Video conferencing is a technology which permits users in distinctive locations for holding face-to-face meetings without moving to a particular location together. It is specifically convenient for users of business in distinct cities or also distinct countries as it saves much time, money as well as hassles linked with business travel. This technology is used to hold routine meetings, negotiate business deals as well as interview job candidates. The main advantage of video conferencing over teleconferencing is that users could see each other that let them to form strong relationships. Well, having video conferencing for informal reasons is termed as video chat or video call.
Uses of Video Conferencing
Video conferencing can be regulated in varied ways. People may make use of web cameras connected to laptop, desktop or tablet. Video conferences are even conducted using Smartphone equipped with front camera. In such cases, a software-based platform is typically used for transmitting the communication over the Internet protocols. Many enterprises have dedicated rooms for video conferencing that are accoutered with high-grade screens and cameras for ensuring a clear conversation with least technical faults. In case of third-party renderers, they ordinarily install as well as assemble the hardware required for organizing the video conference. However, video communications are established directly by companies having multiple offices between their locations for allowing their team to operate more communally.
Video conferencing forms a perfect medium to conduct training, having an instructor who teaches a remote class from almost everywhere. It can be applied even in corporate context, particularly to let the workers gain knowledge to ameliorate their performance in respective jobs. Video conferencing helps the academic world largely by helping them to connect a customary setting of classroom with students from distant location away from school. The basic usage of such an efficient platform lies in conducting regular meeting with employees of company or for conferring with shareholders about the current business activities. It is even utilized for announcing important deals or changes in a company like to introduce a new CEO or for presenting detail in a communicative way which lets every participant to involve in the discussing.
Video conference vs. Face to Face
Whether it is the first meeting or interview, face to face interaction is becoming more outdates as video conferencing appears to be the new norm with the advent of technology. Well, you can meet your teammates over a video conference but you will find that there are some businesses that yet hold on face-to-face or conventional meetings as they might regard it to be efficient. What do you think? Which one is more convenient or efficient to you, video conferencing or face to face? Let us explore the pros or cons of both the medium
Pros and Cons
Body Language – While meeting face-to-face, individuals are able to express themselves through words, body language as well as gestures and all these work together to deliver a single message. But it is difficult to convey body language and facial expressions, gestures, emotions and others in video conferencing.
Physical presence – You will have to be in the same place in face to face meetings. In virtual ones, you can meet as well as discuss things from any part of the world without having to waste time and money
Cost-effective – The cost required in video meeting are least in comparison to face to face. If you have to interact with stakeholders overseas, to arrange a physical meeting can include transport, booking flights, accommodation and also a venue for hosting it
Tools & technology – Members attending the meeting should have the equipment and software of video conferencing. Everyone must possess their own equipment and gadgets while only people’s presence is required in face to face
Technical limitations – Video conferencing is difficult to conduct in case of poor internet, equipment quality or line. The connections might be interrupted by various aspects like bad weather or related reasons. But in face to face, you don’t have to worry about all these. Your presence is only imperative.
A list of Software
This software offers the foundation for one hosted Private Branch Exchange system with varied high-end features for small to mid-size businesses.
It comes with every PBX administration function, unlimited calling and mobile app use on iOS and Android. It even features unlimited conference calling, business SMS, desktop and unified messaging applications with HD video conference.
RingCentral office operates as a hosted provider of Session Initiation Protocol that means you would require SIP phones for using the service on premises
The software supports various models from vendors like Polycom, Yealink and Cisco and even the option to employ a generic device of SIP.
ClickMeeting is available in 11 languages and even the chat text could be translated in 52 languages. Moreover, the software is compatible with Macs and PCs as well as with all key browsers like Internet Explorer 8 or 9, Google Chrome, Apple Safari 4 or 5, and Mozilla Firefox 3 or high
It provides support by live chat and email seven days a week. You can even consult the Knowledge Base that consists of PDF guides for getting you started and video tutorials that covers subjects such as Presentation and Whiteboard, Audio and Video, Desktop Sharing and Room Layouts.
ClickMeeting’s interface is attractive and easy to use. However, it helps in creating training seminar, brainstorming session or lively participation.
The software comes in two distinct varieties, the Professional version and the Free version. The Free version allows to access to one participant and one host only while the professional one can be modified to enhance the number of participants or hosts per meeting.
It allows to share one or all your monitors for meeting. It is handy for one who is hosting a meeting and peeking over at cheat sheet which includes notes
Zoho Meeting is a perfect screen presentation and sharing tool.
If you require VoIP service along with conferencing features, this software has everything for your small enterprise needs
eVoice offer screen sharing option where just 25 participants can see the video at a time. Well, you could share the screen with about 2,000 viewers while running the web-only meetings
The software service possesses apps for iOS and Android but they just consist of calling features but not the features of conference. You have to up-to-date the web browser with support for the SSL encryption for using eVoice web conferencing.
Microsoft Skype for Business
Skype is much a VoIP (Voice-over-IP) and consumer video conferencing service but not a business one. Well, Microsoft is closing this gap with Microsoft Skype for Business
It comes as integrated feature for Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium and Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials
Its user interface appears professional and clean but yet familiar, with the username on the top with present status and space for setting location and status.
If you look for the best video conferencing software for small business, then join.me is possibly the ideal one to use. It has the latest interface that is very easy to employ and abundant features for increasing online meetings
You will come across reasonable, scalable options with it and even show up to 10 video streams at a time
It will offer you the chance to form private backgrounds for meetings by uploading or choosing one of the designs of join.me.
This easy-to use app of videoconferencing with gentle features comes with just one drawback and that is, you will have to employ a third-party dial-in service or VoIP for audio
It features high customizable meeting spaces and its free trial does not need information of payment
The software is compatible with Mac, OSes (PC operating systems) and Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari browsers and Internet Explorer 8 or later.
Amazon Chime has the ability to compete with highest ranking conferencing video services. But it is probably not ready for major league yet just.
It’s attractive, capable and reasonable service make it a great option to use for small businesses and significantly can be used across every operating system.
The software supports video recording, remote desktops controls as well as chat room functionality that could serve as substitute of Slack.
One of the easiest platforms to use for video conference is Citrix GoToMeeting. With the feature of video conferencing, the software is keptrelevant, particularly as new products and users flood the market every time
It comes with a simple user interface and easy for organizing meetings.
You can employ custom URL for accessing conference room. More significantly, it offers free plan options and trial does not need credit card.
Cisco WebEx Meeting Center
Popular for offering a good free plan, this software can be a good choice for your needs. Well, the paid plans of this app render abundant features but they are relatively costly
You could enjoy about seven video feeds at once while video conferencing. Cisco WebEx Meeting comes with WebEx Universal Toolkit that allows you to form multimedia slideshows for your meetings and it includes Flash animations.
While Zoom renders a smooth HD video and comes with a great UI, their real bread and butter are the third-party integrations’ range which they provide.
Right from calendar scheduling, easy cloud storage to your personal favorite messaging apps, this software operates to fit your enterprise instead of other way around.
It offers unlimited one-on-one video calls along with meetings with about 50 participants entirely free.
Another great feature is its ability of recording meetings, so you could revisit as well as share them with other virtual team members.