Find out more about Video Conferencing Software
What is Video Conferencing Software?
Video conferencing software can be utilized by users in diverse locations to conduct live conferences. The solution can transmit text, audio, and video. The main benefit is you can interact with users anywhere in the world and thus reduce travel costs. The software allows users to collaborate and share files. Two participants can use a point-to-point system while a multi-point solution is needed if the number of participants exceeds two. Your computer needs to be equipped with a microphone, headphones, and a web camera to use video conferencing software. Advanced systems offer features such as the capability to record meetings, real-time screen sharing, and remote desktop control. Other useful functionality include mobile access, encryption, and cloud storage. Read our reviews of the leading video conferencing systems in the market for more information and you can give special consideration to Skype which our review team rates as the best app in this category.
Most Popular Video Conferencing Software
Best Video Conferencing Software
How To Choose The Best Video Conferencing Software
The benefits of making your business a bit more video-centric are numerous, having become this aware of the creative power of video content and its mass impact on human communication. Coping with it successfully, though, remains a challenge in commercial environments, where face-to-face communication still holds the throne of effective performance.
The truth is that basing your revenue generating process on video communication gets only as serious as you want it to be, and you don’t really understand neither the purpose nor the meaning before it becomes absolutely indispensible. In terms of indispensability, globalization is pretty much enough to explain why every large corporation out there has to install the best Video conferencing software as soon as possible.
Video-Conferencing Software: The online meeting experience
In the ideal case, the best video conferencing software enables initiation and organization of meetings online, featuring at the same time video and audio transmitting, and exchange of textual content and files in multiple formats. The biggest beneficiaries of video conferencing are large companies interested in collaborating with global partners and clients, in order to make their work more productive, and to cut travel costs.
What makes video conferencing software that attractive in comparison to web conferencing is that developers have done the impossible to replicate real-time meetings, giving all participants a seat and a chance to participate by ‘raising a hand’. The cherry on top is probably that advanced conferencing systems enable multiple types of communication at once, meaning that as a participant, you can refer to the entire audience, or to a particular member using private chat, or be the only one who is not physically present in the room where the conference is being held. Communication is instant, available via all devices and translated in all demanded languages, and best of all: participants get to decide whether they want to join face-to-face, or use the audio bridge to communicate with the rest of the group.
Get to know each product with free trial
We recommend you sign up for the free trials of top video conferencing tools to check out their list of features. This will help you learn if the software is suitable for your business. Sign up for HipChat reviews which has been given a high SmartScore by our SaaS experts.
- Startups and small groups can make use of video conferencing software.
- Companies with offices in multiple locations can reduce the business travel costs of their employees with the solution.
- Multinational companies with international offices can use web-based video conferencing software to connect their employees in different locations around the world.
What are Examples of Video Conferencing Software?
- Skype: Skype is one of the best VoIP solutions providers in the world and offers video chat, group video conferencing, instant messaging, and collaboration features such as document and image sharing.
- HipChat: HipChat is a communications app created specifically for small business team chatting.
- ClickMeeting: ClickMeeting is a browser-based web conferencing application with powerful features designed to make webinars and online meetings more productive.
- Mikogo: Mikogo is an easy-to-use screen sharing product that can be used for online meetings, sales calls, remote support, webinars, presentations, and web conferencing.
Types of Video Conferencing Software
- Telepresence videoconferencing systems – These give the appearance of being present (tele-present) in a meeting though the participants are dispersed in different locations.
- Integrated videoconferencing rooms – These are group conferencing apps used in classrooms, board rooms, and conference rooms with many participants.
- Set-top or appliance videoconferencing systems – These are systems designed to sit on a monitor.
- Desktop videoconferencing systems – This type brings video communications into your personal workspace.
