Firewall to Firewall
The biggest challenges involved enabling video messaging with the two locations protected by a firewall: the Long Island head office and my remote office. Initially, we couldn't get any communications working between those two sites.
Finally, we resolved the issue by designating one machine in each locationone PC in New York, and my iMacas the designated video conferencing machine. Both firewalls are configured to open ports 1024 through 5000, and send incoming traffic to the appropriate machine on the local LAN. We can get video working now between those two machines (most of the time), but not between other PCs on those networks.
We're trying find a better solution, but to be honest, this limitation has dampened many employees' enthusiasm for the project; video will only be useful when it's on every desk. Now, although all telecommuters have it, and can converse with me, there's only one live site in New York.
Even when it does work, however, video IM hasn't proven to be as useful as hoped. Discounting the connection problems, the quality of the audio and video is suboptimal. The audio is much poorer than a telephone connection, even when headsets are being used. In particular, there's a latency (delay) that is annoying. The volume always seems to be too quiet, with a signal-to-noise ratio that makes the audio difficult to understand. There's a lot of "What? Can you say that again?" during the conferences.
Worse, the video steam sometimes freezes for a few seconds at a time, ruining the "suspension of disbelief" that lets you think that you're actually talking face-to-face. With E-mail and text IM, you know you're on the computer; with video, you don't want to think about it.