Top 5 Benefits of Cloud-based Video for SMBs

While “the cloud” has been a bit of a buzzword in the past, the reality is that reliable cloud-based, real-time communication solutions are available now – and these offerings are proving to be robust, efficient and a cost-effective alternative to premises-based technologies.

What’s more… cloud-based services can help level the playing field between SMB’s and large enterprises by making powerful communications technology, including video conferencing, accessible and affordable.

We recently announced the Avaya Collaborative Cloud, our cloud enablement strategy for unified communications as a service (UCaaS), contact center services (CCaaS), and video conferencing as a service (VaaS). We’ve also teamed with some of the world’s leading service providers including Orange Business Services and Chunghwa Telecom to deliver cloud-based collaboration.

Below are what I consider to be the top five benefits of cloud-based video conferencing for SMBs.

1. Cost

Hosted video offers a variety of services to choose from, including virtual rooms that can be accessed from your desktop, room-based systems that you can buy or lease (at a fraction of the cost of older systems), and the ability to collaborate from your mobile device (BYOD). This flexibility gives you the option to invest only in the technology you need, allowing your customers and partners to communicate with you by video at no additional cost. It also helps reduce the need for travel.

2. Reliability

Cloud-based video conferencing offers high-quality, always available video conferencing without the overhead costs and complexities associated with managing the network yourself. And built-in intelligence and firewall traversal technologies help ensure you’ll have a reliable connection, regardless of network limitations.

3. Scalability

You can now “buy by the drink instead of the bottle” without having to make large investments upfront. As your business grows, your hosted video solution can grow with you. So invest in what your SMB needs now with confidence that you can always increase your video usage later.

4. Productivity (and it’s green!)

Video conferencing has been improving the productivity of large companies for years. The ROI is proven, and as we continue to make technological leaps and bounds, the expectation that you can easily collaborate across distances in real-time with co-workers, partners and vendors is dramatically increasing. By leveraging cloud-based video conferencing solutions, SMBs can meet face-to-face without the need to drive to another location or step foot on plane – which also means that video conferencing has the added benefits of being a green technology that lowers your carbon footprint!

5. Business Relationships

There’s no question that meeting face-to-face with people helps establish relationships and build rapport. Video conferencing allows you to meet “in-person” without leaving your office (or home, or coffee shop…). People who don’t use video say, “It’s so nice to finally meet you,” to those they’ve interacted with only by phone. But if you use video and you end up in the same room as your colleagues, instead you’ll hear, “It’s great to see you again!” There’s a big difference between the two.

And now, SMBs can benefit from rich video interactions. They can easily take advantage of hosted services and ultimately improve collaboration, increase productivity, enhance relationships, offer demonstrated ROI and improve the business’ bottom line.

Have you tried out video conferencing or other technologies based in the cloud? If so, what benefits have you experienced? I’d love to hear how you’re taking advantage of cloud-based communications.