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Video Conferencing Pricing & Plans – Subscriptions, Hardware & Hidden Costs

Lifesize Go faces

Looking for pricing for a Video Conferencing solution?

Want to compare pricing of Zoom, Lifesize, Poly, Cisco and Teams?

Or just looking to budget for your future business communications?

Whatever pricing you need for your Video Conferencing deployment, as independent and accredited integrators, we can swiftly provide an extremely competitive quote, often at the lowest price when compared like-for-like, with discounts based upon our expert levels of accreditation with all of the leading Video Conferencing vendors. Get pricing now, if you’re ready. But before you get pricing, we urge you to read this so you can fully make sense of the prices and quotes you receive. 

So what’s the Price of Video Conferencing, Anyway?

So, what is the price of Video Conferencing you ask? Well, we could start with free. Free Video Conferencing is available, and it works. And there’s many vendors providing free, or freemium solutions – just look at Lifesize, with Lifesize Go and Zoom’s basic subscription model. We could give you a price of Video Conferencing as a simple £4 per user per month. We could also tell you that a Video Conferencing system is £3500, or that a room Video Conferencing solution is £8,000. It could also be that a fully fledged Telepresence room could cost around £65,000+. But all of those costs would be quite irrelevant. Because what do these prices even mean? What do they include?

Cisco WebEx Room Kit Pro in large boardroom

Finding pricing of Video Conferencing solutions on the internet is simple. Do a quick Google or Amazon search and there are plenty of box shifters giving you “the best price available” for Video Conferencing. But making sense of the huge range of different prices given is not a simple task. Whilst marketing teams are great at making their prices as small as possible for their Video Conferencing offerings (for example, showing subscriptions as per user, per day, to have lower pricing than their competitors, per user, per month price), each individual offering usually differs hugely – with many often omitting vital licences and options you need for your particular space, certain peripherals (that will make the solution ultimately work), required hardware and software, other related cloud subscriptions and professional services such as maintenance (which is often mandatory).

While Video Conferencing becomes much more mainstream and prevalent throughout businesses and organisations around the world, it’s important to recognise that every business has its own strategies, outcomes and challenges when it comes to communicating, and therefore the answer to “how much will Video Conferencing cost us?” is much less straightforward than you may think. So how do we calculate the costs?

zoom-meeting-in-conference-rooms

Calculating the Cost of Video Conferencing

To calculate the cost of Video Conferencing, we have to understand the different types to consider. 

Free Video Conferencing 

Cost – Free!

 

“Sign up, it’s free!”. “Start Video Conferencing today, free!” If you’re searching around for the cost of Video Conferencing, i’m sure you’ve seen more than a few of these kind of phrases already.

But Video Conferencing solutions suitable for a business are rarely free. Although they provide a taster to what video conferencing can provide, it would be silly for anyone to think that a business would offer another business a solution to improve their business, with all the business requirements available, without any money being exchanged.

Yes, they can be great for one to one chats, non-vital conversations or one-man bands, but free Video Conferencing often just provides a subset of features, a “dumbed down” package with limits on usage, and limited support services. Reliability is generally the biggest issue we hear when organisations get in touch about upgrading from a free service to a more professional paid for offering. Quality can be compromised, yes, however this has improved over the years and is often good enough for much peer-to-peer video chats. However for a business, where security, resilience and interoperability may be of importance, or where video is being used as a regular form of communication, free is just not a suitable option – they are technically designed to get individuals hooked on “personal plans” and use the “land and expand” approach, often resulting in extreme costs over time, once you’re reliant on their video platform but need all the additional features a professional platform offers. 

Lifesize Icon Series in Small Meeting Room

Don’t expect any Service Level Agreements, uptime guarantees, or quality information if the service goes down. There’s no guarantee the features you use today will be there tomorrow either – in fact, it’s common to see highly used features being removed at a later date to push you up the subscription plans. Nice? Not really. Fair, unfortunately yes. 

However it can of course be a good chance to try out a platform before rolling it out. Some of the most commonly used Free Video Conferencing solutions are Zoom (Personal Plan), Lifesize (Go), Skype, Join.me and GoToMeeting Free.

However we’d recommend trying a Free Trial instead – giving you the features of the more professional solutions – for example, you can get a 14 day Lifesize Trial for free here, and you don’t even have to add your Credit Card details for this one. 

