As the COVID-19 pandemic hit across the globe, the internet, networking tools and remote working have become the chatter of the online world.
Remote working was not something that happened out of nowhere, and it was also not something that was intended. But employees from a large number of organizations are now working from home, posing issues for all sorts of businesses. People around the world started installing video conferencing,and other remote working solutions to meet a pressing necessity.
Today, video conferencing software and apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet have become increasingly popular as a form of communication among businesses. Even though they transpire over a digital screen, team members interact face-to-face.
According to a recent analysis by Grand View Research, Inc., the global video conferencing market is predicted to reach $9.95 billion by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.4% over the period. The report underlined that market expansion will be fueled by trends such as the growing acceptance of Video Conferencing as a Service and the increasing shift toward the cloud. As globalized and remote working patterns gain popularity, the transition to the cloud will be inescapable, resulting in increased demand for video conferencing solutions.
So, how do you decide which platform is the best? Well, if you navigate through the features, and pros and cons of the three most popular platforms listed below, you can pick the right one for you and your business.
- Microsoft Teams - full Microsoft 365 integration for video conferencing
- Google Meet - for cloud-based video conferences that are easily accessible
- Zoom - video conferencing software at an affordable price
Microsoft Teams allows users to organize video or audio meetings with a single person or a group of people all from one application. It enables webinars and large meetings with up to 10,000 attendees to be organized by administrators.
Calls may be simply scheduled and invites sent across the enterprise, thanks to full connectivity with Microsoft 365, and external visitors can join through their web browser without having to download the application. Users can also join calls from practically anywhere via the platform's robust video conferencing software and hardware options. Mobile devices, desktop computers and Bluetooth conferencing headsets can help you communicate when you are working on the go or alone.
This video conferencing platform also includes all the features you would expect from a top software provider, such as live subtitles, screen sharing and call recording, chat and background blur technology. The platform's connection with Microsoft 365 elevates it to the forefront of video conferencing and digital office integration.
Overall, Microsoft Teams is a good fit for companies who already use Microsoft 365 or want to reimagine their digital communication and collaboration environments.
- Consolidation of all tools into a single location
- Microsoft 365 members don't have to pay extra
- Chat add-ons are useful
- Bots are helpful
- File search, collaboration, and backup are all seamless
- Features like 10,000 participants, schedule invites, background blur, and captioning
- Advanced security and privacy measures
- There are many similar tools
- There is no centralized search for all products
- There are a finite number of channels
- Unnecessary storage consumption
- Lack of notifications
Google Meet, which recently underwent a rebranding, seeks to provide a world-class conferencing experience. A part of the Google Workspace office productivity platform (formerly known as G Suite), it was primarily created for corporate needs and can accommodate a large number of users at one go. It can also eliminate the need to wait by using smart participation and a quick interface.
Google Meet is an upgraded version of Google Hangouts that seeks to make working with external clients easier. It offers a web app experience, which means there’s no requirement to download any software. The platform includes a dedicated dial-in number, which not only allows users on the move to participate, but also ensures no dropouts and the quality of the line.
Users can leverage Google Meet, which is within the Google Workspace platform, to use data from other apps, including Google Calendar, to organize meetings as needed when users sign in. The platform can even connect with existing conferencing hardware and has dedicated apps for mobile users in the Apple AppStore and Google Play Store for Android.
This business-grade conferencing platform doesn't require large upfront hardware costs, which makes it accessible to enterprises of all sizes.
- Google users get a free version, and paid versions can be customized
- Google Workspace integration (other Google services and productivity tools)
- A simplified user interface and user experience
- Quality video and audio, and overall performance
- Excellent for communicating with team members at no cost
- New battery-saving feature
- Encryption and security features
- Competitive pricing
- When compared to other platforms, features are limited
- During group discussions with several participants, it may turn off audio or drop someone. Doesn’t re-add group members, and there is no option to correct a wrong microphone setting
- Hardware and system resources may be taxed
- Sending multimedia documents via the app is challenging
- A Gmail account is mandatory to use the video conference feature (people may have different ids)
A video conferencing and messaging service for desktop and mobile devices, Zoom is easy to set up and has a range of scalable features. It supports up to 1,000 participants at once, and 49 videos on a single screen. Along with HD video and audio capabilities, it can save meetings and transcripts locally or to the cloud with searchable text to work with, and participants are able to share their screens and collaborate to share their own notes as needed.
Additionally, Zoom’s team chat feature stands out, permitting file sharing, a searchable history and a 10-year archive. Its built-in security uses 256-bit transport-layer security encryption for shared files as well as meetings. You can even turn meetings into one-on-one conversations, and also automate scheduling from Gmail, Outlook and iCal.
Zoom boasts a feature-rich free tier, with a capacity of 100 individuals for up to 40 minutes, and extra capabilities for team administration and management, as well as targeted commercial and business use.
- You can use Zoom for free
- It caters to a large audience
- It’s easy to use
- Supports Google calendar
- Scalable for small, medium and large enterprises
- You can stream your meetings/webinars on Facebook
- Engagement tools (hand raising, reactions and polls)
- An excessive number of subscriptions and add-ons
- Zoombombing (undesired, disruptive intrusion into a video-conference conversation)
- Lack of comment control
- HD video isn’t standard
- Inconsistent file sizes in the cloud
- You need to download the app
Which is the best?
If you need basic video calling capabilities, Google Meet might be the best option for you as it's free of cost and easy to use. However, you need a Google account, which may be a barrier for certain users.
Microsoft Teams, on the other hand, is the ideal platform if you require a strong collaboration tool with enterprise-level functionality. Its extensive list of integrations outperform those of competitors. But if your business uses systems that aren't part of the Microsoft network, you might want to look into another option.
For small businesses, Zoom is likely to be the best bet. It's simple and easy to use without the need for participants to create an account. Furthermore, because of its interactive capabilities and easy screen sharing, it's ideal for online presentations.
The early adopters of video conferencing technology are companies with a global presence and workforce, and they are more likely to deploy video conferencing systems for communication across teams in different locations. As globalization continues, demand will surge for cost-effective, scalable platforms that facilitate improved team communication.