Comparing Video Conferencing Platforms
A new era of remote work has emerged ever since the pandemic, and Americans have experienced a significant shift in workforce operations via video conferences, video meetings, virtual events, webinars, and other methods to get face-to-face collaboration with co-workers in virtual meetings real-time. As remote work becomes more normalized, there has been an increase in video conferencing services and providers that we have to choose from.
Comparing Video Conferencing Platforms
Here is a list of some of the best video conferencing software that we have seen.
Zoom is one of the most ideal video conferencing tools because of its ease of use and functionality across both iOS and Android mobile apps on mobile devices and a web browser. Both free plans and paid plans include HD video calls over cloud storage for virtual meetings, Zoom phone calls, screen sharing abilities, whiteboard, live streaming, the ability to schedule meetings with Chrome extensions, breakout rooms, meeting recordings, and more.
The free version of Zoom can be limiting as a video conferencing solution because online meetings are limited to 40 minutes, but the pricing for paid plans is very affordable for a wide variety of audiences. With the paid versions, team members can increase the number of participants per conference call.
Microsoft Teams is a great way to bring team members together via a chat-based collaboration tool. It is an all-in-one tool that allows video chat options directly from messaging, VoIP, cloud storage, file sharing, SharePoint, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint add-ons, screen sharing abilities and whiteboard applications during conference calls, integration of Skype for Business, and more.
Microsoft Teams is one of the best video conferencing options for organizations that host large virtual meetings of up to 300 participants at a time.
For small businesses or organizations of less than 10 total team members, Skype works well as a free video conferencing option to get started with online meetings. The free version of Skype offers free video calls, audio calls, messaging, and more. By paying for Skype credit or Skype subscriptions, users can be assigned local phone numbers to send SMS text messages or call over their desktops.
BlueJeans Meetings prides itself on the security behind its video and web conferencing systems as well as integrated productivity capabilities, such as interactive live streaming for webinars, demos, and virtual events, smart meeting software imbedded with meeting highlights, transcription, analytics, and the ability to connect to Microsoft Teams. With the BlueJeans App v2.14 and above on Mac and Windows, the moderator can set settings for meeting participants to record meetings as a designated highlight to be commented on by others. BlueJeans also has a transcription component that is done through the cloud storage, making it easy for participants to read through meeting conversations.
The former Google Hangouts application has been rebranded into Google Meet and is now an integrated component of Google workspace, G suite. Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive is also integrated into the platform, making it an all-in-one platform for users.
Google Meet allows free video conferencing abilities for up to 100 participants for up to 60 minutes. In the conference room, participants can text chat, use the raise hand feature, and screen share without having to pay for the pro version.
Cisco Webex is a great platform for webinars and demos. Webex online meetings are great for web conferencing for organizations that utilize Outlook because of its integration abilities. Moderators can invite attendees via email or in a chat to direct them to Webex meetings via their web browsers or VoIP without having to download the application on any device.
GoToMeeting is a user-friendly web conferencing software with the ability to share documents, HD video quality, screen sharing, and messaging. This software also has multiple integrations available, including Google Calendar and Chrome.
Slack is an instant messaging platform that can be used internally between co-workers. As a more casual messaging platform, channels can be created within the company. Employees can collaborate over a messaging platform for more immediate communication over desktop or mobile devices.
Which video conferencing platform should you use?
Overall, there are many collaboration tools available with pros and cons for each tool. Ultimately, make sure that the platform you pick adheres to your needs of maximum users per plan, built in meeting software, pricing, web support, and more. Many platforms offer a trial or demo option where users can try out the platform to make sure it’s functional for your needs.
Optimize your video conferencing platform
Once you decide what platform you will be using, make sure you get the most out of it by making sure you have stable internet connection and good equipment for optimal sound and video quality, such as microphones, cameras, and displays to fit the size of your meeting room.
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