What you'll need to look for in a web conferencing solution is more than just the monthly price; you need to determine the features that best fit your specific business and conferencing strategy. There are solutions that cater to enterprise needs and there are others best–suited for small business needs—all with a host of rich features to choose from. The process of finding the right fit for you is a critical one. Luckily, we've done the work for you in rounding up the top web conferencing solutions out there. So, take a look at our comparisons backed by user reviews and find the service that works best for you!
Why would web conferencing be useful?
Because it makes meetings easier! Simply put, web conferencing allows for people to meet virtually whenever and wherever. So, you spend less time scheduling face-to-face meetings and spend less money on arranging for entire teams to meet in a board room together. Web conferencing software puts you in control of who to communicate with, and when/where/how you communicate with them.
Depending on how the service is deployed, there are plenty of uses for web conferencing. Upload files you need to share. Show your team the screen you're looking at. Host a webinar or lecture. The choice is really up to you!
What operating systems do you need compatibility for?
It's important to keep in mind that members of your team may use more than just Macs, PCs, and Linux laptops. As the mobile revolution rages on and people become more dependent on their smartphones and tablets, make sure you decide whether you'll want web conferencing solutions that harness the power of mobile. There are solutions with robust features that span all operating systems; there are others that focus on certain OS's and do a great job in those niches. You want to pick a solution that will be compatible with all your operating systems.
Do you need audio/video/chat capabilities?
You have some options here. If you'd like all your participants to see each other and chime in when they're called up, there's web conference solution specifically for this. If you'd like to have a beefed–up chat window for each meeting, there's software that allows for this, too. Again, web conferencing solutions are versatile enough to fit what your specific business needs; you just need to know what you'd want your typical meeting to look and sound like.
What other features do you need?
Web conferencing software has impressive capabilities and integration—depending on what you're in the market for. Some features to keep in mind include video conferencing, screen-sharing capabilities, the ability to record each meeting, and the ability to upload files during meetings. The features you require affect the degree of interaction between your meeting attendees. In the past, you could open up a briefcase and hand out collated copies of sheets you wanted your team to look at. Depending on the features you tack on, you can still have a similar level of interaction between members of your virtual team. You just need to know what level of interaction you're looking for in your meetings.
How secure is all of this technology?
This depends on the software you use. Obviously, your business information is valuable and confidential. Make sure the software you're going to choose has the levels of encryption and security guarantees in place to ensure what you're sharing with your team stays with your team. While most web conferencing software deals with security to a certain degree, some focus on this angle more than others.
Both in the short-term and long-term, web conferencing can save your business money on meetings and conferences for people that operate in different parts of the world and in-house as well. It's important to know the level of interaction you want your meetings to have; once you know that, you can find the conferencing solution that best caters to the needs of your business. So go ahead and take a look at our comparisons and consumer reviews.