While small businesses that are innovative are providers of technology are always good, this article is about how small businesses can benefit from the technology and innovations that are currently in the marketplace.
For many years teleconferencing was not that inexpensive and the quantity was not good enough for what some users needed. Often is was better to go to a office business centre to hold your teleconference, because the technology that could be found in one of these facilities was often far more advanced than what most small businesses would have available to them in their office or home office. Even if one businesses or meeting member had the right setup at one end, that did not say the setup was as professional at the other end.
The 1990′s brought about the advancement and development of video conferencing solution due to technical advances in Internet Protocol (IP) and also more efficient video compression technologies were developed that would permit desktop or PC-based videoconferencing.
Through free services and software, such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and NetMeeting video conferencing was brought to the mass public. While the video quality was was often choppy or even poor at best, people used it because of the price the price (FREE). As it became more adopted by the consumer market. It was now only a matter of years before video conferencing made its way to business computers.
It was not until the 2000′s when video conferencing evolved towards PC-based online meetings. Broadband or high-speed Internet access became more widely available at a price point that more homes and business were able to afford. The price of web cameras, the cost of PCs was minimal.
It was not until 2005 that through VoIP that video conferencing could be done over secure connections and multipoint video without having to use several telephone lines at $30 to $100 per line per hour.
Then in 2012, Google introduced Google Hangouts. This service was part of the Google + service and popular among those who are internet enthusiasts. Along came Feb 2014 and Google and Asus released a new device for business video conferences called Chromebox For Meetings. As you can imagine, businesses flocked to a device that only costs $999, which is hugely less expense than many business-class video conference systems, which can run thousands of dollars.
Using Google Hangouts with the Chromebox, up to 15 people can join the video meeting from their laptops, tablets or smartphones using their Google+ account. People with Google+ accounts can use a limited version of Hangouts for free. But for a low monthly fee, businesses can have a fully functioning version of Hangouts that offers more advanced uses.
Watch for our upcoming articles on how technology and innovations are impacting small business, including HD action cams, smart phones, cloud computing, smart phones as POS (point of sale), small business apps, VoIP and that small business equalizer – Social Media.