With so much workplace uncertainty, today’s organisations need flexible unified communications systems that sweat existing assets. For Microsoft Teams users, one smart way to deliver these is through what’s known as cloud video interop (CVI) solutions. CVI lets you run Teams meetings in all your existing, video-enabled conference and huddle rooms, making use of legacy hardware investments in Cisco, Poly, Lifesize and others.
Here are five ways we recommend testing Microsoft-certified CVI solutions:
Does the architecture align with your IT strategy?
First decide if you need a software-as-a-service (SaaS) or hybrid cloud solution. Pure SaaS solutions are faster to deploy because infrastructure and administration components are delivered as part of the service. Hybrid cloud solutions offer greater control over the service location and the infrastructure provider. However, this also adds more IT complexity and overhead.
How easy is it to configure and deploy?
Pure SaaS CVI takes only a couple of hours to deploy and includes all required infrastructure and software. Hybrid Cloud CVI requires you to configure a complex set of nodes and virtual infrastructure, which can interfere with your Teams rollout plan.
How easy is it for admins to update and manage?
Most admins have their hands full driving Microsoft Teams adoption. Any disruptions and downtime risk compromising change management efforts. Pure SaaS CVI software updates automatically with zero downtime. Hybrid Cloud CVI requires server-by-server updates that create outages, which must be planned for and communicated. Look for CVI solutions that include an analytics dashboard to simplify room management and provide meeting statistics.
Can users access a Teams meeting with one touch?
CVI solutions can provide a one-touch experience that makes it incredibly simple to join a Teams meeting. Having a consistent join flow across every room and location will streamline meeting access and lead to greater adoption of video meetings. Make sure that one-touch capability is part of your license, not an additional expense.
How flexible is the purchasing model?
Most Teams rollouts happen in phases, each with different timelines and resources. Flexible licensing lets organisations consume what is required, when, without committing to a large upfront deployment. Look for simple, service-based models with flexible procurement options. For CVI, this should include potential licenses for named hosts, enterprise-wide options, and concurrent connections.
These five tests are designed to help you choose a CVI solution that is certain to ease your Teams roll-out and raise adoption levels.
Paul Scholey is international senior vice president at BlueJeans by Verizon
This article was originally published in the Autumn 2020 issue of The Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.
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