Tips and Training >> Definitions >> Outsourcing

What is outsourcing in Video Communications?

Outsourcing takes many forms, some direct and some indirect. Direct outsourcing includes the transfer of responsibilities and actions to 3rd parties that generally have specific skills, equipment and staffing depth to provide specialized services. This is often called "Professional Services" in documents related to outsourcing.

Professional Services for video communications networks generally include engineering and scheduling staff members to manage video conferencing and collaboration tools and systems. The skills required to effectively utilize video conferencing and collaboration systems with a high degree of success, or "uptime" are quite narrow. Consequently, a service provider that focuses in this area can often ensure a higher realized benefit from these tools than an organization can achieve for itself with employees alone.

What are Managed Services?

Other forms of outsourcing include electronic outsourcing such as when a company "hosts" a webcast or webinar. In this type of outsourcing, the provider of specialized services may offer a narrow set of services such as Internet broadcasting of a webcast. Most organizations do not maintain the networking infrastructure to support wide scale Internet broadcasts and so this area of specialization is highly focused and, in turn, valuable for organizations that use the Internet as a communications tool.

Outsourcing can also include remote staff support that provides services electronically by controlling or managing equipment through remote connections. An example of this is a remote engineering team that aids in setting up video conference or audio conference calls using a VPN or the Internet to access customer equipment.

These various forms of remote outsourcing are generally called "Managed Services".

Managed Services is the term used to define an outsourcing of services to parties that generally are not onsite as employees. Managed services can be thought of remote outsourced services wherein a services provider maintains a staff at a central location remote from a customer facility and yet maintains accountability for system performance such as video conference or webcast quality.

Advantages of Outsourcing

Meetings and events that rely on visual communications require constant daily staffing levels to function reliably. Outsource service providers do this well.

Outsourcing providers for video communications networks ensure their employees receive specialized training, regular job site rotation, vacation backup and sick time backup. All of these aid clients of the outsource provider by ensuring a constant staffing level for key video communications roles even through holiday and vacation periods. Generally, an outsourced provider of services can offer a much higher level of staffing support than organizations can with employees alone.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing

A good outsourcing provider rotates staff to ensure training levels are maintained and professional skills and work practices are kept at a constant high level. While this is a key benefit of outsourcing services to Professional Service companies, the reality is that co-workers at the work site generally prefer to work with as few people as possible in their roles.

The disadvantage of outsourcing in this case is caused by the very activity that is essential to maintaining a high degree of skill in the outsource personnel; namely, rotation of employees.

Overcoming this disadvantage of outsourcing personnel is best achieved with a well-planned calendar of training and vacation out-of-office rotation dates. When a client community understands the schedule for personnel, the disadvantage of outsourcing is greatly minimized.

TKO VideoConferencing Outsource Services

Professional Services to support video conference networks, streaming networks and collaboration are all available through TKO VideoConferencing. Contact us for more information regarding your needs for full time or part time assistance.

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