Author: Vishal Brown, VP Professional Services

Technical difficulties might not be a big deal when you’re just using Skype to chat with distant cousins overseas. But when you rely on technology to support communication and collaboration across a large enterprise, your video conferencing tools better be suited for the task. Tools like Skype may suffice for personal use and even SMBs, but enterprise organizations need more substantial services with the quality, security and interoperability to handle video conferencing smoothly around the globe.

Skype also presents serious security concerns, suffering attacks by malware and individual accounts targeted by hackers. A breach like this not only jeopardizes the confidential information shared in closed business meetings – it could also pose a threat to the overall credibility of your organization.

Where Skype really falls short for enterprise use is control. It has some level of encryption, but beyond that, it’s difficult to control who is recording and who can access that recording. Also, in an enterprise setting, Skype can quickly devour bandwidth necessary for other business tasks. Because the IT department doesn’t typically control who can use Skype, the related management of bandwidth could get out of control.

Although video conferencing has come quite a long way from its first references in futuristic science fiction, many basic tools still come up short in business-grade quality. Professional users expect at least the same clarity they see at home on their HDTVs, so an appropriate enterprise video conferencing tool must offer high-definition quality, not to mention the user-friendliness of a home television.

Even the best free video tools come with limitations. Although Skype’s Chat and Presence capabilities have become more integrated recently with social media platforms like Facebook, there is still the challenge of securely integrating and interoperating with Enterprise UC solutions. For mass business use adoption, Skype needs to be part of the workflow and become core to Enterprise Communications-Enabled Business Process.

For customized video conferencing solutions that integrate security, collaboration and scalability, enterprise organizations must look beyond Skype and explore more reliable options that can meet global needs. With the right video tools to enhance enterprise communications, workflows can be simplified, collaboration and productivity can be unparalleled, and ROI can be significant.