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What is a concierge video service? Are white glove services the same?

What is a concierge video service? Are white glove video conferencing services the same thing?

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Concierge and white glove services are premium levels of service that managed service providers (MSPs) offer for either managing a company's video conferencing infrastructure or providing a totally outsourced experience for all video equipment, multipoint control units (MCUs), operator services and support. "Concierge" and "white gloves" are not technical terms with strict definitions, so it's important to understand exactly what is being offered and what the service levels are.

Concierge and white glove video service offerings generally manage the scheduling and launching of video calls, greeting participants, recording calls, troubleshooting callers with access problems, providing any production services such as rearranging image locations on a bridge screen, etc. In addition, such services usually provide endpoint management, run test calls, coordinate technical issue resolution with endpoint manufacturers or service agents, and open trouble tickets with the enterprise's network team.

If the organization only has a few video systems that are used exclusively by executives, a managed service contract can be relatively straightforward. If the enterprise is diverse and has systems ranging from immersive telepresence suites, to room systems, to desktop clients on laptops and tablet, then there will likely be a need to differentiate which services are to be provided to which users.

A few questions potential users of managed video services should consider asking include:

  • What services are to be provided?
  • Is there a list of users who can contact the provider to request services?
  • What are the hours of operation? Is weekend/holiday service available? What about international access?
  • Is there an escalation path for technical or service problems?
  • Does the purchaser have its own network monitoring so that performance issues cannot be blamed on our network?
  • Are there systems that won't be covered by the service, such as nonexecutive-level conference rooms?
  • What are the costs for connecting noncontract systems into a bridge to join contracted systems?

MSPs can ease the entry into the video conferencing world for those organizations that have limited experience. The service can include providing equipment so that capital expense is not required and the service becomes pay-as-you-go.

Concierge video conferencing provides a rich, collaborative experience that can improve teamwork and communications across a widely dispersed organization. However, video is a demanding application that IT organizations are not always initially equipped to handle. Managed services, including concierge and white gloves service levels, can ease that entry and may provide a long-term solution for some.

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This was first published in August 2013

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