Polycom demonstrating Pano and Centro at the EEC

Cloud Based Video Conferencing

Cost – A range of subscription levels, starting from around £10 per month per user, up to £40 per month per user, depending upon the features needed and size of company. Options and add-ons of course, add to the cost per month. 

Cloud-based Video Conferencing, often put into the “Software-as-a-Service” category, is a subscription service hosted and managed by a service provider, rather than you hosting your own infrastructure on-premise. Cloud-based conferencing is the most modern and useful way of accessing Video Conferencing, and though some may see this as obvious, organisations must recognise that this £15 per month per user subscription is generally just the platform for communicating via – the network, virtual meeting spaces etc – and doesn’t include the devices such as Video Conferencing endpoints in the meeting room (see below). 

Note: VideoCentric provide “Device-as-a-Service” subscriptions that combine both the cloud service and the hardware in a simple monthly subscription, to help combat the need for some one off up-front costs and some subscriptions, making it much more simple on the finances. 

These subscription packages are often based on a company size basis – for small organisations, you can simply subscribe to the smallest subscription package, but for larger organisations, the number of employees is often taken into account (whether they will be using it or not!) and an organisation must pay per user, for all the business employees. 

This is true for many subscription solutions these days, so be careful not to get stung by the baseline figures given – a “per user per month” price advertised may not be applicable to your business, or may be applicable to every single person in your business.

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Public Cloud Solutions for Video Conferencing

The Cost of Cloud Based Video Conferencing – An Example

An example of a basic subscription package at £12 per month per user of one of the current leaders of Video Conferencing SaaS includes up to 100 participants in a meeting, admin controls & reporting, and online support (not via the phone). The platform provides a simple-to-use quality conferencing solution, but only at the desktop between individuals, not meeting rooms. It provides a little recording, but if recording’s important, you’re likely to need more space. 

Want to bring a meeting room into the conference, and you’re looking at adding £39 per month to this cost. Need webinars, add £32. What about the cost of extra recording storage? Another £32. Adding up? Indeed. Perhaps it could have been best to have subscribed to a package which in fact looked more costly upfront, but may have included all of these features already. 

If you’re not sure, we can help work this out and give you the best quote for the tools and features you need – that’s what were here for and what we’re experienced in doing! If you want help working out which would be best for you at your needs and budget, just give us a call on 0118 9798910. 

BSUH Lifesize Video Conferencing dual screen display

Video Conferencing Hardware for the Meeting Room

Cost – £500 – £10000. Or even up to £50,000 for a specialised design and all the mods & cons. 

Many businesses looking for a quote for Video Conferencing are looking for the pricing of meeting room Video Conferencing systems and not just the cloud subscription to enable connectivity and communication between desktops and locations. Video Conferencing systems have come a long way over the past 20 years, dropping in price to a far more affordable cost for the masses. Quality and features have improved, costs have dropped (by not just thousands but tens of thousands). 

Still, there’s a broad range in prices, and good reason for it too. 

If you simply asked us to provide pricing of a meeting room Video Conferencing solution, to compare against another integrators price of a meeting room system, I could (if I was that way inclined) give you the lowest quality, stripped back device, designed for 1-2 people meeting spaces, with basic audio and no technology to make it a full solution (such as a display or wires etc). I could select cheap USB peripherals, not questioning the size or shape of the room, the acoustics, the data sharing needs or aesthetic needs. And I could ignore the licences and connectors needed to make it work with your platform. (Sounds awful, but we do see this on a regular basis when quotes have been provided by unaccredited resellers, just to win a deal). I could give you a price of £500

But if I took into consideration the needs of your business, the challenges you were trying to solve, the space the system would be installed within & the user and IT needs, any other communication platforms you may be using across your business, and ensure I quoted a future proof solution, they I may give you a price ranging from around £3,500 plus of course for services such as installation. 

Yes, the upfront cost is higher. But the value is far bigger. It’s a solution that works for your space, meets your needs and goals, provides your business far more features to enable you to be far more productive, improve communications and see a far better return. Systems not up for the job usually barely get used and sit collecting dust, and that £500 will soon be looking like an expensive mistake! 

Cisco WebEx room Kit Pro

Perhaps a lecture theatre or an operating space would cost more. A room requiring multiple cameras and displays, interactive 4K monitors, a programmed touch screen interface for the Executives and specialist audio integration, more again. But it’s vital businesses look at long term value, rather than short term cost. Of course, get the balance to fit with your budgets, but don’t skimp without understanding what you’re not going to have access to if you go for the cheaper product. 

