18th Apr 2019

Our Top Picks in Web Conferencing

Our Top Picks in Web Conferencing

Video conference technology is evolving at a rapid pace. There are dozens of players compete for marketing share in this sky rocketing space. The competition is fierce. No longer is it just the giants of Skype or Zoom in this space, but new and innovative solutions are entering the space and this competition is improving the quality and introducing many new innovative ideas. The advent of cloud-based technologies has leveled the playing field allowing everyone from lean startups to large corporations to have professional-grade conferencing technology without the high cost of traditional elaborate video conferencing hardware solutions. These web-based solutions help businesses conduct interactive meetings online including conferences, training, support sessions, and client presentations to name a few. The software allows participants to share screens and content and interact using audio, video, and chat options. And, better yet, users can do this from any device they choose. It’s a new landscape for conferencing and collaboration tools, but how is it possible to choose between all these solutions, especially when they all seem so similar?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be doing a deep dive into our top pics in the web conferencing space. It will serve as your roadmap to help determine which application is right for your business. Today, we’ll do a quick overview of our top choices.

What Should You Look for in a Web Conferencing Solution?

Here are the top five important qualities that your solution should have:

  • Intuitive Design: Is there a steep learning curve? Is the user experience pleasant or painful?
  • Affordability: Is the pricing competitive? Are there hidden fees or added maintenance costs?
  • Flexibility: How many simultaneous users are supported? Is it easy to integrate with other software services? Can you share screens, files, and media? Does the software have useful features that other video services lack?
  • Great Customer Service: Does the company go above and beyond to help its customers? Is it easy to speak with a service representative?
  • Dependability: Is the software reliable? Are their hidden costs that the provider isn’t telling you about?


Here Are Some of Our Favorite Web Conferencing Applications

Microsoft Skype for Business

Skype for Business is packed with robust features, such as meeting scheduling, easy content sharing, video recording, and single-touch join. Video conference calls can support up to 250 participants with up to 6 people on screen at any given time. A favorite feature is the Skype for Business integration with other Microsoft software, including Office 365. Large companies will also love the Skype Meeting Broadcast feature, which can support up to 10,000 participants with enterprise-grade encryption.

Zoom

The Zoom platform was designed for team collaboration and makes it easy to share screens or specific applications, use whiteboards, annotate documents, and even share mobile devices via Airplay. Small businesses love Zoom's affordable pricing model, which starts with a free plan that allows for unlimited meetings under 40 minutes. Also, the installation process is painless, so you don't need to be tech-savvy to start using Zoom. Any guest can join your meeting with a simple invite link, even if they haven't signed up.

RingCentral

RingCentral is a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications and collaboration solutions. More flexible and cost-effective than legacy on-premises systems, RingCentral empowers today’s mobile and distributed workforce to communicate, collaborate, and connect from anywhere, on any device. RingCentral’s cloud pbx unifies voice, video conferencing, team messaging and collaboration, online meetings, and integrated contact center solutions. RingCentral’s open platform integrates with leading business apps and enables customers to easily customize business workflows with APIs for voice, SMS, messaging, meetings, and fax.

Cisco Webex

Whether on the go, at a desk, or together in a meeting room, Webex Teams helps speed up projects, build better relationships, and solve business challenges. It’s got all the team collaboration tools you need to keep work moving forward and connects with the other tools you use to simplify life. Share your screen so everyone can view your document, spreadsheet, or application. Hosts can record the meeting so others can get up to speed later.

BlueJeans

BlueJeans doesn't offer a free plan, but its robust features stand out among the competition. The service integrates seamlessly with other communication platforms like Slack and Skype, so you can start a BlueJeans conference from anywhere. The program has some of the best enterprise-level security on the market, as well as in-depth analytics that can provide valuable insights about your business. BlueJeans' customer support team is also top-notch, with dependable phone/email support and a custom onboarding program.

Google Hangouts

Google's business-grade conferencing platform can support up to 25 participants, phone dial-in, presentations on G Suite, and much more. To join a meeting, you just need to click on the custom link from your desktop or mobile device. With the Enterprise plan, you can also record meetings directly to Google Drive, and up to 50 participants can take part in a conference. Every pricing tier also includes 24/7 customer support (phone/email/live chat). If your business uses G Suite services on a regular basis, Google Hangouts Meet might be the best conferencing option, even if it offers fewer participants than other services.

Vidyo

Unlike many other conferencing tools, Vidyo's cloud-based design offers tremendous real-time control over a meeting. For example, you can disable any participant's camera or microphone when they forget to do it, so that background noise doesn't distract from the current speaker. Vidyo also meets the strictest requirements for enterprise-level encryption, which is extremely useful for businesses that want to keep a project secret. Trusted in the healthcare, financial, and government sectors, Vidyo is a strong and streamlined video conferencing service.

GoToMeeting

Finally, the GoToMeeting conferencing service has a dedicated customer base that love the user experience. Since it's a browser-based tool, there are no downloads necessary, but you can still share screens and media directly in the browser. Moreover, anyone can join a meeting by calling a toll-free number on their phone or accessing any web-enabled device. It's an excellent choice for small businesses that handle a lot of inbound calls, as well as tech-averse teams that want to chat right away.

We know you have a lot to think about when making the choice on your web conferencing application. And, after you choose the solution, you have hardware options for your conference rooms. We can help find the right solution for you. Call us at 888-821-7767 or contact us online to learn more about what will unlock the right solution for you to get your teams collaborating.

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