Decode the jargon with our business video conferencing glossary

Posted by: Schepisi - Monday, August 10, 2015

There’s no doubt about it: there’s a lot of business jargon out there. Sometimes it’s needed when talking with like-minded individuals and corporations, but other times, it’s really just a headache trying to navigate our way through all these technical terms.

Because we at Schepisi are focused on the simplistic quality that Lifesize video conferencing provides our clients, we expect people to be able to understand it just as simply when they’re learning about it, too!

We want to explain some of the most common video conferencing terms to clear the fog and educate. In simple terms, we hope you better understand the fundamentals of a technology that can streamline business communication, can take place anywhere in the world from any device, and can save dramatically on business travel costs.


Bandwidth is a data transfer rate. The better (or higher) your bandwidth, the higher resolution and audio quality you will experience.

Free video conferencing services suffer patchy bandwidth resulting in pixilation and broken or delayed audio.

Bring Your Own Device:

Employees can choose to use their own personal device (like their smartphone or tablet) for business purposes.

BYOD expands the reach of video conferencing, confirming that we do not need to be chained to the office desk to participate in a video conference, meeting, or presentation.

BYOD is a movement exploding not only throughout business organisations, but in schools, too.


In terms of video conferencing, “in the cloud” refers to VC software rather than hardware.

Cloud video conferencing requires no on-premise hardware; all you need is an internet connection!

Cloud video conferencing suits businesses with a smaller budget and no dedicated IT teams. Remote workers can also feel more connected with regular video conferencing meetings.

Data sharing:

Bring meetings to life and say goodbye to boring conference calls with data sharing!

Rich visuals like presentations, word documents, and slideshows allow meeting hosts to better engage their participants. Presenters and participants can switch between screens as they wish.


The endpoint is the video conferencing equipment a host uses. Endpoints can also be referred to as endpoint controls or simply accessories.

Video conferencing cameras, microphones, phones, micpods, and softphones are all examples of video conferencing endpoints.

An endpoint is also referred to as “the end of the line”.

In on-premise video conferencing, the end-point is the physical hardware and controls, whereas in cloud video conferencing, it is the software on your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile.


The end user is the person on the receiving end of the video conference call. They may also be referred to as a participant (or participants for meetings with multiple end-users).

Meeting layout:

Multiway calls are tidily organised so you can see all your participants at the same time. There are a number of meeting layouts available through Lifesize video conferencing, depending on the numbers of users in a call, as well as whether you are sharing documents on your screen.

See the layout of our meeting below? (Looks good, doesn’t it!)

Schepisi Lifesize video conferencing meeting set-up.

On-premise hardware:

On-premise hardware is just that: it is the traditional mode of video conferencing, where equipment dwells on-site – at your premises.

So who would invest in on-premise video conferencing?

Businesses with a robust IT team and generally require a fixed video conferencing set-up benefit from on-premise hardware. A business will internally purchase and manage the infrastructure and the endpoint controls.


Video conferencing software is often referred to as “cloud”, that is, a

It is ideal for clients and organisations who require a more flexible set-up and are often on-the-move, in different locations, or have a number of remote or off-site employees.

Cloud video conferencing is a simple solution that requires minimal set up. Its pay-as-you-grow basis is great for businesses that do not want to pay for infrastructure or do not have an IT team capable of maintaining a system. Cloud software is managed by the vendor.

Cloud video conferencing is a pivotal driver of the BYOD trend in the workplace.

Unified communications:

UC is an industry buzzword that describes all real-time communication methods.

Using a myriad of technologies helps us to stay connected internally and externally both at work and socially.

Software like instant messenger, voice, and video conferencing to keep in immediate touch with employees, clients and partners.

Unified communications solidifies the notion of information on demand and instant communication between individuals and groups.

Web conferencing:

Web conferencing is quite a general term that describes a large number of communication methods and tools conducted online. Where video conferencing truly differs from web conferencing is the dynamic way that two groups or users can collaborate in real-time not only through audio and visual means but thorough file sharing, document editing, and more.

A web conference combines audio with pictures. Put that way, it is remarkably different to the dynamic, interactive nature of a video conference.

Now a web conference can be recorded and distributed, but in it’s live form it lacks the features of a video conference, which these days are based around collaboration. Every participant has a seat at the meeting and can seethe faces of all others. File sharing and live document editing move video conferencing into a league of its own above the more basic web conference.

Other blogs you might be interested in:

➡ On-premise vs. cloud PART I: why choose on-premise video conferencing?

➡ On-premise vs. cloud PART II: why choose video conferencing in the cloud?

➡ Collaborating with partners and working across time zones: how to maximise productivity

By the way...

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