Although emails are very quick and simple, nothing really outshines the strength of meetings that are face to face. As a matter of fact, face-to-face meetings have been proven to be more than thirty-four percent successful over communication via email. As more and more of the workforce start to work remotely while enjoying the flexibility in their schedules, the requirement for increase personal conversation could technically only be completed through video conferencing software.
Advantageously, there is a massive market that is loaded with countless choices for differing kinds of video conferencing software. The ideal match for your organization will rely on various factors, which would include the size of your workforce, the allocated budget, and any other unique specifications that might be a requirement of the company. Below is a breakdown of the main video conferencing software programs that are available on the market currently in 2021, which would assist you in determining the ideal fit for your organization.
Zoom is considered an authority figure in the world of video conferencing, due to the fact that there are several features incorporated into each plan. This platform in addition prides itself on audio that is crystal clear, a video that is flawless, and instantaneous sharing capabilities which make it a favorite among many for video conferencing. Zoom is excellent software for web meeting, for users that would like to effectively but simply connect with their clients and staff remotely. What is more, is that it contains Linux and Chrome Operating Systems support for enhanced flexibility and SSL or secure socket layer encryption which will certify that the communications are secure.
Each plan on the Zoom platform, except for Zoom Basic include whiteboarding; screen sharing from any device, including mobile phones; the unrestricted number of monthly meetings; high definition video and audio; messaging and chat facilities, both group and private; option for recording meetings; secure socket layer encryption; scheduling with Chrome extensions; scheduled or instant meetings; capability of joining a meeting via the telephone; breakout rooms and online support. The breakout rooms give the host of the meeting the ability to separate the meeting into several different sessions, as much as fifty at a time.
The Zoom platform plans are: Zoom Basic – free for all users, there is a maximum limit of one hundred participants and provides unrestricted group or one on one meetings for a maximum of forty continuous minutes; Zoom Pro – $14.00 US per month, per host, this plan is more geared towards smaller teams. This plan consists of all the features of Zoom basic, in addition to custom personal meeting ID and administrative control features. It also offers an unlimited meeting duration for a maximum of one hundred persons, plus one gigabyte of either M4A or MP4 cloud recording capacity; Zoom Business – $19.99 US per month, per host and is designed for small to medium-size businesses. A minimum of ten hosts will be supported and it offers all the features of Zoom Pro. This plan also provides workplace attentive features like optional vanity URL, telephone support, custom emails, single sign-on, and company branding. Zoom Enterprise – $19.99 US per month, per host, and is the ideal plan for larger organizations with a supported minimum of one hundred hosts. The Enterprise plan features everything that the Business plan has and can support up to two hundred participants per meeting. What is more, is that it offers unlimited storage in the cloud and a dedicated customer service manager in addition to bundle discounts on additional features and executive business reviews.
Advantages: The prices are competitively priced, the free account is quite generous, performance is exemplary, it is very easy to use, rich features for participants and hosts, and the track record for support resolution is rated very good. Disadvantages: Unable to add a meeting agenda or description to invite from the app, there is no toll-free dial-in number from either the United States or the United Kingdom, and the track record for the response to security and privacy concerns are mixed.
Microsoft Teams was developed for collaboration and seamless efficiency, it works to create shared workplaces through the combination of meetings, chat, business apps, and file sharing. It is fully compatible with all Office applications such as SharePoint and Word, and the infrastructure and its design allow for it to be outstandingly interactive. Additionally, Microsoft has made it possible to integrate Teams with Skype for Business. The reason for the development of Microsoft Teams was as a response to the rising number of collaboration tools, such as Slack, which have begun to take over the market in the past few years. This software platform is considered a workplace catch-all chat tool; however, the video conferencing feature is as persuasive and powerful. Video conferencing can be launched directly from a chat by any user.
Each plan offered by Microsoft Teams includes: File sharing and storage, online versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, can support as many as three hundred users, and provides unlimited web and telephone support any time of any day. Another special feature that is included in Microsoft Teams is that it permits each user to invite others that are not part of their active directory.
