The Best Video Conferencing Solutions For 2017
With more and more companies having offices across the globe, business travel is one of the ways that people can be brought together to share ideas. However, this can be a very costly solution with airfare, hotels and meeting rooms needing to be paid for. You also have the nightmare of getting everyone’s schedules to match up. An alternative solution is to have meetings remotely using a phone or a video conferencing solution as long as the participants remain engaged and focused.
It is easier to have participants focus when you use video conferencing as the presenter of the meeting is not a voice on the phone, but rather a presence everyone can interact with. The presenter will also be able to interact with the participants, share their presentations and much more. If you are hosting a collaborative meeting the use of an online whiteboard will help with the mapping of ideas and control can be passed to other participants for additions. Some video conferencing solutions will also allow you to block latecomers to ensure that there are no disruptions.
At some point in your career, you have probably used a video conferencing program and it may not have been the best experience. However, there have been major advances in video conferencing and you might be surprised by the features that are now available.
Here is our review of the top selling video conferencing software in 2017:
Microsoft Skype For Business
When you think about video communication, Skype is one of the first solutions that will come to mind as it has long been a staple in this market. However, the problem with Skype is that most people assume it is a consumer product and not fit for business use. Microsoft Skype for Business has changed this by combining Lync which was Office Communicator with the user-friendly interface of Skype for a starting fee of $2 per user per month. This product has hit the sweet spot for small businesses that do not need an enterprise VoIP system, but need more than the personal Skype services offered to consumers.
The primary advantage of this product is that it allows contact with phone numbers, employees within the organization and Skype users. There is also audio and video recording feature and the system allows up to 250 attendees per meeting. The primary disadvantage is that it is not a fully fledged VoIP platform. This means that there is no integrated dial in and online plans will not work with hardware phones.
After signing up for Ring Central at $19.99 per month you will find that the service is very easy to use. The problem is that signing up is not very user-friendly and the pricing can be confusing. This is sad because Ring Central offers a range of features including mobile and desktop apps which are easy to use. The system not only provides video conferencing, but VoIP services, fax services and voicemail.
The primary advantage of this system is that they offer a wide range of features. You also have a 30-day money back guarantee along with a simple to use interface. The primary disadvantage is that registration is by phone only. There is also confusing pricing and the free trial is not really free.
There is nothing worse than being on a conference call that keeps dropping because of poor connectivity or being distracted by noises from someone who forget to mute their line. ClickMeeting is looking to eliminate all of these problems even if it cannot control the content of the meeting. ClickMeeting, which has packages starting at $30 per month, has a variety of controls which improve the audio and visual experience of the system. This solution should be the top pick for small businesses as it is also very affordable.
The primary benefit is that the system is very user-friendly. There is a free trial which does not require your credit card. The primary problem with the system is that there are no toll-free conference lines available. There is also no phone support should something go wrong.
Cisco WebEx Meeting Center
There are many collaboration systems offered by Cisco and WebEx is just one of them. Starting at $24 per month you can bundle additional services together to suit your needs. The free trial offers access to the paid services while there is a limited free plan. This solution is very easy to use and will have features that you cannot find with other web-based conferencing solutions including meeting calls instead of dialing in. WebEx does not actually offer a dial-in service, but it is possible to connect the solution to a service of your choice.
The primary benefit of the solution is that there is a free plan. You also do not have to register your credit card for the free trial. The primary drawback is that there is no phone support with the free plan. The free trial also last for 14 days only and the desktop app has very small text on high-resolution screens.
Citrix GoToMeeting is one of the better-known video conferencing apps on the market. It is also one of the easiest platforms to use with features that keep this long-standing solution relevant. While it no longer dominates the space and is falling behind on certain features, the solution still offers all of the features you would need.
The primary advantage of the solution is that it offers a simple user interface. It is also easy to create meetings with custom URL’s. There is also a free plan and the free trial does not require a credit card. The primary disadvantage is that it lacks certain meeting options like polling and video calls cannot be recorded.
Convenience is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a video conferencing software. This is for you as a business owner as well as for your clients too. We hope that you found this post useful in determining which solution to consider from the currently available platforms.