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There are two options to consider when it comes to deploying video conferencing: either software-only or hybrid video. A hardware-only approach to video conferencing doesn’t make sense in this day and age due to a more mobile workforce that conferences over multiple devices. However, hardware plays well in enterprises where a lot of the collaboration and communication happens in meeting rooms and over the phone. If that is the case for your organization, then hardware-based room systems will be a key component within your video conferencing deployment. Deploying video conferencing that is purely software-based is still challenging and not satisfactory.
The hybrid approach to video conferencing comes into play for multipoint control units (MCUs) -- which are traditionally hardware-based -- and gateways. My preference these days would be to use a cloud provider for them, making the question of software versus hardware moot.
That said, placing MCUs within the enterprise makes sense when multiple endpoints join the same conference from within the same local network. This way, you save on the bandwidth required going out to the Internet.
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