Global economies run on small businesses and many of today’s new technologies allow small businesses to better support geographically dispersed workforces, customers, and partners to connect and engage. Web-conferencing platforms are an integral part of connecting remote teams, and clients. These communication tools not only improve collaboration but also reduce travel costs for small businesses, which results in growing efficiency that must be achieved to remain competitive. There is no one size that fits all in terms of web conferencing solutions. Every business has different dynamics and their needs vary. But nearly every small business requires web conferencing solution that is highly dependable, works effectively and provides the best value for money.
Here we present the top products which allow small businesses to leverage the benefits of web conferencing services at a price that meets or beats the targets.
Cisco’s WebEx is among the top contenders for providing best web conferencing services for small businesses. WebEx provides the widest array of collaboration tools in the industry which includes scheduling video conferences right out of Outlook just like regular meetings and an interactive whiteboard. It not only offers screen-sharing features but also allows users to draw charts and share notes with others. WebEx comes with a fully featured mobile app allowing collaborators to participate from any mobile device including smartphones, iPads and tablets. In fact, WebEx offers a free plan that supports smaller teams with less than 3 participants. WebEx offers sufficient discounts on annual subscriptions and it’s pricing for a small group is better than any of its competitors.
Fuze focuses on small businesses which require powerful web conferencing services but do not have expanded budgets. For cost effective customers, Fuze’s free plan is surely the most generous in the market. It offers unlimited meetings for up to 25 participants which is lavish compared to all of its competitors. Collaboration is the key for a small business so solutions like Fuze is ideal for business meetings which do not involve large number of participants unlike webinars. With a highly scalable model, Fuze allows businesses to purchase their Pro plan for less than $10/month enabling them to host meetings with up to 125 attendees. Besides the basic video and audio conferencing features, it provides a set of markup tools which allow collaborators to edit documents and PDF files along with 1GB cloud storage for storing presentations and other edited material. Fuze not only has a mobile app allowing connectivity from any mobile device but allows host to record their virtual meetings.
GotoMeeting is a full-featured solution that requires installation on your computer unlike WebEx and Fuze. Which means you don’t need to sign in on a website to get started, the desktop has you up and running within seconds. GotoMeeting is considered a pioneer in the web conferencing solutions and quick installation can be done through its website by clicking your meeting ID. GoToMeeting is the most pricey in comparison with WebEx and Fuze- the organizer account for GoToMeeting can cost $50/month but guarantees unlimited meetings. GoToMeeting’s best trait is its’ user-friendly interface, making it very easy for any outside client or new user to adapt to it very quickly.
Google Hangout is a free-to-use tool that many small businesses still have to explore and catch up with. Hangouts can easily hold group presentation and webinars. You also get the feature to record the meeting and upload to your YouTube channels. It provides a very convenient platform to connect with your customers and team very effectively and monetize your business. With Google Hangout you can also share your screen and invite as many as 10 people to the show. If a small business requires to expand this limit, the Google Apps for Work will allow them to stretch the participant list to 25 individuals. It’s a great tool to expand upon your marketing by expanding your outreach and easily setting up the conference through mobile devices.
Skype, the legendary video call platform by Microsoft continues to face strong competition but it has managed to upgrade its features to stay relevant. Due to its long time presence, it has sustained its position and can be very beneficial for small businesses. All mobile platforms support Skype when installed as a third party application unless you use a windows phone. Skype offers an excellent file sharing option integrated with Office 365 for mobility. The integration with Office 365 on the cloud add clear advantage for Skype compared to other Office Suites that businesses may not commonly use. If you’re using a Windows OS, Skype will come built-in with the OS and adds a lot of convenience for quick use. If not, Skype for web will give you a close enough experience just like the desktop version.