Since the start of the lockdown, companies have ensured employees stay connected to their office through video conferencing tools. This blog is an attempt to show you alternatives to Zoom that you can consider including Cisco Webex, Kredily, Google Meet, Skype and Blue Jeans.
Zoom became the video conferencing platform of choice when the lockdown was announced. However, a spate of privacy and security issues related to the tool has led to many countries keeping a close watch on its data breaches and some including Germany, Singapore and Taiwan have even banned this platform.
Even in India, use of Zoom by the government is banned until a thorough review of its security is done. Companies, schools and institutions are moving towards alternatives given the concerns around this platform.
It may be worrying for some who feel that finding a new tool and getting acquainted with all the features of a new software is tiresome. By now companies have realized that video conferencing is not an option but a necessity. (Read our article on 6 Ways to Make Your Video Conferencing Highly Effective) The good news is that there are alternatives available which are easy to hop on and even easier to access and come with enhanced data protection and privacy.
Cisco Webex: Launched in 2007, Webex is one of the oldest and safest video conferencing tools available. It is great for both small and large businesses. During the pandemic, Cisco has extended its free offering where instead of 50 now 100 participants can attend a meeting. There is no limitation on time unlike Zoom where the free version has a cap of 40 minutes. One can start a meeting instantly or schedule one and get access to a personal room. Screen sharing, recording the meeting, creating and sharing whiteboards are features that are available on the free version.
If one is looking to host a large online conference, Webex Event Center allows upto 3,000 attendees with interactivity and customization options.
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.
Kredily is good for small and medium businesses. There is no limit for the number of participants on joining a meeting. The free version includes HR and payroll functions as well. Greet from Kredily has a feature built to keep the team connected on any device and enables its users to work from anywhere.
Unlimited meetings, no time limits.
Google Meet: Due to the massive demand from students, Google Meet was integrated into Gmail. In Google Meet, 100 participants can join in one frame, whereas Zoom displays 49 people max on one screen. Google Meet is adding more features to improve the image quality in low light and to reduce the background noise. Google is also working on removing security issues if any. One always has to give their mail ID before entering the meeting. If you aren’t invited to the meeting you cant join.
Skype: Skype is a hybrid voice and chats application and now is integrated into Microsoft office 365. With just a few clicks, you can schedule a meeting. Its instant message service is very useful for collaboration at work. You can easily add new contacts in an ongoing call again with few clicks. However, since it relies on good broadband connectivity, the sound quality in Skype isn’t that good and can cause disruptions. It scores high on being secure and is a popular brands for internet voice calling.
Blue Jeans: Blue Jeans by Verizon has one of the best audio capabilities among the existing video conferencing tools. There are different sets available for people’s view, speaker view, and gallery view. Blue Jeans alerts you of the strength of your connection through an indication. The concern with Blue Jeans is lag in screen sharing and there’s a further slowdown when the whiteboard is used in the meetings. The window app can’t be used in the touch screen, so one has to use the mouse.
According to a recent Global Market Insights report, the video conferencing market size will be worth over $50 billion by 2026. There is rapid adoption of cloud-based solutions. There is enhanced result in human-centric communication by the introduction of 3D technology too as one gets a feel of interacting with a real representation of the person. Also, the technology providers are integrating innovative technologies, such as AI/ML, for extending the use of the software in different functions. While Cisco Webex or Skype are old players, the new entrants to this market are redefining the video conferencing landscape with disruptive features. (Read our article Top 5 Video Conferencing Tools Compared) Kredily is a new player and ahead of the market in innovative with a comprehensive solution that makes communication easy across the organization. It weaves in additional features like attendance and payroll which are unique to Kredily.
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