Until recently, video conferencing has had limited usefulness because the technology was expensive to own and maintain.
And, since no global address book existed, the only people you could speak to were those with whom you shared the system — typically people in your own company. As a result, video conferencing was restricted to Fortune 500 business units talking to colleagues in the same corporation. But all that has changed, thanks to the cloud. It's moved video conferencing well beyond the executive suite by allowing the technology to be used on any device that has a browser, from laptops and tablets to smartphones — and without the need for IT support.
With a cloud-based system, users can simply download the app to each device and then dial any contact by name. Check a person's presence status, just like in the office, and share documents. Plus, users can elect to have a video call ring to several devices and then decide which one to answer. With the ability to hold a virtual conference call of up to 24 participants, no matter how far-away the team is, they can work face-to-face from virtually anywhere. With subscription plans of all different sizes, video conferencing is now affordable for even the smallest business.