We are all familiar with the adage, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." This rings true in business as well. You can offer all kinds of team collaboration programs for employees and point them in the right direction for self-improvement. But if they aren't comfortable using technology to get there, they're not going to engage.
As a human resources professional or business owner, you're responsible for many things. From recruiting and onboarding new employees to ensuring the company's culture grows and thrives. However, in today's work environment, you also need to be aware of the best virtual meeting platforms and software for your business.
The future of work is changing quickly, as an increasing number of companies are providing workers with the flexibility to work from home — or at least remotely — on a regular basis. By offering employees this advantage, you'll attract top talent while still being able to maintain a decent budget.
Video meeting software allows you to hold virtual meetings and conferences over the web, by connecting you and your team members using video, audio, and real-time team collaboration tools. It can be used for meetings both internally (with your own employees) or externally (with customers, stakeholders, business partners, etc.).
One of the best things about it is that most virtual meeting platforms require no downloads or installation. Instead, all you need to do is open up a browser or mobile app and join a meeting. They’re also very easy to use because they often come with intuitive user interfaces.
Virtual meeting platforms are similar to various other types of web conferencing software. However, they differ in some key ways:
As a business owner, you’ll want to choose a virtual meeting platform that will allow your team to stay connected and collaborate efficiently. Here are some critical features you must keep in mind when choosing:
1. Instant meeting
This allows you to start a meeting instantly and share a link with your team members. You don't need any software installation or sign-up process.
2. Screen sharing
This enables you to share your screen during a video call without having to switch between applications. It is particularly useful when you want to walk your teammates through a presentation or share data with them.
Some platforms let you record meetings so that you can play them back later on and review the content discussed in the meeting.
Whether it's one-on-one communication or group chat, chat makes it easy for team members to exchange messages within a platform.
5. Mobile apps integration
Look for a platform that can be accessed from anywhere and on any device, including mobile phones and tablets.
6. Whiteboard collaboration
The ability to collaborate on visual representations of ideas is essential for many team members. It's also a great way to keep everyone engaged during long meetings.
7. Cloud-based storage
Look for a virtual meeting platform that offers cloud-based storage for your team's files. This will allow you to collaborate with anyone in real-time, as well as work with multiple versions of a document at the same time.
Related Read: Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) – what is it and how can it benefit your business?
You've probably been relying on virtual meetings more than ever before, during the pandemic. If you're like most people, you're probably looking for a better solution than the default web conferencing platforms.
Luckily for you, the options for virtual meeting software are plentiful.
1. Microsoft teams connect
Microsoft Teams is perhaps the most popular virtual meeting platform in the world. It comes as part of the Office 365 productivity suite, which also includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Microsoft teams connect suite of solutions provides online meetings for up to 300 people with video chat, screen sharing, team collaboration, and instant messaging. Users can easily share content from other Microsoft applications like OneNote or SharePoint.
But that's not all. You can also integrate third-party apps such as Asana, Trello, and Salesforce. Teams Connect also allows customized backgrounds, recording meetings to stream later, broadcasting meetings to up to 10,000 people, and transcription capabilities (which convert spoken words into text).
2. Zoom meetings
Zoom is a videoconferencing service that enables users to meet face-to-face virtually in one-on-one sessions or large group conferences. It offers high-quality HD video and audio on a variety of devices — including laptops, smartphones, and tablets — so you can meet from anywhere. Plus, with screen sharing, you can present files or documents in real-time.
This service is a popular choice for small businesses that need to host meetings with customers, clients, or remote employees. GoToMeeting offers the ability to host unlimited meetings and up to 250 participants per meeting.
While this is more than enough for most small businesses, competitors like WebEx offer unlimited participants and more advanced features such as live translation, HD video quality, and whiteboarding.
With WebEx, you can host meetings with up to 100 attendees and share your desktop with them in real-time. If you want to host a larger meeting, you can opt for the WebEx Events service, which allows up to 3,000 attendees in addition to other event-based features such as surveys and registration pages.
Unlike many competitors, WebEx also offers an on-premise version of its service that runs entirely on your hardware.
5. Adobe connect
Adobe Connect isn't the most attractive tool out there, but it's very powerful and scalable. The platform is aimed at businesses with a lot of remote employees who need to interact with a central office.
Functionality includes letting users share their screens, chat privately, record meetings and conduct webinars for up to 25 participants. If you opt for the more expensive plans, Adobe Connect is capable of hosting up to 1,000 people on a call.
Related Read: Unified Communications as a Service: How UCaaS is driving the modern workforce
Choosing the right virtual meeting platform for your company can be difficult. But first, you need to assess your current needs, look at the team collaboration features you want, and consider any teams you might want to grow (as well as the size of those growing teams).
After that, it becomes easier to make a decision about which option will work best—but remember, it's never a bad idea to shop around before committing.
Optimize your ordinary meeting systems by integrating voice, video, and messaging all under one roof today with Teams Connect, brought to you by Tata Communications. Enjoy globally-employable tech, designed to help you scale your teams, hassle-free!