Video conferencing - Is your business using the right solution?
While transitioning to remote work, video conferencing apps become an essential tool to engage in business meetings, calls and appointments. But in the midst of many alternatives available, both free and paid (average cost from $10 to $18 per user per month), it can be challenging to decide which solution is the most appropriate to your business. Stratus Communications has put together a few suggestions that may be worth exploring to figure out what could work best for your business.
Common Video Conference Apps:
An application that most people hadn't even heard of two months ago has now reached over 300 million daily meeting participants. If you are looking for a good engineered solution that is user friendly, Zoom is one of the best performing and easiest to use applications for synchronous video chatting with large groups of people. The free account enables up to 100 participants. Even though it has faced a long list of problems, mainly due to scaling up much more quickly than it ever could have hoped or planned, the company is working diligently to protect its users, and at the moment, those ease of use qualities trump many other concerns.
It is also available for people to sign up for free. This is a good solution with lots of security and integration into Office Suite. If you have an O365 paid subscriptions, then this is part of the bundle. It is even possible to turn on audio dial in conferencing but typically this is extra cost like any audio conference system. This solution scales from the small to larger organizations and works well. It is a very powerful robust tool although it takes a little more time to learn, setup, and use. Keep in mind that Microsoft has higher requirements for security standards so if your business is in health care, legal this could be a better solution.
Google Hangouts/Google Duo
Another main stream application available to the masses to use. Whether you have a G-Suite account (which is the paid version of Gmail) or a regular Gmail account (log into meet.google.com), it is pretty simple to get setup and start using. With Google meet the security is not as tight by default and now it allows up to 250 participants in a call. With Duo, you have tighter security but it is limited to up to 12 people in a call.
It has been around since 1995 and probably the favorite solution of privacy-conscious groups like health care, IT and financial services and it has also been very popular among universities right now. In addition to supporting Windows, Mac, and Linux, WebEx has mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry, and it integrates with most Office and Office-like applications. One notable differentiator for WebEx is its ability to stream media from its servers to all participants. They are also offering free signup with email address at the moment, signing up for free gives you a 14-day trial of WebEx Premium 25, followed by a perpetual license to the free basic service.
This is another robust solution that has been around for a long time and can offer stronger security. It offers a 30-day free trial to evaluate whether the service will work well for you. If you're looking for a free solution for a small group, the closest that Citrix offers is Podio Lite, which is a free five-employee, five-external-user version of the online work platform Podio. At the end of the day, however, Podio and WebEx offer most of the same features and benefits, with somewhat different pricing models: Podio prices per-employee, and WebEx prices per-organizer.
It is an open-source video conferencing platform which is freely available to the community to use and develop with. It includes many features and they are constantly adding more. You can live stream your conference to YouTube and access the recording there afterwards. It also talks heavily about security. It integrates with most browsers but works best with Chrome. No client or download needed.
There are many other video conferencing alternatives available for just about any situation or need. When choosing a video conferencing tool for your business, think about who is your normal audience. If you are working or talking within the legal, financial, healthcare, or even child care areas, it might be a good idea to be more safety/security conscious with a video conferencing solution. If you want to look at more secure types of solution, you can specially check for government regulations or HIPAA (for healthcare), those systems and those environments typically have a little more restrictions on and controls for security.
If you have questions or experiencing difficulties to work remotely, feel free to contact us for assistance:
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