By Larry Lisser, President, ChannelStrength
Is it me or does it feel like for years now that we’ve been hearing about the future of video-conferencing? The “future” of video-conferencing, in day-to-day business activities has arrived as far as I’m concerned. We’re talking small business here not just for big enterprises.
I find myself in at least one to two video calls a day, which among other things – for someone who works alone at home – can make things a little less lonely. My clients and colleagues are remote so video calls turn what were once long and winding conference calls into shorter, more efficient meetings (maybe they don’t want to look at me for too long, so the call is shorter). But think for a moment about those tough negotiation calls – wouldn’t it help you to see the body language of your client or colleague as you chart your next move?
I recently talked with Peter Csathy, CEO of SightSpeed, an exciting start-up out of Berkley, CA.
SightSpeed offers free online video calling services for both consumers and small businesses. No equipment – except for web-cam – is necessary; just a download to your Mac or PC and you’re up and running. Once you have friends, family or clients who do the same, you’re ready to go. t
Like other similar services, SightSpeed is full service in that it offers the video, VoIP (from your computer) and instant messaging in the same package. All this is free for SightSpeed members talking (and seeing) one another.
There are many companies offering video conferencing, so I called Peter to better understand what made SightSpeed different.
Is SightSpeed different?
Well, while SightSpeed offers multi-party conferencing (included in a very inexpensive advanced plan) and a number of other very usable features (see below) the bottom line is video quality. Ever hear the Verizon ad – It’s the Network? Similar story here. A poor quality video conference call is not really much better than a good quality telephone call. In fact, it’s probably worse. But a great quality video call takes the cake. And, from the research that I have done – I use Skype for one – SightSpeed really does deliver higher quality, more dependable video transmissions. You can even move around without distorting the picture, something that makes the whole process seem much more natural.
Cool Features Worth Talking About
Call Recording: My interview with Peter included one other person. We were all in different cities and all working from home offices. But we did it on video and I have to say it made all the difference. I really felt like I had gotten to know Peter – not just talked to him. Cool factor: I was able to record the whole thing and watch it again and again before writing this article.
Trackable Video Message Delivery: For you Internet Marketing folks, think about the impact a recorded video would make versus an email or voice mail message that gets deleted or never forwarded on. SightSpeed even tracks delivery just like you’re used to with email.
I encourage anyone who hasn’t, to try video (SightSpeed or their competition) for collaboration and marketing purposes. It’s here to stay, so might as well get ahead.
Tip: When you go to buy your web cam (btw – some services included one), it’s worth the extra $25-$30 to buy at least the middle of the road version. Makes for better quality all around.
Larry Lisser is the President of ChannelStrength, a business development and marketing company that helps emerging communications companies define and build indirect sales channels for the SMB.
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