When you are making the switch to virtual meetings or are choosing software for a new start-up, the number of options available to you can be daunting and baffling. Much of the decision will come down to the size of your organization and what you will specifically be using your software for. By using this guide, you can easily locate the type of system you should choose that will work best for your company’s needs:
Value for Money
Your budget will obviously be the first thing you will need to think about when making this decision. It is unwise to blow a large portion of your budget on an expensive system you don’t need, and neither is it a good idea to go for the cheapest option and then find it doesn’t work properly when you need it. The key is to identify all of your needs, which you can read more about below, and find which service provides all of them for the best price. Cheaper or even free options may be fine if you are a single-person company who only needs to make one-on-one video calls, but keep in mind that they are severely limited in their compatibility and abilities. ComputerWorld found that basic systems start at around $8 to $40 per month and provide a trial period (usually one month). Larger companies hoping to hold online seminars will need a more sophisticated system that will cost more but still return on its investment. Whatever option you need, finding one which is value for money will keep your budget healthy.
One of the disadvantages of the computer age is that everybody has their own preferences for the devices, software, and hardware they use which aren’t always compatible with each other. Computer options are as diverse as the people who use them and will become more diverse as their use increases further. This can cause some problems with video conferencing if you need to talk with someone who has a completely different set-up than you have. It could even mean that you lose your chance at landing a large sale or an important client, particularly devastating for a smaller or new company. You can avoid this situation by choosing a system that is compatible with both other users of the software and different types of software, operating systems, or devices. This opens up your connections and lines of communication to maximum and ensures you are never left out of the loop. Many deals are time dependant and clients will be impressed with someone who is immediately available and will be more likely to make a deal with them other others.
Number of Supported Users
The cost and compatibility of your chosen software will be largely dependent on the type of online meetings you will be making and the number of people you will be talking to at any one time. It will also depend on how many people in your office will be subscribing to the software. A leading video conference application such as BlueJeans will generally offer different packages which will support different amounts of users. The cheaper options might support a few dozen people at a time, ideal for meetings with your colleagues or clients. Other packages can support a few hundred people at one time and are compatible with room conferencing systems, which you will need if you intend to live broadcast a seminar or conference to a large number of people. Even single-person businesses may find this option useful for sales or marketing seminars, product launches, or special events. Look into the number of supported users each package provides to see further which one you will be needing.
Technical Support and Customer Service
Good customer service is always important and will likely be a large deciding factor in your decision, as it is an indication that a service is professional and cares for its customers. Don’t forget to also look into what levels of technical support are offered by each supplier and how quickly and effectively they respond to problems. Online safety and hacking are also major concerns. ComputerWeekly says that new technology can be an easy target for hackers and the sensitive topics discussed in online conferences are particularly inviting to them, particularly if the system also includes cloud storage. Be sure to check also what security measures the system uses to protect customer’s data.
Keeping all of these factors in mind and making comparisons while you are shopping around for video conferencing systems will ensure that you find the best platform that both meets your needs and your budget requirements. If you aren’t yet used to online conferencing, choosing the right system straight away will save you a lot of time, money, and hassle later on and allow you to adapt easily to this new technology.