What are the best video conferencing services for your business?
Meetings. There’s a word that can elicit a host of different emotions from people. But one thing’s certain, running a business without meetings is impossible.
Advanced video conferencing has made workplace communication almost effortless - whether you’re discussing issues with remote workers or you’re talking to clients ‘face-to-face’ without travelling hundreds of miles.
A mobile app can really help you stay connected to members of your team who are always on the move. Some say the future of HR lies in the video conferencing interview.
But like any digital service, there are lots of apps to choose from. Today we’ll look at a few of our favourites, all of which are compatible with Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows. You can weigh up which video calling software might work best for your business.
Teams takes over the mantle from Skype for Business as Microsoft’s preferred platform for offering video call functionality.
It is actually much more than a video conferencing app, with advanced messaging being at its forefront. You can also share files and collaborate in real-time.
Microsoft already has a cast-iron reputation in video calling thanks to its much earlier acquisition of Skype (which launched way back in 2003). And this reputation is borne out with the pretty rich feature set in Teams. The free version gives you functionality to host calls with up to 250 people and share your screen.
But many businesses will already have access to the paid version which is included with O365. This provides handy scheduling functionality, polling, in-built note taking and a good set of host admin controls like turning cameras off and on.
While being included within the Office 365 suite of programs must be seen as a major plus for Teams, some people may be turned off by the fact that you have to access video conferencing through mobile or desktop apps rather than through a web browser. That said, it’s not that difficult to go through an app once it is set up.
Not long after the launch of Skype, GoToMeeting followed with an offering of its own.
GoTo is a great fit for smaller offices that want an easy-to-use app. Video is HD and audio is good. You can start a meeting in just one click and the number of online meetings is unlimited. Some users have said the requirement for an access code or pin can make getting started difficult, but it’s a useful security measure.
GoTo shares a lot of its features with Teams and Zoom, an app we’ll look at next, which is an excellent position for the user to be in. We’re spoilt for choice! However, we should point out polling is not an option here and nor is the ability to ‘raise a hand’ during meetings.
For up to three attendees, GoTo is free to use. All pricing plans come with a free 30-day trial as standard.
Zoom is a fairly new player in the video conferencing game. Launched in 2011, Zoom was created to ‘improve the quality and effectiveness of communications forever.’
It seems to have done the trick and is now a popular choice for many.
It’s affordable (the basic plan is free) and users like its usability. There aren’t any access codes to complicate things.
You can save meetings and generate transcripts, which you can then search for key words. There’s not currently an option to run polls but like Teams, screen sharing, conference recording, and annotation are all available.
Up to 1,000 participants can be supported at one time. You also get HD video and the option to ‘raise a hand’. Some users, however, have pointed out that sound quality is not always up to scratch. It’s not a problem if you only need great video, but certainly something to try first in the free trial.
The right conferencing app for your business will be the one that offers the functionality you need, at the right price. Try a few and see which one works. Whichever you choose, we hope our insight has given you food for thought.
There’s often more to Office 365 than meets the eye, like the included access to full Teams. If you want more of our tips to get the most from it, just give us a call.
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