In these peculiar times we have all been forced into unfamiliar working patterns. Although video conferencing has been around for decades it has taken on an added importance during these times of isolation. These are the apps out there that you should be familiarising yourself with, whether continuing to home-work, interviewing for new roles, or indeed keeping in contact with friends and family. Although they may seem similar the different platforms have different benefits and companies have their preferences so it’s good to be on top of the main ones.
Zoom has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons i.e. security issues. However it’s popularity has rocketed in 2020 and it’s easy to see why. The free offering has a limit of 40 minute sessions for over 3 participants (sounds like a bonus to us!). The options are pretty huge and it’s Enterprise offering competes with any of the ‘professional’ set ups. Let’s hope these current glitches can be overcome pronto.
Skype is the household name in video conferencing. It was the first mass marketing system and was bought by Microsoft in 2011 for $8.5bn. Skype has remained an important player and is one of the only platforms to receive and make ‘standard’ telephone calls too. It’s used less in a business context nowadays as competitors have focused more on that market but it still has particular prominence in global education projects.
For users of G-Suite Google Hangouts Meet is the video conferencing component, the free version is Google Hangouts Chat. Google Hangouts Meet is a sophisticated video conferencing system that, as you might expect syncs with all the G-Suite apps, particularly Calendar and Gmail.
If you work for, or are applying to work for a large corporation who have big teams and hold online conferences, they may well be using Cisco Webex. It has excellent security facilities, the system can handle huge operations and is surprisingly affordable.