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Teleconferencing Apps and Sites

Aug 6, 2020 • Posted By Chimes Consulting

Teleconferencing Apps and Tools


For many of us working from home, we know that virtual meetings can be essential in keeping everyone on the same page in tasks and projects. In the past, applications and sites such as Skype have dominated the market but since then there have been a multitude of options for individuals and businesses alike.


This can be great for you if you’re looking for specific features but finding the perfect fit can be a challenge. That’s why we have picked some of the lesser known but very powerful options and listed down some pros and cons we think you should keep in mind.


Whereby.com


Who should try it?

Smaller groups who want something quick and easy.


This web-only teleconferencing platform is the number one choice for the teams that prefer the bare necessities. No fuss, no hassles; just simple and easy online meetings with an easy to use screen-sharing tool and synchronized YouTube video viewing.


In the paid version, it even has custom branding options for companies such as custom domains, logos, and backgrounds. Moreover, this subscription also comes with integrations to third-party applications such as Trello and Google Drive for even quicker and easier access to other necessary virtual team tools. No platform is perfect, however, and it does come with a few issues. Its simplicity, for example, is a double-edged sword.


While some may enjoy its somewhat minimalist nature, others may feel it’s too basic and lacks more powerful tools and features. Moreover, in the free version, the meeting rooms are limited to 4 people so bigger teams have to pay to expand the limit to 12, which is still pretty small for larger organizations.


TruConf


Who should try it?

Bigger groups that want more powerful tools but are still price sensitive.


This cross-platform software is one of the only ones that offer up to 12 participants in their free meetings (and even up to 800 for their paid version). Along with useful screen-sharing, online whiteboard, slide shows, conference scheduling, recording, and even reliable security and stability features, its free version is definitely more than enough for most types of meetings.


If you’re willing to pay, its premium features include live streaming, public conferences and webinars, satellite network conferences, and other unique and great tools. These are especially useful for companies that want a more direct relationship with their customers and have content made for public viewing. It still comes with a couple of downsides.


One of which is that many of its users have found it to be somewhat intuitive at first use; meaning to say that its user interface takes time to learn and master. Moreover, it does not have a web version currently and has to be downloaded on desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. All in all, it doesn’t serve those who prefer something quick and easy for their team but some may find it worth it.


FreeConference.com


Who should try it?

More tech-savvy teams willing to pay for even more powerful tools.


While this site does have a free version available, its features are best highlighted in its premium subscription. One of the biggest and unique tools they have to offer pertains to transcriptions. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) software that provides automatic transcriptions, and when the video is saved it enables viewers to search, filter, and access words or phrases they need the most and find where it is in the video rather than watching the entire session. These recordings can also be live-streamed or posted directly to YouTube. Additionally, the AI can also be asked to make “smart summaries” of the meetings to fill in anyone who wasn’t able to join or for remembering important details.


The free version in and of itself, however, is not really unique. It comes with basic features such as screen-sharing and an online whiteboard. But other than that it really doesn’t bring a lot to the table. It also is limited to only 5 participants in its free version and has to be paid for to be expanded to up to 100 participants.


So, if your company is looking for powerful features and is willing to pay for it, then this software is definitely worth looking into.


Zoom


Who should try it?

Really large groups that need tools especially for collaboration.


Zoom has been gaining a lot of popularity lately, and for good reason. In short, nearly all of its unique and insanely useful features can be found in its free version. Not only can it host up to 100 participants and have the basic screen-sharing, online whiteboard, and recording tools but it comes with “breakout rooms” that enable the group to be split into smaller teams for more direct and easy collaboration.


Aside from that, it also has little features that can make calls more fun and more productive. For example, it has an “active speaker view”, which simply means that participants can easily tell who’s currently speaking (or where loud and disruptive sounds are coming from); this makes it easier to pay attention and avoid any interruptions when talking. Additionally, it also allows for changes in the background, which can help boost morale by giving the meeting a more fun vibe.


The only real downside to it is its 40-minute time limit for free meetings; this can easily be overridden by creating another session but it can be annoying and disruptive to the meeting. It also doesn’t have any options for custom branding for companies or much customization in general. But if you have a big team and want everyone online and involved, Zoom is the best bet for it.


Jitsi Meet


Who should try it?

Tech-savvy companies who aren’t willing to pay for extra features


Jitsi Meet is an open-source and absolutely free platform. Among the others mentioned, it can be described as a diamond in the rough since it provides so many unique and useful features for no cost to the user. As per usual, it does have screen-sharing, recording, and YouTube integration like the other applications and sites but it also has participant talk-time statistics; this tool enables users to understand who spoke the most or who spoke the least.


For managers, this can be vital to understanding who needs more attention in speaking out their insights and thoughts or who needs to be praised for participating actively. Other than that, the wonder of Jitsi Meet is that companies with skilled professionals with an IT background can customize the software to fit what the company needs and wants rather than adding a bunch of features that no one really needs.


The downside to the application is that it does require a lot of IT background to add these customized features, which not a lot of companies may be willing to invest in. However, if your company already has that in its usual operations, this platform is well worth looking into.



All apps and sites have pros and cons and finding solutions that fit you and your needs can always be a challenge in life and in business. For Marketing and IT related problems, however, Chimes Consulting is here to make sure you get the solutions that work best for you. Send us a message and inquire to let us know how we can help you today!





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