Mar 06, 2014

What is a good, inexpensive unified videoconferencing system for a small business?

We have two offices that need to videoconference about once a week, and limited needs beyond that although occasionally something does come up. We need something that has better audio and video quality than some kid skyping with his buddies, which, I have to say, is exactly where we are now - skype, off the shelf webcam and mics. That’s not good enough any longer. We were quoted around $4500 per office for a system from Polycon and around $7000 for one from Cisco. Both look like a great systems but are much more than we were looking to spend. Any good options out there for less?

Google+ Hangouts might be worth considering.

" Get together over Video and Voice
Be together from anywhere

Sometimes you just need to laugh out loud. Turn any Hangout into a live video call with up to 10 friends or simply choose a contact to start a phone call from your computer. Who says you can’t be together even when you’re not? "

One new option that you might want to consider is Google’s new Chromebox for Meetings. It’s much less expensive than the options you mentioned, although to be fair, I haven’t personally used it so I can’t attest to how good it really it. Chromebox for Meetings would cost you $1000 for each location, so you would be looking at a significant cost difference. There was a blog post about it here on ITworld last month and there is also a white paper looking at the system that you might want to read.

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