6 Video Conferencing Options Which Won’t Blow the Budget
In our increasingly globalised society with employees, freelancers and clients based around the world it’s not always easy, or affordable, to meet in person. However, it’s undeniable that being able to see someone face-to-face when you are discussing business can be a big advantage, and that’s where video conferencing is so useful. Technology has advanced so much it’s now both affordable and easy for people to gather around a table, wherever they are based and discuss business with someone half way across the world.
Here are six video conferencing options to consider:
Video conferencing might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Adobe, but in fact the company offers a well-regarded virtual meeting service. Adobe Connect can be used for large-scale webinars for training and marketing and it also includes options for smaller scale meetings.
The software allows you to connect from almost any internet ready device and it has a simple interface so new participants don’t have a steep learning curve, perfect if you want to connect with clients who may not have come across the service before. If you need to share slides, notes, or run polls then it’s all built in.
Adobe Connect isn’t the cheapest option starting at approx £380 per year for meetings and rising to £950 if you want to include webinars and £2,650 for e-learning, but for most large scale businesses, this is still an affordable option for what’s included.
Citrix is a well-established name in the video conferencing arena and if you only need up to 25 people to join a call at any one time, then prices start at an affordable £35 per month. Usability is high and the system makes it easy for hosts to set up a meeting and for participants to sign in at the click of a button. All they need is an internet connected device.
If you need to share a presentation, you can do this across devices and even share your keyboard and mouse controls if you need to collaborate.
Another well-known video conferencing name is Cisco WebEx. Their voice-only calling service is free, while for video you will have to outlay £18 per month for up to 8 users.
With WebEx, screen sharing is easy so you can present in style, even taking advantage of the built-in interactive whiteboard feature. You can also share all types of documents so that all participants can work on them collaboratively.
Skype for Business
Most of us have used Skype in our personal lives for connecting with friends and family around the world, either for free or at low rates for calling mobiles and landlines.
However, Skype also offers a business option where for £2 per month per user, you can group video call with up to 250 participants. This also allows users to share documents so you can work collaboratively or even present to a colleague or client.
Less well known but a great option if you are on a tight budget is Fuze. Starting at just £6 per month this allows up to 125 people join a virtual meeting. With in-built screen sharing options you can easily deliver a presentation to clients, train a colleague or even provide an answer to a support query.
Participants can join from any internet connected device and all meetings can be recorded, handy if you want to review them later or share them with others.
Google Apps for Work
Most of us are now used to using Google Drive, whether that’s for our email or for creating documents, forms, or spreadsheets. Chatting with a colleague via Google Hangouts is also a popular choice, too.
However, if you need a sturdy video conferencing option then an outlay of £4 per month per user will gain you access to Google Apps for Work. As well as access to conferencing you can now also share calendars and documents, neatly bringing many of your work needs under one umbrella.
It’s worth exploring all these services further to discover which one is the best choice for your business needs. Some even offer a free trial period so you can test whether they are right for you before you buy.