The audiovisual presence that video conferencing delivers also allows for better interactions between employees and managers. Video conferencing can be done from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection, there is no need to wait and no requirement to get everybody in the same meeting room. These tips will help you know what factors to consider when selecting a video conferencing tool for your organization.
What Does Your Company Need?What your company needs and desires from the video conferencing service should be one of your top priorities when deciding which one to use. Consider issues such as how you plan to use the video conferencing service, how many people will simultaneously use it and what the length and scheduling of the calls will be.
You may also wish to keep in mind whether or not you need to record and archive the conversations and if you need any advanced collaboration tools such as polling, whiteboards, screen sharing or doodling functions.
Also keep in mind what types of platforms and operating systems you will be using to connect to the video conferences. Most of the systems support a wide array of devices and technology. If you need an executive-level video conferencing system, a room-based solution with large HD monitors, stereo surround sound and voice-locating cameras may be the solution for you.
Once you have decided on the basic requirements for the video conferencing software you need, it will be much easier for you to choose from a wide array of options. Take a look at the four video conferencing services
GoToMeetingGoToMeeting has a free plan that offers a full array of video conferencing tools, but only three people can attend the meeting if you choose the free service. You may also opt for one of the paid plans. For example, the "starter" plan costs $19 per month and allows for 10 to 49 participants
All of the plans get HD video, voice calls and screen sharing with drawing tools for the calls. Each video conference gets a custom URL that you can text or email to invitees. You are able to record the meetings, pass the keyboard or mouse virtually to other attendees and integrate the conference with Outlook or your Google calendar. The service includes end-to-end encryption for your protection.
Skype for BusinessSkype is probably the best-known video conferencing service available. The basic version is free, while Skype for Business is a subscription-based service which costs $2 per user per month.
It works on both Windows and iOS operating systems, including mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones. In addition to your favorite features from Skype, the business bundle also includes HD video conferencing for up to 250 guests. You can use Outlook to schedule the conferences.
For your data protection and security, the system uses enterprise-grade security. This security features both encryption and authorization through Skype's Active Directory. Additional features of Skype for Business include unlimited screen sharing and a whiteboard that is accessible to everyone in the conversation.
If you have multilingual participants, you can use the Skype translator for live voice, video calls and instant messages that are sent through text. The system includes additional functions such as surveys, frequently asked questions and in-app communication for Exchange and MS Office.
Even though there are video conferencing services that offer better functionality, Skype for Business has only a few known problems which have simple fixes and remains the go-to choice for many businesses.
WebEx WebEx is a great conferencing service for businesses of any size. It has features which allow you to prepare for your meetings and even enables you to follow-up easily. The focus of this service is on team collaboration.
With WebEx, you can easily send private messages to attendees even before the meeting starts, upload relevant files and set up automatic recording in advance. It is extremely user-friendly and has great interactive capabilities. WebEx allows you to poll your attendees, has whiteboard functions, virtual hand raising, chat and more. It also gives you flexibility in deciding how you want your meetings to look by allowing you to customize the layout.
The free version of WebEx allows you to host meetings with up to three participants, while the paid version offers you bigger capacities depending on the needs of your business.
FuzeAnother video conferencing option to consider for your company is Fuze. It offers a free plan that does well for small businesses with up to 25 participants. You can utilize up to 12 simultaneous video feeds during the calls. Archiving and recording are enabled for a storage space of up to 1 GB on the cloud. This allows participants to view and listen in at a later time.
If you operate a medium or large-sized business, you can choose their subscription service. At $8 per month, for up to 125 users, you get premium functions including screen sharing, document editing, annotations and the ability to add content to the cloud storage at any time during the call. It is optimized for mobile devices and smartphones, and you can join in from anywhere with Wi-Fi.
Final WordVideo conferencing software gives you the ability to communicate with your employees, colleagues and business partners all over the world. The software mentioned above is just a fraction of the options that are available. Choosing the right one will depend on your needs and finding the one that completely fits your requirements might take some time. Nevertheless, remember that besides enabling easier communication, utilizing the right video conferencing software will eliminate the need to travel to meetings and save you both time and money.
About the AuthorLisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland, who does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to reach her on Twitter or LinkedIn.
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