When the world moved online, video conferencing platforms and chat tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack became the primary means of business communication. According to Tom Talks, Microsoft Teams grew by 894% in total from the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 to June 2020.
While overall growth may slow, Teams usage of is expected to remain strong even once people head back into the office—meaning business leaders and IT need to make sure their existing office spaces are able to support this hybrid work environment.
As IT departments prepare today for what’s around the corner tomorrow, many are busy evaluating ways to enable Teams meetings without ripping and replacing their existing conference room hardware. For this, a cloud video interop (CVI), such as the BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams, is the answer.
- 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 organizations 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.
Choosing the right CVI is both critical to your overall strategy and should complement your Microsoft Teams implementation. The BlueJeans Gateway for Microsoft Teams simplifies the user experience and delivers integrated performance management to monitor quality and utilization of your Teams implementation.
To learn more, check out the eBook "5 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Cloud Video Interop Solution" and Test Drive a Teams Meeting with BlueJeans Gateway today.
*Editor’s Note: These tips originally appeared in The Record and have been republished with permission.