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How do we make a guesstimate? 

We can’t, until we’ve had at least a little chat. It would very rarely be right until we know at least a little about what you are trying to do, where, and how. But to give you some ideas of some general Video Conferencing costs, here’s an example of some figures (approximate & average SRPs) to show you a little more.

Small Room Video Conferencing Cost – Example One

A Small dedicated HD Huddle Room system for 1-3 people inc. integrated PTZ camera and a single microphone, suitable Poly Huddle Room Trio and Video Conferencing system with 4 participantsfor a single display £2,400 with one year maintenance & support package £500 plus professional deployment service £400. You need a display for the video – around £650 for a professional monitor with a suitable warranty.  Want to share wirelessly? For a wireless presentation system, you’d be looking in the region of £500 – £900 too. 

You may not need all of these things, but other costs can include brackets, cable management, wide angle lenses (dependent upon your room shape) and of course, any connectors or licences to your chosen cloud platform, or indeed, for integration into your UC platform such as Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business or G-Suite. 

Meeting Room Video Conferencing Cost – Example Two

A medium sized meeting room for 6-12 people is likely to need not just the meeting room system, but additional audio Video Conferencing multipoint conferencing in the meeting roomand touch controllers to make the system usable too. The world is now in 4K, and for a new 4K Video Conferencing system, you’d be looking at SRP around £7000. Add to that a 65″ 4K professional monitor with interactive touch, which you’d expect to see approximately £1800  and the other peripherals, professional services, integrations and additional AV solutions that you require, and you could be looking in the range of £10 – 12,000. 

Note: If all this sounds out of budget completely, remember we’ve got a limited handful of almost brand new ex-demonstration systems, and some 2nd hand Video Conferencing endpoints that we can do some extremely fantastic deals on – just give us a call ASAP on 0118 9798910 to see if we have any suitable available for you today. 

USB based Video Conferencing – is it cheaper?

A lot of vendors now promote USB based peripherals as a solution for cheap Video Conferencing within the meeting room. 

For some rooms and some organisations, these USB based solutions are a great solution for bringing Microsoft Teams into the meeting room, or for connecting into the Zoom conferencing cloud. Many USB devices, paired with the right displays, such as the Logitech Rally, Poly Studio, Aver and Huddly cameras do a fine job for small meeting spaces (and can all be tried, demonstrated and tested at VideoCentric’s HQ side-by-side), with their integrated cameras and microphones/speakers, but don’t include features for larger spaces, especially when related to audio and correction of video (i.e. when experiencing a fish-eye effect).  For a USB based all-in-one device of this type, you may be looking at around the £1000 – £1500 mark for something that is reliable, good quality and supportable. You’ll of course need to add the additional AV items and services too. 

For larger rooms, USB deployments are far more tricky, unreliable unless extremely well planned and thought out, can look messy (with many cables – for example one Lenovo system requires 7 cables to be trailed to the device on the meeting room table), and can be far more costly than would first be expected. There are great devices that we integrate in meeting spaces for these types of deployments, including devices from Biamp and Nureva, however thoughtful planning is needed – a one-size-fits-all approach very rarely works. 

One of our solutions, the Huddle Buddy, is a tried and tested selection of USB devices, combined into a fully supported bundle. You can find out more about the Huddle Buddy here >> 

So Do You Now Know the Price of Video Conferencing?

It would be impossible for us to give you the real cost of Video Conferencing on a blog. We can give average prices for best-of-breed products and subscriptions, but there are so many variants, so many options, so many services and offerings, and so many vendors. Not any one system or solution does the same, and so like-for-like comparison is difficult, and basing your choices on price alone would likely result in something far more costly in the longrun. 

However what we can do is provide you a quote for the basics, and when you’re ready, discuss with us your needs and challenges so we can recommend the right solution for you, and then give you the best quote possible for the right products and services.

The best way to do this would be to have a quick call on 0118 9798910 – let us know what you are looking for and we can create a quote for you there and then. But if you’d rather not speak to a human straight away (and we don’t have salesmen type people by the way, we’re technology enthusiasts with a keen eye for Video based communications) then pop us an email or contact us on our contact page here – we’d love to hear from you and we’re certain we can help you achieve your goals, whether that be meeting a budget, rolling out one or two systems for huddle rooms, or deploying Video across your entire organisation. 

 

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