Conferencing comes in various forms – video, voice and even with new forms of media such as instant messaging. On their own each has benefits and limitations. The general benefits of conferencing are quite clear – group communications without the need to incur the costs (financial and time) and hassle of travelling.
In addition, each form of conferencing brings its own strengths – visual elements with video, power of speech with voice or audio conferencing, plus the benefit of being able to exchange data with instant messaging (IM). With unified communications (UC), you bring the strengths of all three together into an enriched collaborative environment, which not only adds to the user experience, but helps promote improved understanding and more productive conferencing.
Video alone adds an extra dimension to a unified communications solution. Historically video (and video conferencing in particular) has been a much maligned technology, reserved almost solely for management team conferencing suites. However, in a unified communications solution it brings real benefits to the user at the desktop level.