Don’t Be Handcuffed by Your Video Conferencing Vendor — Ask for Access to the Control System

You can’t drive a car without a key, and you can’t optimize your video conferencing system without access to the control system. Access to the control system allows you to customize the technology to meet your organization’s exact needs.

Unfortunately, some integration companies try to hold their customers captive by refusing to provide this information. This requires you to hire them when and if changes are needed. If the relationship sours for some reason, you can’t make programming changes because you have a car without a key. Your hands are completely tied.

What Should I Know About Access Control?

There are two basic types of control systems for video conferencing: those that are fully customizable and programmable, and those that are preconfigured, which limits what you can do in terms of customization.

With systems that are fully customizable, the integration company will provide a programming team on the front end to design the system’s code and its workflow. It is crucial that your organization is involved in this programming process from the project onset to prevent hassles down the road, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

At the end of the process, a reputable vendor will provide you with the basic, uncompiled source code that is required should you later decide to make changes to the system’s code, whether to improve the interface, design or workflow. Reputable vendors consider this information your property at this point because you have already paid for programming services, while other vendors hold the information hostage so you are reliant upon them for future changes.

Before you hire a vendor, make sure they will provide you with the uncompiled source code you will need for future access control. Otherwise, you might end up with a system that doesn’t function as expected with no ability to change it.

Why You Should Get Involved in the Programming Process

To ensure the video conferencing system that is designed meets your organization’s needs, it is crucial to have interaction with the programming team from day one. Otherwise, your system may not function as you had envisioned.

Sometimes even highly-skilled programmers approach the process from a very technical perspective, designing a system that is cumbersome and confusing. This essentially defeats the purpose of having a controlled interface.

If you’re involved in the programming process from the onset, however, you can work closely with the integration company to make sure they understand your needs and expectations. You can inform them right away if anything seems confusing or the system is cumbersome to use. You’ll avoid the hassle of unexpected problems, and you will limit the number of return visits programmers need to make to fix them.

VSGi and Polycom have partnered to provide organizations with outstanding, seamless and highly-secure collaboration solutions. Using Polycom’s industry-leading collaboration technologies, VSGi designs, sells and supports video conferencing and AV integration for conference rooms, board rooms, offices, educational facilities and more.

VSGi was name Polycom’s Global Services Partner of the Year for 2015.