26 / Dec / 2013

Video Conferencing in the Boardroom: Where Big Business Decisions are Still Made Face-to-Face

It seems that every day we hear more and more about extending video to desktops and mobile devices, BYOD, and cloud based service options. It’s truly amazing how far (and how easily) video extends beyond the boardroom compared to just 3 or 4 short years ago. People are so excited about the mobile / hosted video explosion, we’ve even heard whispers that infrastructure-based deployments are becoming “legacy” video systems; suggesting they are going the way of the dinosaur… Which begs the question, is this really a case of “out with the old, in with the new”?

It’s clear that mobility is driving enormous growth in the video industry, but it’s important to note that video integrated boardrooms are still at the center of most business applications, and are by no means “legacy systems”. The boardroom is where executives meet, and where a company’s most important decisions are made. For corporations of all sizes, this is often the most important room in the building. The boardroom is also the centerpiece of an organization’s video deployment; even for organizations with mobile, video-enabled workforces.

While BYOD and mobility are becoming instrumental components to a successful video strategy, it is still clear that room systems are not going anywhere. On the contrary, as the workforce becomes increasingly mobile, this has strengthened the position of the boardroom as the “central command center” that ties an organization together.

We talk to customers every day who tell us how they use their video integrated boardrooms – It’s where sales leadership meets with reps in the field, where executives meet when discussing strategy or when meeting with the board of directors – all over video.

We’d like to hear from you – does your company have a video enabled boardroom? If so, does your executive team use it as much as they did prior to the BYOD video explosion? Do you feel that mobility is helping or hurting room systems?

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com

9 / Dec / 2013

Cisco’s Video Conferencing Focus Shifts Toward Desktop and Mobile

Videoconferencing hardware for board rooms requires a significant capital expenditure, placing it out of reach for many smaller organizations on a tight technology budget. However, recent shifts in the market, and the way the technology is managed and delivered are creating options for organizations of all sizes.

Earlier this year, Cisco signaled a major shift in the industry when they hired Rowan Trollope as their new Senior Vice President overseeing the company’s collaboration business. One of his first goals: to get those room-sized systems down to mobile and desktop size. Trollope acknowledges the challenge, but is highly optimistic telling Investor’s Business Daily, “We are looking at extending the room system experience to mobile devices. I created a team of about 85 people over the last year to figure out how to take everything at Cisco’s collaboration group, meetings, voice, video, content sharing to a mobile phone. And then extend that experience to hardware devices so they can be viewed as larger pieces of glass with better audio and cameras. The strategy starts with a mobile phone.”

As Trollope continues to shift the focus of the business to more individually centered solutions, he acknowledges there will always be a demand for large room systems, and Cisco is committed to maintaining the superior service and reputation for those customers as well, “Only 7% of the conference rooms in the world have video-enabled equipment. And most of that 7% is probably old junk that’s not working well. If you can deliver high-end videoconferencing at the right price, there is tremendous growth in this market.”

Cisco has signaled that it considers videoconferencing solutions a market worth investing in. For the consumer, this means exciting innovations and greater collaboration opportunities at a lower price point—a win-win-win for all concerned.

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com

13 / Nov / 2013

The New Frontier of Personalized Banking: Videoconferencing

Around the country, the idea of a traditional bank branch is becoming a thing of the past as more and more banks close branches, reflecting the realities of higher overhead costs in the face of lower consumer demand. According to this recent article by Bank Systems & Technology, in 2012, US banks closed 2,267 branches. This is trend unlikely to reverse in the future.

Because many consumers conduct most of their banking online, including check deposits, the need for in person banking is in rapid decline. This has created challenges for banks that both want to save costs and still deliver personalized service to customers who need it.

In response, some banks are discovering the power and benefits of using videoconferencing as a tool to overcome these challenges. Some examples of integrated services being adopted by banks now include “next generation ATMs” that provide the ability for customers to have face to face conversations with a live teller without the costs associated with maintaining an entire branch.

