Comparing Video Conferencing Services in 2019

29 August, 2019
6 min

Picking a good video conferencing solution that checks all your boxes is not an easy job. Take a look at these criteria breakdown and make up your mind

What are video conferences good for?

Online communication platforms play a great role in modern business, no matter the industry. With proper implementation, video conferencing will immediately start bringing tangible financial and administrative benefits to large and distributed organizations, as well as to those using remote workforce. Video conferencing allows you to meet face to face with team members in any location. It improves productivity, operational efficiency, competitive advantages and, ultimately, the company’s profit.

Video conferencing lets you speed up the decision-making process, increase access to information and specialists, reduce business-travel time and, consequently, travel costs and stress (use it up for leisure or vacation instead), increase overall efficiency as well as human resource allocation. In addition, the time to market products and the response time to market changes are reduced.

Modern Online Meeting Solutions

Facilitation of collaboration has captured the world of both: startups and established companies. Teams can come together in a single virtual conference room and do a bunch of things to amplify the workflow:

  • brainstorm new ideas
  • hash out marketing suggestions
  • use demonstration tools to share
  • come up with new solutions without the pain of a business trip
  • contribute to projects in a variety of ways
  • negotiate partnerships.

A modern video conferencing solution is no longer a simple semi-audio discussion of tasks at hand. It’s a new collaborative environment that fosters growth and progress. These tools provide high definition audio and video feeds with an option for a meeting session to be recorded for further storage. Some of the platforms offer transcripts of the recorded meetings too. 

Membership Pricing

Most often the membership pricing for online meetings heavily depends on the number of users you want to support with it and the range of features to be included. Cost structures normally provide either host-based payments or month-based payments. There are companies that are offering a great set of features with their free plan, others prefer to get a user to subscribe for a trial period, options vary. 

When you’re looking for a good conferencing service, it is only logical to look around and see what companies present. 

How do I know which one is right for me?

Some platforms are very practical. Another impress with ease of use and rich functionality interface. But in all truth, not every video conferencing solution is designed to fit for all businesses. 

Before you dive in, get together a list of features you want your platform to be able to do. 

Q. Are you into screen sharing?
A. Make sure the provider included the capacity into the conferencing solution.

Q. Love doodling schemes for your teammates?
A. Look for whiteboard feature.

Q. Are you a presentation type of person?
A. Load them on, but make sure the solution provides you with an expandable storage option.

Seems complicated? Fear not! We’re here to break it down for you and make picking an application for daily video communication easier.

What does Price depend on?

Pricing for video conference services differs. Many of the providers are cloud-based. The price often depends on the number of licenses you’re getting. Some businesses host one meeting at a time with a limited amount of participants. Others need multiple hosts with a load of visitors each time. There are businesses that summon and host massive events, but with a group of permanent visitors. 

So, based on the number of colleagues/participants you want in your conference, depending on how many hosts per conference you are planning to have, the pricing will vary. If you are a guest – chances are you will not need a license/paid membership to join the conference at all.  

Free video conferencing plans come with a limited number of functions, while paid plans generally allow for unlimited meetings. 

The average charge for a monthly membership plan for a solid video conferencing solution varies anywhere from 0$ to 50$. 

Let us now take a look at the several factors that define pricing:

  1. participants in a meeting. Every vendor will increase membership price the larger the participant number is. But there are some that have an unlimited amount of visitors for every conference you host.
  2. The number of people on camera at one time. Some of the providers restrict the number of people on camera at a time. Others let it go and allow any number of simultaneous guests appear on camera.
  3. Features a solution presents. Every video conferencing provider differs. Decide on the set of features before you opt in. When you buy your plan, it has to have plenty of functionality for your needs.
  4. Add-on features. Increase your storage space, select a video recording option, expand your subscription package. Keep in mind that all of the add-on features come universally at an additional cost.

Options Vary

Some service providers chose to not publicize pricing, others prefer you book a demo or have a one-on-one conference call with a sales representative. Both traditions have their pros and cons. Complicated enterprise solutions with hardware job included have to be dealt with by a separate sales rep and a company rep together in order to configure everything well. Make sure you have a list of all of the essentials before you sign the contract. Most of enterprise solutions come in contract form and involve long-term partnerships. 

The providers that are cloud-based have a considerable prerogative – you do not have to reach anywhere for the files you’ve worked with. They also often offer an expandable storage capacity. Many times contemporary video conferencing solutions are web-based. It is a weighty advantage. That is why most of the modern startups and established businesses choose the web-based apps over those that require installation and a download.

Video conferencing expectations 2019

Considering online meeting providers are a growing industry, it is expected to grow in the following years. The market value is anticipated to rise up to almost $5 billion in four years from now. Inevitably, this will change the video conferencing market. People will expect more and companies will work hard to provide it.

By all means, companies who keep hiring remote staff will need to start providing more and more reliable platforms for their teams to communicate with. Simpler desktop-friendly solutions for teenagers will no longer work. A user connecting with one another will stay the prerogative, but video communication will rise to its most in the coming year. 

The overall video conferencing market development pattern will propel the unified perfected platform that will fit everyone’s needs. It will encompass chat features, a wide variety of sharing options, built-in Artificial Intelligence functionality, a bunch of UX improvements, as well as high quality video and audio feeds. 

AI will continue to move forward in tech, and video conferencing is not an exception. Cameras will come to recognize people’s faces and voice recording and recognition technology will start transcribing the conference content and filing it for participants. What we’re looking at is video conferencing using augmented and virtual reality plugins for real time communication features. 

An online meeting platform is an engaging distant way to connect people. 

What are those specific features that keep building attraction from users all over the globe for video conferencing solutions?

 Let’s find out.

  • HD video and HD audio. One of the most important aspects of all. When at a distance, people want to be heard and seen well. Right? Crystal video, clear continuous sound, smooth performance without breakage is what users flock to.

           Image courtesy

  • Screen sharing. This runs as one of the most important collaboration features there is. How else can you showcase your screen or the presentation you’ve been working on? Laconic yet flexible is what contemporary business people are looking for in a sharing feature.
  • Automatic Video Recording. Some of the platforms offer automated recording start right when your meeting begins in some of their memberships. Very convenient, but is usually the benefit of premium users.
  • Cloud storage option. Keep your recorded conference copies, file stacks and presentations: all in one place. 
  • Whiteboard. A great way to get creative and explain things so that everybody could easily seize your point.
  • Group chat. A great way to interact while someone else is on screen speaking. 
  • Virtual waiting rooms. These are also called lobbies. They are provided for the middle of the road conference sign-ins.

We’ve gone through all major factors of conferencing service. Take a look, we hope it helps you to find the best suitable solution for you. Based on ease of use, interface friendliness, cost, the number of meeting participants, features presented, the number of active video feeds and customer service you will be able to make your final choice.

 

Tatiana Romanova
Content Architect at Proficonf