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Desktop Versus Room Video Conferencing

The Company-Wide Deployment

Welcome to the Video Conferencing VERSUS. Today we are discussing the choice between a Desktop and a Conference Room system deployment for your organization.

So you want to deploy Video Conferencing in your company and you have been tasked with choosing whether to buy a system for your conference room, a personal system for each user, or both. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can rest assured that we will help you to fully explore your options in this article.

Making the most out of your Video Conferencing investment means that you should use it as frequently as possible. Managing your investment may mean that you have to stay within a budget. How do you choose between your options to get the most out of Video Conferencing?

Room-Based System Only

Most people think of Room-Based systems when they consider deploying a Video Conferencing solution. This is generally the pricier of solutions, and it is important to consider the benefits and drawbacks to this option.



One Point to Manage

We all know that technology has occasional issues. With a room system, there is only one new piece of equipment to incorporate and manage for your IT department. This is especially helpful when the IT department is also the CEO, CFO, and Sales Manager – especially if that person is you!

Lower Bandwidth Requirements

When you have one new rider on the network, it is easier to accommodate than, say, twenty new users. Justifying the purchase of more bandwidth is easy, at least for us! Sometimes, though, that is just not possible – whether it is a time constraint or a limitation of your physical location, you may not have access to the bandwidth you need for your immediate Video Conferencing deployment.

More Control

As with any new toy, um… technology, you may not be very apt to share with just anyone. By having only one piece of equipment, you have better control over who gets to use it, when, and how.

Camera Control

With the room-based system, you have a plethora of camera control options including presets, allowing the far end to control the camera, zoom, and adding subsequent cameras for whiteboards and physical objects such as manufacturing prototypes.



Scheduling Conflicts

Let’s face it – Video Conferencing is going to change how you do business. If you disagree, make sure to check out, “Benefits of Video Conferencing,” to learn all the ways that video can increase productivity and enhance your business’ bottom line. If you have multiple people who need the room, how do you manage the scheduling? Will you employ a software-based scheduling client? Will you pay the manufacturer to manage your Video Conferences? What if a client meeting runs late? Are you willing to risk missed opportunities by rushing a call, being late to a meeting with a client, or accidentally inviting a client onto an in-progress video call?

Dual-use room

Most organizations do not have a conference room set aside specifically for Video Conferencing. This means that you will have to share the space with video meetings and non-video meetings. Now you have to consider managing meetings on your own to accommodate all the needs for this one multipurpose room. Who gets priority? What if someone forgets to log a meeting and you have the Video Conferencing system set to auto-answer – you may have a client in the meeting room and his competitor dialing-in unexpectedly and everything will be seen.

Desktop-Based Systems Only

The direct alternative to having a Room-Based system is to deploy Video Conferencing at the individual user level. This means that each relevant person will have his or her own system for use in business interactions with clients, vendors, and investors.



No Scheduling Conflicts

If every employee has access to Video Conferencing at his desk, scheduling conflicts can be avoided altogether. Employees will be more likely to use the technology when it is readily available. You may see a faster ROI when each employee is encourage to use the Video Conferencing solution during the normal course of business.

Lower Cost of Entry

Desktop solutions offer a lower cost to deploy. There is recurring cost associated with both Room- and Desktop-based solutions, so you should not try to validate the one-time cost without considering your year-after-year costs.



More Points to Manage

When you have twenty users with new technology, you must invest man hours to set them up. Fortunately, the software clients are very user-friendly and most technologically-inclined people can handle the basic steps. You will still have to import contacts and set user preferences and adjust the peripherals settings – suck as your fancy webcam and speaker phone.

Lack of Camera Control

If you are using a webcam as your main source of video input, you are very limited with what you can do. There is a privacy shutter and that is about it. All adjustments must be done manually, and should be handled prior to any video calls.



The true spirit of productivity sings when you choose to deploy both the Room- and Desktop-Based systems. This is the optimal configuration for true collaboration because you can choose to hold client meetings at the individual desks and larger meetings in the conference room. There are still PROs and CONs.


Each person has access to Video Conferencing on-demand. They will not have to wait for the conference room to become available in order to reach-out to a client on a personal level. At the same time, if the employee needs to incorporate a whiteboard or a physical object, such as a model, in the conversation they can use the Room-Based system with the enhanced camera.


There is an increased cost associated with the two-type deployment. There is such a great ROI that this CON should not keep you from considering using both.

After reading-through the benefits and drawbacks of both the Room- and the Desktop-Based solutions, you should read our other articles to learn about your options in greater detail. Be sure to also check out the “Benefits to Video Conferencing,” for creative ways to use Video Conferencing to increase your ROI. Contact us for more information at 1(855) 820-8006 or [email protected]