With Covid19 pandemic, more and more people are working remotely. This growing number of multinational companies pushing for remote work, group meetings needs high-quality video conferencing apps for business needs.
While Skype, WhatsApp, Apple FaceTime and even Google Hangout works just fine for family, these video calls are not suitable for video meetings of businesses because they lack several key integrations such as HD Video, Cloud Storage, Breakout Rooms, Toll-free numbers, Meeting recording, transcription and more add-ons like google calendar integartion, share files with team members, screen sharing, accessing remote features, reali-time whiteboards, and other collaboration tools.
For high-quality group meetings, small businesses need something more capable, robust, and fully integrated with various business services and not just be about video conference call
In this article, we will discuss different video conferencing solutions the key factors that you should look for before investing in one.
Choosing Video Conferencing Software
There are several factors you should consider when choosing a video conferencing tool.
- Functionality – Some of the features & functionality of every video chat platform should have are video conferencing (of course!) screen sahring, and share files, VoIP, toll-free dial-in numbers, messaging, whiteboard, but also administrative capabilities that let you control the call. More advanced services also have automatic transcription, options to convert audio to text, reminders and call scheduling. Few even have webinar capabilities which you can use for training your team members.
- Pricing – Video conferencing services will have a free trial, or a free plan. This is essential because you absolutely have to test out the features they offer. All plans should come with money back guarantee or a no-hassle cancellation. Consider going for a service which offers two or more payment methods and not rely on PayPal alone.
- Integrations – Almost every business meeting service comes with a plethora of integrations with financial services, collaboration tools, productivity apps and even training tools. So make sure the one you invest in has the most useful integrations for your business needs.
- Ease of Use – We all want the best video conferencing solution. Hence it is imperative that you find something simple to use. One of the most important features is one-click join because signing up is a pain. Also, you want your video conferencing software to be easily accessible from all devices like iOS, Android, Web and even Linux too. Make sure it supports all popular web browsers as well.
- Dial-In – Some video conferencing services allow people to join phone calls by simply dialling a toll-free number from their mobiles. This is a good feature to have. It cuts down on downloading software and signup as well.
Best Video Conferencing Software for Small Businesses
Currently, Zoom is the most popular video conferencing platform when it comes to features and functionality. It offers everything that you could want and above all, is simple to use, even for non-registered users.
You just need to send your Zoom link with a call request, and the person will click on it, downloading the Zoom file. After the call is finished, everything gets deleted, so no bloatware on computers.
The service works fast, and the interface is clean, simple to understand. Zoom has a high-quality clear HD Video, and works exceptionally well even on slower connections. It has screen sharing capabilities, plus you can record your meetings on all plans, and store them for later. Also, all calls are encrypted, making them safe.
As for the plans, Zoom has four tiers. The basic plan will cost you nothing and is ideal for one-on-one meeting (unlimited), or those that last up to 40 minutes. They accept PayPal and credit card payments, but you can also call them and ask about paying by check, wire transfers or ACH.
Microsoft Teams offers a video conferencing software on different mobile apps and devices to organise audio and video meetings, make conference video calls, filesharing, screen sharing and meeting recordings etc.
You can get these features without getting any of the two paid plans. Microsoft Teams keeps you organised with everything in its correct place.
You can schedule a meeting or call beforehand for a week and get reminders to attend or start the meeting. The messaging service it provides, is like a proper application like WhatsApp that you can use to share audios, pictures, files and emojis.
Sharing multiple files that could be edited by all the team members within the application is also another feature that it has.
Microsoft Teams’ paid version allows the administrator to organise video meeting with unlimited participants and receive customer support around the clock.
Uber Conference is a free video conference calling solution you can use but for a small team only of 10 participants only. The free plan has features like screen sharing, meeting recording, having multiple conference rooms up to 45 minutes with HD video and audio quality.
if you pick a pro plan, you can avail more features like extend the calls to 5 hours with 100 participants, voice intelligence, international access, toll-free numbers and more.
You can integrate Slack, G Suite, Office 365, Hubspot, Google Calendar, Intercom and Salesforce with Uber Conferernce.
Named a leader in video conferencing, Blue Jeans is one of the best video conferencing softwares.
Conference calls can continue for hours to days, but sadly it doesn’t have a free plan.
The free trail of 7-days can get you started on the several robust functionality it has.
Although one host can start a meeting with 50-100 members according to the plan you choose that could be billed monthly or annually by saving 20%.
The features of Blue Jeans is pretty much the same as rest included here like the facilities of whiteboard, HD Video and Dolby Audio, Breakout Sessions, Encrypted Meetings, Integrations and much more.
You can also collaborate with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Outlook, Otter, Zoho, Salesforce and more through Blue jeans.
Jitsi is an online platform used for video conferencing. It is free video plan but can also be availed through premium plans. Jitsi has multiple projects that includes Meet, Jibri, Jidesha and Jiagasi.
