What The Blueprint looks for in a great video conferencing software
Features are important when choosing a video conferencing tool, but we know there’s more to a tool than its functionality. When we review video conferencing tools, we also assess the following characteristics of each solution:
Ease of use
It’s true of any kind of software — if it’s not easy to use, people won’t use it. Video conferencing software shouldn’t be complicated: interfaces should be clean and uncluttered, features should be clearly accessible, and meetings should be easy to join.
Solutions should also be accessible across desktop, browser, smartphone, and tablet.
Customer support options
Customer support is important to consider when choosing video conferencing software, especially if your business depends on the software for meeting with clients and customers. If the software isn’t functioning or you can’t figure out how to use or access a feature, then having a decent array of customer support options is vital.
Another important characteristic we look at is whether the solution’s pricing is fair for the quality of features on offer. Pricing options should also be transparent and easy to follow.
How your business can benefit from using video conferencing software
Aside from the obvious, video conferencing software can have a big impact on other areas of your business. Here are just a few of the benefits of using video conferencing software.
Using a video conferencing tool helps businesses save money by reducing money spent on travel expenses for business trips and gathering distributed employees in one place. It can also help save money on long-distance phone calls.
The reduction in time spent commuting to workplaces can have a massive effect on employees’ productivity. Video conferencing tools can provide a sound basis for telecommuting policies while maintaining or increasing productivity.
When employees who are working in an office have to break up their day and physically move to another location to attend an in-person meeting, their productivity levels can be disrupted multiple times a day.
Fosters collaboration between distributed employees
Remotely distributed teams still need to keep in touch, bond, and collaborate. Aside from video calls, many video conferencing tools have features that can help foster collaboration and engagement, such as online video chat, file sharing, and personal meeting rooms.
How much should I pay for video conferencing software?
There’s no set rule to how much you should pay. Generally, prices align well with features when it comes to video conferencing software. Though it’s too simple to say “you get what you pay for”, it’s true that the quality and amount of features on offer often improve as prices increase.
Bear in mind that most video conferencing software platforms are priced on a per user/host/organizer basis, so you’ll need to calculate your budget for all intended users. The tool you ultimately choose should also align well with your organization’s communication strategy.
Why should I pay for features when there are free video conferencing solutions?
Many free versions offer solid features, but many video conferencing platforms put limits on the amount of meeting participants allowed in one meeting and meeting durations, and some lack advanced features such as personal meeting rooms, easy, one-click access to meetings, and screen sharing.
Depending on your business needs, paid solutions can often meet your video conferencing requirements better than free versions.
Do I need to pay for extra hardware?
Not necessarily. Most video conferencing software can be accessed via desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets. However, some vendors offer their own physical hardware setups to let companies schedule and launch conferences from their own meeting rooms.