Key Features of Video Conferencing Software
- Whiteboard – Helps meeting participants present their points
- Video streaming – The meeting can be streamed in real time over the internet
- Two-way audio & video – Helps participants to interact easily
- Record & playback ability – Meetings can be recorded and reviewed later on
- Private text chat – Participants can text each other privately
- Presentation streaming – Presentations can be streamed over the internet for a wider audience
- On-demand webcasting – Meetings can be broadcast over the web
- Electronic hand raising – This helps participants to join the meeting and make their point
- Chat /messaging – Participants can also chat or message each other if they wish
- Application sharing – You can share apps with others for better productivity
Benefits of Video Conferencing Software
First and foremost, video conferencing software cuts up-front performance expenses, mostly in large companies where employees are required to travel, or are already working abroad in a decentralized office. Video-conferencing systems are often referred to as the new frontiers in business productivity, particularly because there is almost no installation cost involved (you can use the equipment you already have), the infrastructure is future-proof, and employees need no time to get hands around the new idea, which, by the way, sounds attractive.
Second, video conferencing software enhances both the individual and the team collaboration spirit, as sending an instant message via satellite is much easier than moving up and down in the building to convey it. While some would argue that online communication sharpens the risk of misunderstanding each other, the video capacity excludes every possibility for miscommunication, keeping all participants on alert for the topic that is being discussed. Video conferencing doesn’t only ‘not waste time’: it creates it!
Third, managing becomes noticeably easier: leaders have access to a flexible system of communication, with all users on board for important information and monitoring. As a result, interface improves on all levels, and all data is presented in real time. An additional benefit, often overseen when discussing such systems, is that they facilitate hiring and instructing people. A recruiter finds it much easier to perform video interviews instead of relying on CV data, and appointing separate dates for each candidate.
This being said, video conferencing is more than essential for effectiveness and productivity. It has a futuristic approach for discovering new business opportunities, such as providing face-to-face customer support, and similar ways to use video technology as a competitive advantage. Many surveys have proven that video conferencing teams perform better than ones relying completely on real time communication, because they spend less on traveling, conduct shorter meetings, record higher participation rates, have better access to experts, and most of all: discover talent faster than anyone else.
The security threats of using video conferencing software
The video conference production industry is certainly not the one to nitpick for flaws in, that’s more than certain. Still, nothing is perfect, and there are a few issues to stay on alert about even in the case of most advanced video conferencing systems.
To be more precise: cameras provide an amazing insight on performance, but they can do the same for someone else as they’re doing it for you. Even the tiniest move of the mouse can be enough for a hacker to access a meeting where he ‘wasn’t invited’, and we’re sure that you’re already developing ideas of how devastating this can be for your business.
We’re not saying that video conferencing is absolutely exposed, but rather that you have to consider the threat in advance, and make sure that gaps are properly closed. Choosing a reliable provider is a great way to start, even if guarded trade of information is among the most luxurious pleasures one can afford on the internet.
What is it that makes video conferencing software so vulnerable? Wrapped up in a single sentence, it is the presence of a few features your provider should have avoided:
The product is expensive, but installation is cheap
You can never know whether hackers will be genuinely interested in your business, but by installing software the easy way you’re literally inviting them. Poor encryptions place the program outside your firewall, and that’s something you should know before raising shoulders and being happy that you’re not spending time.
Nonexistent access security
You may think this is a cool feature that provides control over what your employees are doing, but get ready to share that control with ‘interested third parties’. When an inbound call doesn’t need to be accepted, it will take a single button to explore what is happening in a conference room. The same way you push that button, there will be someone who will dial it up, and become an active listener without anybody even noticing him.
Open address books and databases
It is not about the type of damage a hacker break-in can cause, but the scale of it: when somebody gets access to your conferencing software, he becomes automatically entitled to wander around your data, and even extract information about other companies which can compromise you legally.
Familiarizing with the benefits of video conferencing programs, most users think that it will cost them a pretty penny to purchase one, but that’s not entirely true. There is a wide range of fully-enabled solutions that perform impeccably, and are flexible enough for you to tailor them to your needs without exhausting your budget. Depending on the number of users you want to include, the need of additional equipment or advanced features, video conferencing ranks from absolutely free programs to premium group systems that charge something like $30, 000 on annual basis.
Unlike most systems that enhance business performance, video conferencing ones are not expected to grow larger, but deeper. Before we know it, video conferencing will tackle every aspect of our business, and we’ll no longer meet in person. Instead, we will be using multipoint meeting software, and dial up chosen colleagues in only a few seconds when we need to set up a meeting with them.
List of Video Conferencing Software Companies
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