As technology continues to support our collaborative endeavors at the workplace, teams are demanding a myriad of software tools for communication and conferencing across offices.
The way your employees collaborate entirely depends on your business model. Different teams within an organization often have their own unique needs. Below, we will introduce popular conferencing tools as a way to enhance collaboration across organizations.
What Are Conference Tools?
Conference tools are increasingly valuable for organizations that have a large workforce, especially those with remote workers or multiple offices. Conferencing platforms are a way for teams to gather under the same “roof” despite time differences, state lines, or global boundaries. Conference tools allow entire organizations to meet, increasing the chance that culture, process, and success persists despite remote attendance.
The Value of The Modern Conference
Considering that 55% of your message is conveyed through nonverbal elements (like gestures, facial expressions, and posture), face-to-face communication is best for collaborating on strategies and concepts, which require information-rich nonverbal cues and in-depth understanding.
Today, plug-and-play solutions are resolving quality and usability issues that have plagued the space for over a decade. The tools that are emerging are smarter, more affordable, and easier to use and install. So whether you are strategizing with your team on a new assignment, hosting a round table discussion, or delivering a project to a client, there is immeasurable value to adopting videoconferencing technology.
Five Types of Video Conference Software
Join.Me is an online meeting platform that allows people from different companies to sync over video for a conference. Join.Me has gained popularity with its ease-of-use and simple user interface.
2. Citrix GoToMeeting
GoToMeeting is a robust solution for organizations looking to streamline multi-office conferencing. Reducing the amount of technical/user error that can occur during meetings, GoToMeeting continues to impress small business as well as enterprise teams.
3. Google Hangouts for Video
Google Hangouts is better known as a popular chat tool for businesses, however, in recent months it has emerged as a leading video conference software for both SMB and Enterprise corporations. Part of the Free Extension Suite from Google Chrome, Hangouts has an easy-to-use videoconferencing platform for even the least technologically advanced user. Google Hangouts for Video is a great way for any organization to start collaborating virtually without missing the “face-to-face” component.
With AnyMeeting you can host live events, webinars, training sessions and more with this advanced solution. AnyMeeting continues to deliver with its affordability, reliability and simplicity.
5. Cisco Webex
Webex offers a suite of video software that is fit for both small and large organizations. Considered the most common “enterprise” conferencing app, Cisco Webex provides screen sharing capabilities and video conferencing tools that streamline team productivity and communication.
The Perks of Meeting “Face-to-Face”
When in-person meetings aren’t practical, due to time, travel costs or other constraints, web conferencing software can be an extremely valuable tool for collaborating internally and externally. These tools not only give you and your team a “face-to-face,” interpersonal connection, many of them have file sharing, screen sharing and interactive whiteboard capabilities.
“Face-to-face contact is synergistic, pleasurable and efficient. A five-minute video meeting can accomplish more than 20 emails” says Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom. The beauty of video conferencing software is its ability to slash travel expenses, span the distance, and connect users as if they truly were meeting personally—making it an ideal solution for the following environments:
- Companies or sole proprietors serving remote clients and prospects
- Remote workers, especially those living in different time zones than their coworkers
- Geographically distributed organizations or those with multiple branches
Additional Benefits of Video Conferencing
Now let’s move on to discuss how these tools work, and what they offer in terms of the user experience: Staff Training and Development Businesses that need to provide training to off-site employees in multiple locations can host a web conference, which can include videos and slides.
1. Conference Meetings
Quick, check-in meetings, team brainstorming sessions, and agency-wide conferences can all take place on a user’s laptop, or even on a mobile device. Full-featured, customizable conference tools can join you with hundreds of other people in a video conference.
2. Desktop/Screen Sharing
“Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Video conferencing tools have upped the collaboration factor by allowing users to view one another’s desktops, a great feature for project teams who can’t physically meet but still need close interaction. Walking a prospect through a demo of your software no longer requires a plane ticket.
3. File Sharing
One very handy feature of many web conferencing tools is the ability to share (and comment on) files. This saves the time of sending a file to a team member, waiting for comments, revising, sending it again...you get the picture. It can all be done in one meeting, in real-time.
As we mentioned at the start of this blog, every organization has its own unique environment and culture, and not every collaboration tool is right for every business. Taking time to consider these important issues before deciding on a collaboration tool will help ensure that your organization is utilizing these tools in the most effective way possible.