Alternatively, some banks are adopting video conferencing for their remaining branches to support new account openings, loan applications, and brokerage services using the face-to-face technologies that improve sales and customer satisfaction. “With high definition screens in place, this video interaction feels like the adviser is right there in the room.” For leading banks, they are finding the cost savings and customer satisfaction that comes with videoconferencing is a win-win.

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com

1 / Aug / 2013

Bill Introduced to Cut Federal Spending by Use of Video Conferencing Technology

If Federal Agencies cut their travel expenses by 50%, and replaced those trips with video conferencing, we could save American Taxpayers $5 BILLION per year. If that caught your attention, you may want to read on…

The US House of Representatives may very soon be voting on legislation that will both save the taxpayer money and promote technological innovation. A bill introduced on July 10th, H.R. 2643: Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013, would require the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to review and report to Congress which federal agencies have reduced travel expenses by using video conferencing technology. It would also require a plan to be developed for FY2017 and beyond on using video conferencing technology to achieve a 50% reduction in federal agency travel expenses. The bill is currently under review with the House Oversight and Government Reform committee and is awaiting being put to committee vote.

This bill seems to confirm some of our beliefs on the ramifications of sequestration. In a March VSGi Blog Post we speculated that due to the severe cuts in travel expenses that there may be a greater emphasis on the usage of video conferencing technology. It seems now that the government is reacting to the need to deal with the many severe budget cuts required by sequestration.

The bill is being given a 33% chance of passing committee and only an 8% chance of being signed into law according to Govtrack. Of course there are a lot of bills proposed in both chambers of congress that never even see the light of day, but one look at this bill’s cosponsors offer reason for optimism.

The bill’s original sponsor, Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), has been able to garner 33 different cosponsors. The cosponsors include 18 Democrats and 15 Republicans. With that high number of bipartisan support, this may well be a bill that the House can proudly say was passed into law.

To find out more information about the proposed bill, check back with VSGi as we will are following its progress very closely. Also, listen to Rep. Fitzpatrick discussing the bill “The Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013″. Before clicking, we recommend turning your volume down, at least until the opening music stops…

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com

12 / Jul / 2013

VSGi Announces New Cloud Video Service – Fully hosted video for less than the cost of most cell phone plans

MCLEAN, Virginia – July 12, 2013 – Visual Systems Group, Inc. (VSGi), a nationwide leader in AV Integration, Telepresence and Hosted Video Conferencing, announced today its new cloud offering – VSGi Cloud Video Service.

VSGi Cloud Video Service is a fully hosted and managed multipoint video conferencing service that allows users to meet and collaborate with colleagues and customers in stunning 1080p HD video from any device – without any infrastructure or equipment to buy, install, or manage.

“We’re excited to offer VSGi Cloud Video to our customers. It’s a great solution for organizations looking to roll out business-class HD video conferencing to desktop and mobile devices – with minimal capital and operational expenditures.” said Donald K. Jones, Chief Executive Officer of VSGi. “The advantages of a cloud based video service are easy to see, and most importantly, users can concentrate on their business, not on managing video systems and networks.”

VSGi Cloud Video Service is fully redundant and interoperable with iPhone, iPad, Android, H.323 and SIP video systems. Several options are available to customize the service to the needs of the customer, including Audio and Room System Ports, Virtual Meeting Rooms, and Recording & Replay Services.

VSGi Cloud Video is delivered on a per user basis at a low monthly fee. There are no equipment fees, no setup fees, and no user license download fees. On a per user basis, Cloud Video Service is a fraction of the cost of most cell phone plans.

For more information, visit VSGi Cloud Video Service

About VSGi

VSGi is a nationwide leader in Video ConferencingTelepresenceAV Integration, and Hosted (Cloud) Video Services. VSGi leverages a cross-functional team of sales, engineering, project management and 24/7/365 technical support personnel to deliver the highest quality solutions to customers. VSGi’s unmatched experience in communications solutions provides its customers a fully integrated turnkey solution including design, configuration, project management and implementation, installation, testing, training and ongoing support.

VSGi is partnered with the world’s leading Video Conferencing Providers, including PolycomCiscoVidyo. For more information on VSGi, visit www.vsgi.com