PC-based or “soft” conferencing is any type of conferencing which utilizes an application or program rather than a dedicated hardware unit. There are many well-known soft clients available such as Skype, Facetime, google hangouts, etc. Soft conferencing has a variety of use cases, from companies just starting out with video conferencing to enterprise level deployments of 1000+ users.
Soft conferencing is an excellent way to dip your toes into video conferencing, all you need to get started is a computer, camera, headset and a reliable internet connection. You can start with a service like skype but if you’re serious about it your best bet is through a company like Polycom, Microsoft or Lifesize. All of these companies offer application based conferencing with rich feature sets and dedicated support. If you are just starting out but want to enable video conferencing in your conference rooms we recommend investing in a PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) Camera, speakers and tabletop or ceiling installed microphones. If your budget is a bit smaller you can also opt for a fixed, or manually adjustable camera that includes microphones.
For customers who have already adopted video conferencing in there conference rooms, soft conferencing is oftentimes the next step. The idea is to bring video to each employee’s desktop or laptop, giving them the ability to conference across office locations and stay connected with remote employees without having to book a conference room. In this scenario we recommend that each user be outfitted with an HD webcam and headset to ensure high quality video and clear audio.
Video conferencing is by far our largest area of expertise. Please check out some of our others blogs and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have!