The spread of COVID-19 and the related lockdown has forced companies to make all their employees work from home. In order to ensure that employees stay safe yet be productive and communicate with their peers and co-workers, companies have started banking heavily on video conferencing tools. This article gives an insight on the top five video conferencing tools and how they stack against each other.
With businesses transforming and the need to collaborate closely with teams across the globe along with the trend of remote working, video conferencing has become a key tool for communication and business continuity. This platform in many ways is redefining how we work especially in the times of COVID-19 as digital workplace has gained prominence like never before. Right from onboarding new employees to sales pitch or even townhalls, all have moved to the video conferencing platform. Also not surprising is the fact that people have warmed up to the idea of using more and more of video conferencing opportunities to bridge the gap that an offline versus online world provides. They are replicating the same such as coffee conversations, team meets, reviews etc in the online world and yes it works! (Read our blog on 6 Ways to Make Your Video Conferencing Highly Effective)
While there are many video conferencing tools available, some are more popular and successful than others for various reasons. (Read our blog on Top 5 Video Conferencing Platforms Compared ) Virtual conferencing not just offers face-to-face interactions, but it also has other features like screen sharing, recording, remote access to laptops, exchange files, and chat to name a few. Let’s take a look at some of the popular video conferencing tools.
Zoom: While Zoom has been around for a while, its popularity zoomed during the pandemic shutdowns. Until December 2019, Zoom used to see 10 million daily meetings. Eric S. Yuan, Zoom’s founder, and CEO said, “In March this year, we reached more than 200 million daily meeting participants, both free and paid.” https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/01/a-message-to-our-users/. It’s ease of use and simple setup makes it popular. The meetings or lectures can be recorded so that they can be revisited by someone who missed it. This feature makes it very easy for training institutions to record the session and send it to participants who missed it. One can join through phone or web too. The paid version has features like virtual backgrounds that helps in maintaining the optics while on various calls. Recently Zoom was scrutinized for not being safe and they are working on making it safe.
Plus: Fairly intuitive and easy to use
Minus: Security is a major concern. Limitation of 40 minutes in the free version
Kredily’s Greet: Greet is designed such that it comprises innovative features for modern day conferencing. These include customizable meeting links, screen sharing, scheduled meetings and chat among others. One of its distinct features is that of creative communication channels with different teams without any distractions. Usually, sharing and presenting are one-way traffic communication. With the combination of Kredily’s Greet and their team collaboration platform – reach, one can instantly share files on the chat itself, without getting off from the call or sending email after the call. With an inbuilt attendance management system, Greet and Reach allows you to sync up all the team efforts by keeping track of duration worked by employees.
Unlimited meetings, no time limits.
Plus: A comprehensive workplace communication platform which is Made in India
Minus: Relatively, a new entrant in this space
Cisco WebEx: Cisco is one of the oldest video conferencing tools around. It has a free plan wherein 50 people can join easily. It doesn’t require credit card details to use the free version. One-click entry into the meeting is the most convenient feature. It customizes the layout in such a way that one can get better involvement from participants. The setup of the software is easy. It can be used in a web browser too. During the pandemic, Cisco has made some changes in its offering and currently the free version can host up to 100 people with no time restriction on call and 1 GB of storage on the cloud. WebEx meetings can be attended easily through a standard telephone.
Plus: Has a proven track record and is a secure platform
Minus: Lack of awareness of its features
Google Meet: Previously known as Google Hangout, it was recently rebranded as Google Meet. According to Google Meet data, they cater to 2 Million people every day. The Gsuite customers would prefer using Google Meet since its integrated with the email and easy to use. Google recently announced that it will give free access to schools and businesses until the end of September 2020. Google Meet can be set up easily and one can even join by dialling a phone number. It has robust and encrypted security features.
Plus: Being part of Gsuite, easy for businesses to adopt
Minus: There have been inconsistencies in video conferencing platform from Google, hence not seen as having clarity on the offering
Skype: Skype is a replacement to Microsoft Lync and comes integrated to Microsoft Office 365. It has 1 TB of storage space. So, if you are a Windows user, Skype will already be present on your laptop. It can record calls with a trigger alert to other participants that call is being recorded. The backup is saved for 30 days.
Plus: Since it comes as a preloaded software, adopting it is easy
Minus: It is more popular as a voice call over internet
To conclude all the five software solutions are unique in their own way and offer different opportunities to the users. The free versions of these tools work best for small teams and educational institutions for simple video communications. For more complex needs, the paid versions give additional access to a larger crowd along with seamless experience. While some are very safe to use, the safety of data could be in question in some cases.
If you want your employees to be addressed effectively, Kredily takes care of video conferencing, leave management, payrolls, attendance, taxes, salary, and much more.