In the last years, video conferencing has become an essential tool for connecting people at different geographies, enabling a faster and easier way to conduct live meetings. Through video conferencing, we can interact and collaborate with other users in real-time while listening to them, observing their reactions thanks to a web camera and even screen-sharing files or meetings.
Even more, video conferencing allows us to broadcast presentations to larger audiences, providing a great solution for businesses and universities as they can easily organize workshops, webinars, and online courses.
But when it comes to choosing the right video conferencing solution is important to consider some essential questions depending on your meeting needs, such as:
So, to help you choose the most reliable and cost-effective system, we will highlight and analyze the features of the next three leading video conferencing solutions.
Skype is one of the most popular video conferencing solutions in the market. This tool ―purchased by Microsoft in 2011― offers video chat, instant messaging, global calls, screen sharing, and other functionalities such as whiteboard features at flexible pricing.
The application has two versions: Skype― the basic one―and Skype for Business. This video conferencing solution, integrated with Office 365, is an easy-to-use platform for hosting up to 10 users in the free version and up to 250 users in the business version.
However, if you are looking for more advanced features like a toll-free number, call routing or online meetings supporting over 250 participants, maybe Skype is not what you expect. Nonetheless, this platform tends to have poor audio quality, even with a fast broadband Internet connection.
It is worth mentioning that Skype for Business is being replaced by Microsoft Teams; having a retirement date on July 31st, 2021. In this sense, if you have an early Office 365 version, you will be encouraged to migrate to Teams and start using it. Although you can still work with Skype for Business, you will have to request an extension in order to use the server functionalities, which are limited in comparison with Teams.
After being introduced two years ago, Microsoft Teams―the new "upgrade" of Skype for Business―is quickly becoming a dominant product as it is now used by more than 500,000 organizations from all around the world. This means that businesses using Office 365 are migrating to this faster and even more collaborative video conferencing solution.
Considering that Microsoft Corp is currently the most valuable company in the U.S., reaching a market capitalization above the $1 trillion, these platforms turn out as a strong competitor to other video conferencing solutions such as Google Hangouts Meet, BlueJeans, and Zoom.
Some of its recent and future features―focused on enhancing productivity and collaboration in meetings―are:
It also offers different solutions; for instance, if you need to share files or content through Teams, you can easily share and edit them from the Office 365 platform. In addition, it can be integrated into other applications centered on project management and productivity, such as Asana, Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Bizzy, Hootsuite, Intercom, Jira Cloud, Power BI, Smartsheet, among others.
However, if you want to have these upgraded options, you will need to purchase them. In this sense, with the free or basic plan of Teams, you can host instant meetings. With an upgraded plan, you can even schedule conferences in advance.
Another disadvantage of Teams is that it doesn't have its own SIP and H.323 gateway. Therefore, it's required to associate with other companies that provide a gateway. Also, if you want to conduct a video conference from a web browser, you will have to host or join the meeting by either using a desktop or mobile app.
Founded in 2011, Zoom provides remote cloud video conferencing solutions. Nowadays, it is more used by businesses and enterprises worldwide, such as Uber and GoDaddy. It was designed for conducting online meetings, chat and mobile collaboration, and video webinars.
Its main advantages are:
It is important to highlight that 51 percent of the Fortune 1000, as well as 58 percent of the Fortune 500, are using Zoom. Additionally, 96 percent of the top 200 colleges in the U.S. also use Zoom as a tool for video conferencing.
At Vivo-Comm, we offer plug and play solutions for businesses that are looking for a Zoom Room integration. Considering that video conferencing solutions are continuously increasing due to their all-round benefits, which boost collaborative meetings.
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