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How to Compare Video Conferencing Platforms

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Video conferencing is taking the world by storm.  

For years, the interest in video as a contextual, and highly dynamic form of communication has been growing. However, during the pandemic of 2020, many companies discovered what video conferencing could truly do for the first time.  

Today, the video conferencing market is expected to reach a value of around $22.5 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of around 19.7%. The question for most companies isn’t whether they need video to thrive, but which video conferencing platform will best assist them in reaching their goals.  

Today, we’re going to explore how you can compare video conferencing platforms to make the right purchasing choice.  

Video Conferencing vs Team Collaboration vs UC 

The first choice you’ll make is in what kind of video solution you need. In other words, are you looking for video conferencing only – or a complete collaboration and communication package? There are three primary ways to access video conferencing today: 

  1. Video conferencing or (VCaaS): A standard video conferencing solution is a tool that only offers video, with very few additional features. You may be able to chat via messaging with your video conference, or send files, but you won’t have a complete collaboration experience 
  2. Collaboration tools: Team collaboration tools often offer video conferencing as a single component of better teamwork. These tools combine video with task management, file and screen sharing, audio conferencing, channel conversations, and more  
  3. Unified Communication: Unified communications vendors are beginning to add video conferencing to their packages too. Video in a UC solution will often work alongside business telephony solutions and other phone systems

For instance, currently, in a growing hybrid landscape, many companies are looking for video conferencing platforms that go beyond.

Choosing Video Conferencing Platforms for today and tomorrow 

The right investment in video conferencing needs to tackle your needs both now and in the future. When choosing the right platform, it’s worth thinking about the trends in video conferencing, and how buyer behaviour is changing. For instance, some of the most exciting trends in video conferencing include: 

  • Integrations: Video conferencing rarely exists in a walled environment. Conferencing is a part of a wider collaboration and communication strategy for most companies. This means that video conferencing tools need to work well with other services customers are accessing on a regular basis. This could mean integrating with file and screen sharing services, chat tools, or even presentation tools like digital whiteboards 
  • Access control: As we began to use video more frequently in 2020, we discovered how important it is to keep these meetings secure. Today’s investments in video conferencing need to put security, privacy, and data management first. Any great video conferencing provider will give you full control over access to your conferences, with everything from breakout rooms and waiting rooms, to passwords and kicking controls 
  • Recording and transcription: Video meetings are rapidly becoming a crucial part of the everyday team conversation. Everyone in the team needs to be able to access the information shared in these discussions. This means ensuring that recording and transcription services are in place to convert the audio and video content into written text. It’s also important to be able to record content securely, according to compliance standards, and share it safely with colleagues or auditors
  • Artificial intelligence: AI can make video meetings more efficient and effective. An AI system can automatically transcribe speech into text for the members of a video conferencing, reducing the gaps between colleagues dealing with hearing issues, or communicating in different languages. AI assistants in video conferencing tools can also pull up information from a presentation in an instant and make it easier to find crucial data
  • Dynamic visuals: The rise of high-quality video cameras and powerful connections through 5G means we can now share more vivid, high-definition content over the web. The best video conferencing platforms can offer access to a range of presentation and conversational options, from HD and 4K video to incredible virtual backgrounds, dynamic presentation features, and more  

Other Points to Consider When Comparing Platforms 

Choosing the best video conferencing platform requires a careful consideration of all your needs and expectations. Being aware of the current trends guiding video conferencing providers ensures you can stay ahead of the curve with your choice of the perfect platform. However, you’ll also need to think about other essential, foundational elements too, for instance: 

  • Video conferencing hardware: Can you ensure the platform you choose will work well with your video conferencing hardware? Is there dedicated hardware and room kits available if you’re keen to upgrade your experience? For instance, Microsoft has its own certified selection of webcams and tools for Microsoft Teams 
  • Ease of use: Employees need to feel comfortable using a video conferencing solution for you to benefit from your investment. Adoption should be straightforward and convenient. Look for a solution that’s easy to implement and brimming with great features. A platform with plenty of documentation, videos, and help online can ensure it’s easier to jump into action
  • Security and compliance: Your vendor needs to offer the kind of compliance and security strategies you need to survive in your industry. Ask yourself whether your platform provider can store data in the correct locations for sovereignty. How does your platform keep data encrypted when you’re having video calls with your remote and hybrid workers, shareholders, and other customers?  
  • Scalability: How scalable is the platform? Can you use it for video meetings one-on-one, as well as group announcements and presentations? In the future, will you be able to use the same video solution for webinars and online learning experiences? Can you use this conferencing platform to host live online events? 
  • UC alignment: If you’re going to be making video calls to external parties, your video conferencing solution will need to align with your UC service. Can you connect your current provider to your video technology? How easily do the two solutions align? 

Choosing the right video conferencing platform can seem like a challenge, but with the right strategy, you can easily find the tools that’s right for you.  

 

This article has been reposted from the UCToday Blog. See the source article here: https://www.uctoday.com/collaboration/video-conferencing/how-to-compare-video-conferencing-platforms/

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