Videoconferences are becoming routine as they replace regular face-to-face meetings. Businesses are spreading out, tapping talents, and making partnerships anywhere in the world. Communicating and collaborating with these parties entail a flexible tool that takes advantage of computers, phones, and applications.
Indeed, the widespread adoption of videoconferencing is evident in at least $7.80 billion worth of related devices and services sold in 2018. The source of the insight, ReportBuyer, projects continued growth in the market or $13.82 billion by 2023.
As this mode of communication becomes indispensable, which popular software or apps are dependable for your day-to-day business needs? Take a look.
- Skype for Business
This suite offers business-quality video and audio for online meetings. The service gets everyone up to speed with whiteboard and screen sharing. Another unique feature is running polls and Q and As, which work for webinars. It can also mute any or all participants when the number of participants reaches 250.
The service offers integration with another Microsoft product, like Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Recording calls and instant messaging are additional features. However, some Skype for Business users report lags and slowness when using the service on mobile. As for pricing, you can hold meetings for free if the participants are 10 or fewer.
Zoom has whiteboard tools, in-app private chats, and free version, offering HD video and audio calls above all else. You can use your device for the call’s audio or dial a toll-free number. It also offers screen sharing and conference recording.
It is possible for a client with a Skype for Business to join a Zoom meeting. This integration is available with paid plans, although the free option has plenty up its sleeves. You can have unlimited one-on-one meetings, and group meetings are capped at 40 minutes. These free meetings can have up to 100 participants, with web-conferencing and group-collaboration functionalities.
- RingCentral Meetings
Cloud communications provider RingCentral has a dedicated product for online meetings. The RingCentral Meetings offer HD-quality videoconferencing and screen sharing, Call Me minutes, and more. Through Call Me, you can switch the meeting’s audio to your phone without dialing the meeting ID.
RingCentral Meetings free plan has features similar to Zoom’s, with one-on-one and group meetings. If you want to go beyond the free 40 minutes for group collaborations, you can look into Ring Central’s plan that starts at $15 per user. For a more comprehensive suite of products including phone calls, check Ring Central’s Office plans.
Eighteen million people use GoToMeeting per month, and 80 million online meetings have been hosted on the platform since the software’s inception. The app is known for its ease of use, whether it is creating meetings or navigating the dashboard.
Private messaging, one-click meeting, and meeting transcription are part of the service. One of GoToMeeting’s newer features allows a user to join a meeting by answering to a call. It’s also possible to set up toll-free conferencing and to switch from VoIP to toll-based numbers and vice versa. With GoToMeeting, you can have 25 video feeds and custom URL for a personalized videoconferencing experience. The service has a 14-day free trial.
Cisco is synonymous to videoconferencing with hardware and software products. Webex is one such product, being widely recognized as a leader by peers in the industry. The application virtually has all the makings of a videoconference or online meeting.
Webex works across devices for video calls wherever you go. What’s more is that you can have up to 100,000 people in attendance for a webinar or webcast. The service also offers a traditional phone system in the cloud. You can start Webex for free.
Make That Call
Those are a handful of applications you can use for your business. You can check out others to make an informed decision and go over these criteria for a business plan:
- Features that are relevant to your needs
- Quality of calls
- Compatibility with devices
- Bandwidth requirement
The last point emphasizes the critical role of the internet connection, whose speed should be at par with your chosen videoconference app. In the ideal world, a high-speed, low-latency connection allows you to make and receive quality, uninterrupted calls over the internet.
Consider using a gigabit switch like Cisco’s to expand your network. This gigabit ethernet switch offers numerous ports to connect more devices and speeds up the data transfer (operating at one gigabit per second). While the device doesn’t exactly increase the internet speed, it manages the efficiency of the network.
Videoconferencing brings business collaboration and communication to the next level. Which app is the perfect fit for your setup?