13 Jan 2023

Video conferencing: How it works and which platforms to use

What is video conferencing?

You may hear video conferencing being referred to as ‘video calls’ or ‘video chat’. It’s all the same thing; allowing two or more people in different locations to have a virtual face-to-face meeting, using digital technology.

Users could be in different rooms of the same building, the same country, or at opposite sides of the world – the tech is all the same. Video conferencing makes business easier, cheaper and more convenient, by allowing users to connect whenever and wherever they are.

There’s no doubt that video conferencing platforms such as Zoom rooms, GoTo Meeting, and Microsoft Teams, have become a crucial part of everyday work life, supporting everything from presentations to the board and team meetings, to 1:1 performance reviews and making hybrid working work.

We have fitted ‘out of the box’ meeting room solutions, right through to full curved conferencing media walls for our clients.

So, if you’re ready to up your virtual meeting game, how do you know which platform is right for your business?

What are the advantages of using video conferencing?

There are many advantages of using video conferencing, firstly users can see each other, making communication much easier as body language can be read, this can be especially helpful if users are not communicating in their first language.

Video conferencing can also have a positive environmental impact, helping to save the planet through less employee travel.

Using video conferencing solutions can also be a huge cost and resource saving for businesses, whose employees can use video conferencing in place of travelling to meetings.

What different kinds of video conferencing can be used for business?

Most smartphones have an inbuilt camera and this can be a great easy-fix for video conferencing on the go or at home.

For more advanced solutions, there are some high-quality webcams and external microphones that can be attached on and around laptops and monitors, acting as a higher resolution alternative to your computer’s built-in camera and microphone.

For most businesses today, dedicated video conferencing spaces and rooms are a must-have in the office building.

But as technology evolves, the traditional ‘conference room’ has too.

Today we see video conferencing spaces in hallways, on-site cafes, auditoriums and relaxation areas spread throughout the building, as well as dedicated meeting rooms. The idea is seamless connectivity for increased productivity, wherever you or your employees are.

Which video conferencing platform should I choose?

The ‘big 4’ when it comes to video conferencing for enterprise are Zoom Rooms, GoToMeeting, WebEx and Microsoft Teams.

What’s the difference between Zoom and Zoom Rooms?

By getting a Zoom Rooms license you’ll have the ability to integrate conference room AV equipment into the Zoom ecosystem.

Most conference rooms contain AV equipment, such as TV screens, projectors, and voice conferencing hardware and software. Using Zoom Rooms enables participants to easily share content to their screens, use digital whiteboards and communicate with other meeting attendees who are not physically in the conference room.

We always advise our clients not to go with the freemium option of the video conferencing software, as with the lower price comes high security risks from hackers and trollers.

Here’s our quick-glance comparison of the ‘big 4’ video conferencing solutions

 

Teams Zoom GoToMeeting WebEx
Platform support Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux Windows, Mac, iOS, Android Mobile (Android & iOS)

Web Application

Desktop app (Windows & Mac)

Mobile (Android & iOS)

Web Application

Desktop app (Windows, Mac, & Linux)

File, screen, and app sharing Extensive collaboration features, including:

Robust chat

Whiteboard templates

Action item lists, and a Wiki

Screen sharing


Remote control access

Basic whiteboard and chat features

App sharing

Desktop sharing

On-screen annotations sharing

Notes sharing

Keyboard and mouse sharing

Give/take controls when sharing

App sharing

Desktop sharing

Give/take control when sharing

Share system audio

Document co-authoring

Virtual whiteboarding

Security, administration, and reporting 256 bit TLS encryption

AES-256 encryption

 

End-to-end encryption

Passcode protected calls

Teams Admin security dashboard for external sharing and guest access 

End-to-end encryption 

Encryption at rest 

Multi-factor authentication

Compliant with all major regional data management initiatives (GDPR, HIPAA, SOC, etc.)

Easily managed security and privacy dashboard

Encryption options for all collaborations

Admin controls

Reporting and analytics tools

Device management portal

Encryption options for all collaborations

Reporting and analytics tools

Monitoring and alerting features

Admin controls

Device management portal

Integrations 700+, tightly integrated with Microsoft 365, and Zapier Nearly 2,000 and Zapier 20+ integrations  270+ integrations

 

If you can’t decide, we can consult with you and design a solution that fits your needs.
We can also tutor you in using Video Conferencing on your smartphone, tablet, browser or room system. When it comes to Video Conferencing we care and we want you to enjoy the experience, not be frustrated by it.
Get in touch today to discuss your video conferencing needs.

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09 Feb 2022

The struggle with our mindset returning to the office, post-pandemic. Learn from the experience & leverage efficiency.

A great disaster in this period of our lives, is to return to the way it was before March 2019. Our habits and behaviours must realign. Einstein’s theory of madness comes to mind. Knowing the time, we have wasted in the past, simply for the comfort of habit, can no longer justify its return.

We dread change. But we must negotiate a deal. First let us look at what was, pre-pandemic. Then let us study what worked during the pandemic and compromise between. What was pre-pandemic was a commute, distraction, and busy all the time. But there was subliminal learning and instinctive entrepreneurship. This led to growth. We just weren’t particularly good at recognising the moments that led to this evolution.

At home eliminated distraction. Created comfort in our own environment and gave us time back. For the family. For the dog. For our health. We became institutionalised in our new conveniences. But there was no networking. No water cooler moments. A chat became a scheduled Teams call. Managing tasks was easier. But there was no socialising. Our inner landscape became more comfortable as an introvert, rather than and extravert. We were heading off course and to the rocks of isolation.

Today we must recognise the office as the place of creativity, socialising, learning and energy. Single task hours can be confined to the workplace of the home. But to see growth, manage change beyond our control and retain a positive culture, we as people need interaction. This is the point of inflection we need to grasp. This is where the need of technology has brough us. But the need of us humans, has not changed.

So, plan for the blend. Accept the change. But most important keep collaborating between the technology and the people. Your business must strive for meeting equity and focus on retaining its values. I remember a man who kept insisting on making handkerchiefs and would not change. Even though paper tissues stormed the market. That is where we are. The technology genie is out of the bottle. It is how we plan to change the behaviours and habits of our people that will result in the success of our dynamic business to come.

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13 Jan 2021

Five Outcomes for the Office Workplace Post Pandemic – Be Ready

 

  1. The Future is Hybrid: A majority of participants believe there will be an increase in hybrid work, wherein employees will spend part of the week working in the office and the other part working remotely, whether in their home or in a third location.
  2. 100% Remote will be Rare: While some companies are considering allowing employees to work completely remote for as long as they would like, this model will likely be an exception.
  3. Building Flexibility: Office tenants will want flexible office offerings to expand space on-demand. Additionally, tenants will value more flexible, communal space, as needed.
  4.  Layout Changes: The expectation is for expanded communal space such as conference rooms of various sizes, huddle rooms and social areas for people to congregate—cafés, hospitality-style sitting areas, village greens and more.
  5.  Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Influencing Choice: Workers will potentially worry that their colleagues in the office are having a better experience and that they—remote workers— are “missing things and their career is suffering because of it.” (Source:C&W-Jan 2020)
    #digicom #futureofwork #workplace
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