Virtual Meeting Platforms
We are doing more virtual meetings/video conferencing now more than ever before. The current state of affairs has caused the usage of these platforms to skyrocket at a rapid pace.
With that huge rise in usage and astronomical demand, the software developers behind these platforms have put more manpower and dollars behind these apps too, not only meet demand but to meet the ever-growing list of needs and functionality that users are screaming for. With all of that said and done, we now have better virtual conferencing platforms than ever before. The question now is which one do you use? Or more to the point, which one is the best fit for your organization? Everyone has their favorites, but the focus should be on what’s best for your company.
Virtual Meeting Platforms – A Comparison
When considering which platform to use there are some basic questions you should be asking as a jumping off point:
- What is the cost? Are we already licensed for a virtual meeting platform? For example, many office 365 users have the license included for Teams Virtual Meeting platform.
- What devices will your users be connecting on? e.g.: PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc.
- Will you need to utilize screen sharing and/or file transfers?
When it comes to virtual meetings there is no shortage of options; however, our focus today will be on the ones we see used most frequently. Below are the positive highlights for each platform.
- Seamless integration with Microsoft’s 365 office suite.
- Available on all popular devices and platforms e.g.: PC, Mac, iOS, Android.
- Follows the flow as other Office products (if you are familiar with where options are in word or excel you will know how to navigate Teams)
- A no nonsense, not too many bells and whistles virtual conference platform.
- Extremely simple to setup and even easier to join meetings.
- Certain partners offer it for free if you utilize a product. Vonage did this at one point.
- Many organizations already have an extreme level of comfort as WebEx almost used to be synonymous with video conferencing or virtual meetings prior to the pandemic. I’m pretty sure we have all been in a WebEx at one time or another over the years.
- By far, in our opinion, the easiest for an end user to adjust to, hence what hurled them to the forefront of virtual meetings when COVID started. So much so that some organizations will be using Teams or WebEx and refer to it as a Zoom call.
- It may be a silly pro but we love the way that when someone is speaking it outlines their video in green, its more obvious than a tiny mic icon to the left or bottom. As we all know the biggest problem when it comes to virtual meetings or conference calls for that matter is everyone interrupting one another.
- Very easy to have a technology novice join and participate in a meeting.
- Setting up meetings is as easy as flipping on a light switch (very intuitive)
- Ability to lock a meeting, so uninvited users can’t just barge into a meeting. This comes in handy for interviews or private management meetings, etc.
- The deep integration into the zillion different Google services.
- Simple to use, follows the flow of all of the other Google products.
- Familiar use to all other Google products.
We would like to give an honorable mention to Apple’s FaceTime and Facebooks Messenger, as both can do group video/virtual chat; however, in the use cases, we have seen they are used more for one-on-one or in a pinch to host a very small meeting as both are very straight forward and convenient. The ones above, in our opinion, are more suited for enterprise.
If you are interested in finding the right fit for your virtual meeting, please reach out to one of our Fusers. We would be happy to sit down with you and discuss the pros and cons on a more personalized scale in regards to which is the best fit for your organization.