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Zoom? Teams? Google Meet? Choosing the Right Video Conference Platform For Your Team


Video calls are keeping teams connected

Chances are, you've chatted with a loved one or co-worker on a video call in recent months. Most of us have been avoiding face-to-face conversations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and thankfully, technology is keeping us connected in ways our grandparents could have never imagined.


Sure, you could probably get most of your work done with phone calls and email, but don't underestimate the value of human interaction. A study published in Harvard Business Review found: face-to-face requests were 34 more times more effective than emailed ones. The reason? Your body language and facial expressions can help win people over and lead to more meaningful business relationships.


You don't have to run a Fortune 500 company to take advantage of video conferencing. The following is a sample of features offered with free accounts, so there's really something for every organization to choose from. Paid subscriptions unlock even more valuable features, so if you'd like more details about pricing, follow the links posted below.

 

What You'll Get From a Free Account


Zoom:

  • Host up to 100 participants

  • 40 minute time limit

  • Unlimited number of meetings

  • HD video and voice

  • Adjustable layouts

  • Web Conferencing Features- private or group chat, call recording, controls for hosts

  • Screen sharing available

  • Group Collaboration Features- screen sharing, whiteboards, keyboard/mouse control, group messages

  • Security- Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

  • Virtual background

  • Conference room integration available

  • 24/7 support available

  • App is required to host a meeting, but participants can join meetings via web browser


Microsoft Teams (replacing Skype):

  • Hosts up to 500,000 participants

  • 24-hour time limit

  • Unlimited number of meetings

  • Integrated content creation with Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote

  • Unlimited app integrations with 250+ business apps to choose from, including Adobe, Evernote, and Trello

  • Adjustable layouts

  • Screen sharing available

  • Security- End-to-end encryption with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

  • Virtual background

  • Conference room integration available

  • Use on any computer or device

  • Free support limited to the Microsoft Tech Community for Teams forum

  • Download an app to PC, Mac, or smartphone to use

Skype and Teams are essentially one and the same. Microsoft bought the company in 2011 and is slowly phasing it out. Skype is technically still in use, but Microsoft is encouraging customers to use Teams instead.



Google Meet (formerly Hangouts):

  • Hosts up to 100 participants

  • 1-hour time limit

  • Unlimited number of meetings

  • Screen sharing

  • Live closed captions (in English only)

  • Intelligent noise cancellation

  • Meeting recording

  • Adjustable layouts

  • Dial-in phone numbers for US and international callers

  • All data is encrypted between client and Google

  • 2-step verification

  • Google Drive storage up to 15 GB per user

  • Shared drives

  • Drive file steam

  • Support is limited to self-help online and community forums

  • Host or participate in meetings from a web browser or app


WebEx:

  • Up to 100 participants

  • Meetings up to 50 minutes

  • Cloud recording storages

  • Adjustable layouts

  • Screen sharing

  • Chat and notes

  • Unlimited direct ad group messaging

  • Interactive whiteboarding

  • Virtual backgrounds not available yet (reportedly ‘coming soon’)

  • HIPAA/BAA compliant

  • End-to-end encryption

  • Online support only

  • App required for iPhone/android

  • Use Google Chrome or Firefox to join from a PC or Mac, but Cisco warns, “do to use Internet Explorer”


GoToMeeting:

  • Free to attend, otherwise to host, subscriptions are $12+ per month

  • Unlimited meetings

  • No time limits on meetings

  • HD Video

  • Screen sharing

  • Dial-in conference line

  • Call recording

  • Personal meeting room

  • Keyboard and mouse sharing

  • Secure socket layer (SSL) encryption and AES-256 bit encryption, SOC2 certified Data Centers, HIPAA ready

  • Conference room integration available

  • Third party app integrations, including Slack and Office 365

  • Custom backgrounds

  • 24/7 customer care

  • Join meetings with desktop/phone app or via web browser

Zoho Meeting:

  • Up to 3 meeting participants (including presenter)

  • Up to 10 webinar attendees

  • VoIP/webcam sharing

  • Screen/application sharing

  • Basic settings

  • Remove participants

  • Mute/unmute participants

  • Share screen for participants

  • Webinar registration

  • Customize registration form

  • Polls, Q&A, and Raise Hand

  • Webinar Analytics

  • Allow to talk

  • Join or host via web browser or with a desktop or smartphone app

Note: follow the links posted for each service for full information about the features offered.

 

One Final Note:

Before joining any meeting you’ve been invited to, find out if it requires an app. If so, download it ahead of time. Also, ask if there’s a link you can follow to start the meeting (it will most likely be emailed to you). Be sure to check your camera, microphone and speakers before a meeting to ensure you’re seen, heard and can see and hear your host.


What video conferencing service is your favorite? Let us know what you like about it! Email us at info@aevio.com or comment below.

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