This video conferencing option is free to download, but it would have no commitment with limited functionality. However, for a more full-bodied experience, Microsoft Teams is offered as an element of Office 365 Business Basic for $5.00 US per month, Office 365 Business Standard for $12.50 US per month, per user, or it is also available through Office 365 Enterprise E3 at a cost of $20.00 US per month, per user, this then unlocks the full library of features. These features include: Live Broadcasts – which allows the users to go live in order to reach a vast audience, have the capacity to host webinars, all-hands meetings, and presentations with as many as 10,000 internal or external participants to your company; Online Meetings – the ability to host teleconferences, web conferences, and video meetings and utilize features such as note-taking, scheduling, file uploading, desktop sharing and chat messaging. Audio Conferencing – ability to join meetings using telephones or dial anyone directly using the Microsoft Teams feature and included in the meetings is a dial-in number spanning cities globally, making it accessible to mobile users and persons that might not have a reliable internet connection.
Advantages: It is tightly integrated with other Microsoft Office apps, it is highly customizable, it is included in the Microsoft 365 business accounts and there are several integration options. Disadvantages: Compartmentalized design provides an air of regulation and rule-following which might limit open dialogue and it is most effective in a Microsoft-centered environment.
Although GoToMeeting is no longer the leader in the world of video conferencing, it still remains one of the most polished remote meeting software with so many features that would gratify the requirements of most business environments. The GoToMeeting is an extremely user-friendly software and has several features that the competitors do not have, such as, raise hand feature and polling. What is more, this video conferencing software permits its users to have unrestricted video meetings and these meetings are secured with end-to-end encryption. This is an excellent option for organizations with multinational or international connections and specialists with international contracts and clients.
Each plan in the GoToMeeting portfolio includes these features: High Definition video, 24/7 customer support, messaging, unlimited meetings, web audio, which does not require a phone, screen sharing from tablets, desktops, and mobile devices, and security. The sophisticated web entry and video conferencing tools provide a heavy-duty substitute for Skype, Facetime, and Hangouts. It also has one of the most competitive pricing formats currently available on the market.
The plans for GoToMeeting attempts to cover any type of budget from a small business to an enterprise: Free – this could accommodation a maximum of three participants, the features include, one-click meetings, web audio, and screen sharing; Starter – this plan is offered at $19.00 US per month and consist of all the features of the free plan, plus high definition video conferencing and dial in the conference line and could support as much as ten participants. Pro – $29.00 US per month and could accommodate as many as fifty participants, all the features of the Starter plan are included, in addition to mouse and keyboard sharing, drawing tools, call me, mobile apps, personal meeting rooms, and recording. Plus – has the capacity to accommodate up to one hundred participants at a rate of $49.00 US per month. It has all the features of the Pro plan, plus an active directory in addition to a Sightboard.
Advantages: Workable on all platforms, solid feature set, and smart assistant, large attendee numbers per plan, and unrestricted cloud recording. Disadvantages: Does not have a translation to other languages for transcription, background blurring needs a separate application, the desktop version has a delay in UI design and webinar features are in a separate product.
This video conferencing platform is available as an integrated part of the Google G Suite software. All users have the complete range of Google products utilizing their individual email addresses as their home base and one-click feature to a meeting. Any person with a free Google account has the ability to launch an online meeting with the capabilities of supporting as many as one hundred participants and the meeting can last for as long as one hour.
Schools, Businesses and other organizations could take advantage of the paid plans, which include video meetings with as many as 250 participants, internal or external, plus streaming live to a massive 100,000 viewers within a single domain. During a meeting, Google Meet automatically detects the video feed of the speaker and displays it prominently so as to hold the viewers’ attention, however viewing as a gallery is also an available option. Recently, Google has upgraded Meet to remain competitive, by improving the noise reduction and sound quality along with enhanced video quality and minimized bandwidth; it also provides amalgamations with various applications across several desktops and mobile operating systems.
There are three plans available for Google Meet, these include the Free plan, Essentials, and Enterprise. Free – offers one on one meetings that can last up to 24 hours, group meetings are limited to one hour, and the maximum number of participants is one hundred, there is no limit on meeting per month, layouts are adjustable and screen sharing is also permitted. Google Workspace Essentials – offered at $8.00 US per month, per active user, all features of the free plan are available, plus, group meetings have a time limit of 24 hours and it can support up to 150 participants, there is dial-in phone numbers, recording, breakout rooms, attendance reports and live closed caption. Google Workspace Enterprise – you will have to contact the Google sales team for the pricing on this plan, however, it provides all the features of the Essentials plan, in addition, it accommodates up to 250 participants per meeting, plus allows for 100,000 viewers on a live stream, intelligent noise cancellation and 24/7 online community forums and support and a designated Google advisor.