The software allows you to add up to 75 participants at a time, the meeting room can be set to public or private. JitsiMeet lets you edit documents together by using Etherpad. Jidisha need to be set up if participants need screen sharing. Other than these chat is also available through their integration with Slack.
To use Jitsi there is no kind of registration, you can instantly use it for meetings on any web browser to its FAQ page.
The software’s can easily be downloaded on multiple mobile devices like iOS, Android and Windows.
An alternative for Zoom and Microsoft Teams is Cisco Webex. One of the best video conferencing for any kind of business needs. Cisco Webex has a free plan and free trials for its paid versions.
It offers a High quality HD video and audio calls which makes it crystal clear without it lagging. At one time Cisco Webex allows to communicate with 100 people in their free plan, and add-on functionalities like screenshare, filesharing, meeting scheduling, meeting recording, and messaging.
Putting out Q/A polls for anything and to record the calls one has to upgrade the plan.
Cisco Webex can be used through any device; it has an easy set up but if you are a guest, you only need to provide basic information like your name and passcode (which would be given to you by the host).
Cisco Webex has one of the best security setups for their customers. It offers AES 256-bit encryption to secure any data being shared. Cisco Webex let’s their hosts set up a password for entering the meeting.
Yet another conference service that allows you to screenshare, record, share files and arrange meetings with the calendars.
Vast Conference does not have a free plan but a 14-day trial to their paid plans. Having four different plans, limitation of participants also vary from 10, 100, 250 and 500 according to it.
It’s easy to set up on the mobile and desktop, with one click you can join the meetings or organise more. One thing that separates Vast Conference from all the other is that they have features for organising meetings with an operator.
Amazon Chime is a pay-per-use service that depends on people and small businesses individually.
It’s another video conferencing software that lacks features but has great audio and HD video quality.
Using the free version would restrict you to message, share the screen and files at a time with a person but premium gives an option to interact with 250 people.
Amazon Chime can be downloaded on laptops, desktops, and mobiles. It is a simple and easy setup with reliable encryption which makes the data highly secured.
Zoho Meeting saves you the hassle of installing a new software as its only web based but there are applications for mobiles such as iOS and Android.
The features it offers differ in all the plans. Talking about the free plan which limits you to meet with 3 people with the common features which could be upgraded to use the options like record, schedule, store webinars, Q & A polls, analytics and a lot more.
Zoho Meeting was built for video conferencing and webinars for smaller groups and businesses.
You cannot avail the customer service but get information from the articles and FAQ’s
ClickMeeting is primarily oriented towards webinars, so if you are looking to host one, this platform is best. Of course, it works as great for online business meetings too.
It has a robust interface that lets you customise the webinar/meeting type. You can set timelines, create multi-user accounts, add your own branding, and host all that across all your devices. Once you organise everything, people can join in a single click. You can share everything live on Facebook and YouTube, which is useful for webinars.
ClickMeeting lets you share screens, send files, and has an excellent presentation and whiteboard tool, which is useful in meetings. You can also have polls and surveys which is a great way to see how your team feels about a topic.
You can try the service for 30-day, which is a neat option to test all it offers. As for the payment methods, they accept PayPal and all major credit cards.
This virtual meeting platform lets you host online business meetings in one-click, whether from desktop or mobile devices. While everything depends on a good internet connection, the service needs a tiny software downloaded to get the meeting going. There are VoIP and toll-based call options available as well.
GoToMeeting lets you chat with your team members even outside the call, which is a great way to answer to any forgotten questions. But this instant messaging is available for people who are not a part of your company too and is a great way to attract new customers.
GoToMeeting has a good set of integrations like Chrome, Outlook, Slack, HipChat, allowing you to host one-click meetings on any of those. You can create and share custom links with your team members.
Smart Assistant is an essential part of this program. It automatically transcribes everything, so you don’t have to take notes, which is huge. Later, you can search through the conversation, finding the exact spot you need. Transcriptions are easily shareable later, and available on mobile devices too.
GoToMeeting offer a 14-day free trial, which is kind of stiff. As for the payment methods, they accept all major credit cards but if you have over 40 users then there are plenty of other payment option which the sales team offers separately
If you are looking for something that offers a lightweight but quality experience, Join.Me is probably for you. This online meeting service simplifies the experience showing you what you need to see. That doesn’t mean it lacks features, no, they are all there, but you won’t feel overwhelmed with all of them at once.
Join.Me has some cool features like floating video bubbles, that are an awesome-looking way to see each other while screen sharing. The call quality is top of the line, and you can use local conference numbers so people can join from their phones. You also have a convenient whiteboard which you can use to display your thoughts in real-time.
Join.me has a decent free option for individuals which stays free, and the 14-day free trial applies to paid plans only. They accept payments via all major credit cards only.
All the online video conferencing services we’ve listed in this article are great options so review all of them, and decide for yourself which one works best for you. Rest assured that each one of them is a great choice, and you won’t make a mistake, no matter which one you pick.