare for users and IT.

Even single vendor environments have had complications. For the longest time Cisco Telepresence systems could not dial into Cisco WebEx meetings via video, but CMR’s were designed to help solve this problem thankfully for a lot of organizations, which resulted in more CMR deployments.

On top of weighing costs, usage and interoperability hangs the overarching question facing IT: Who gets what? The only real way to answer this question is with information. If the goal is to bring communication together, making data-driven decisions to optimize the technology being used is key.