The current year was absolutely not something we could expect. We managed to focus, we learned a lot, we overcame all the hardships. And most importantly now we can be sure that we are not that easy to bring down.
This year like never before we used and continue to use various platforms for video conferencing, meetings and video calls. Before the pandemic era these IT tools were mostly appreciated by regular users to talk to friends and relatives. Marketing and sales teams were also using messengers and video software to communicate to customers and host product webinars etc.
In 2020 the companies that offered platforms for video conferencing became very popular, useful, rich and famous. With thousands of events cancelled, with millions of business trips postponed, with difficulties to travel, communicate, serve and deliver, the video software came to the nations’ rescue. And did a great job!
It is difficult to imagine how we could overcome and move on without video platforms. Once again the technology and media gurus proved that there is a bright side of the technological revolution, and not only a bad ecological impact. With video conferencing we managed to stay tuned and focused on what really matters.
A lot of services changed, and even more appeared, and we can be sure that this direction will continue its development and growth. That is why today you need to pay more attention to the platforms for video conferencing. This is the future.
And to make it easier for you, I will describe several platforms that could be used for video conferencing, meetings, calls, webinars, education. You just need to choose and test what suits you most.
Skype is a telecommunications application that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices, the Xbox One console, and smartwatches over the Internet. It also provides instant messaging services. Users may transmit text, video, audio and images. It allows video conference calls.
First released in August 2003, Skype was created by the Swede Niklas Zennström and the Dane Janus Friis, in cooperation with Ahti Heinla, Priit Kasesalu, Jaan Tallinn, and Toivo Annus, Estonians who developed the peer-to-peer backend that was also used in the music-sharing application Kazaa.
In September 2005, eBay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion. In September 2009, Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board announced the acquisition of 65% of Skype for $1.9 billion from eBay, which attributed to the enterprise a market value of $2.92 billion. Microsoft bought Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. Skype’s division headquarters are in Luxembourg, but most of the development team and 44% of all the division’s employees are still situated in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia.
It allows users to communicate over the Internet by voice, using a microphone, by video using a webcam, and by instant messaging. Skype implements a freemium business model with Skype-to-Skype calls being free of charge, while calls to landline telephones and mobile phones (over traditional telephone networks) are charged via a debit-based user account system called Skype Credit.
Cisco Webex is an American company that develops and sells web conferencing and videoconferencing applications. It was founded as WebEx in 1995 and taken over by Cisco Systems in 2007. Its headquarters are in Milpitas, California.
Its software products include Webex Meetings, Webex Teams, Training Center, Event Center, Support Center, Sales Center, MeetMeNow, PCNow, Webex AIM Pro Business Edition, Webex WebOffice, and WebEx Connect. All Webex products are part of the Cisco Systems collaboration portfolio.
GoToMeeting is a web-hosted service created and marketed by LogMeIn. It is an online meeting, desktop sharing, and video conferencing software package that enables the user to meet with other computer users, customers, clients or colleagues via the Internet in real time.
GoToMeeting provides a fast, easy and reliable online meeting solution designed to power workforce productivity. Build better relationships and drive business outcomes by meeting face to face, sharing presentations and chatting with colleagues all with the click of a button.
Leveraged by many of the largest companies around the world, GoToMeeting is trusted by millions of people everyday for professional real-time virtual communication and collaboration.
Zoom is an American communications technology company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides videotelephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations.
Zoom‘s business strategy focuses on providing an easier to use product than competitors, as well as cost savings, which include minimizing computational costs at the infrastructure level and having a high degree of employee efficiency.
Zoom helps businesses and organizations bring their teams together in a frictionless environment to get more done. Easy, reliable cloud platform for video, voice, content sharing, and chat runs across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems.
Eric Yuan, a former Cisco engineer and executive, founded Zoom in 2011, and launched its software in 2013.
Beginning in early 2020, Zoom’s software usage saw a significant global increase following the introduction of quarantine measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Microsoft Teams is a proprietary business communication platform developed by Microsoft, as part of the Microsoft 365 family of products. Teams primarily competes with the similar services, offering workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage, and application integration. Teams is replacing other Microsoft-operated business messaging and collaboration platforms, including Skype for Business and Microsoft Classroom.
Microsoft announced Teams at an event in New York and launched the service worldwide on March 14, 2017. It was created during an internal hackathon at the company headquarters and is currently led by Microsoft corporate vice president Brian MacDonald.
Teams allows communities, groups, or teams to join through a specific URL or invitation sent by a team administrator or owner. Teams for Education allows admins and teachers to set up specific teams for classes, professional learning communities (PLCs), staff members, and everyone.
Within a team, members can set up channels. Channels are topics of conversation that allow team members to communicate without the use of email or group SMS. Users can reply to posts with text as well as images, GIFs and custom made memes.
Calling is provided by: instant messaging, Voice over IP (VoIP), and video conferencing inside the client software. Teams also supports public switched telephone network (PSTN) conferencing allowing users to call phone numbers from the client.
Meetings can be scheduled or created ad hoc and users visiting the channel will be able to see that a meeting is currently in progress. Teams also has a plugin for Microsoft Outlook to invite others into a Teams meeting. This supports thousands of users that can connect via a meeting link.
UberConference is a cloud-based video conferencing system from Dialpad, a privately held company in San Francisco, California. The company, formerly known as Firespotter Labs, was co-founded by Craig Walker one year after he was the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Google Ventures. Prior to the launch of UberConference, Firespotter launched a restaurant seating application called NoshList.
UberConference was launched in May 2012 at TechCrunch Disrupt, the annual trade conference run by technology news source TechCrunch. It was chosen as the best new product from a group of 30 startup entrants.
UberConference leverages Voice Intelligence to transcribe meetings and automate tasks during the conference call. Based on your conversation, Voice Intelligence can capture important moments from your meeting and compile a list of Action Items for you to revisit at a later time. Furthermore, the Post-Call Summary will give you a snapshot of the conference call and the Call Transcript will provide you with a full record of the meeting.
A number of features have been added to the service, including screen sharing and file sharing (which allows users to share the image of their own screen with other callers), as well as integration into a number of Google Apps, including Google Hangouts.
Zoho Meeting is a secure online meeting platform and webinar solution. As the world embraces remote work, security and privacy of online apps, especially web conferencing software, are becoming topics of concern. Zoho Meeting follows protocols to protect your information online through encryption and compliance to internationally accepted security and privacy standards.
Zoho Meeting provides secure audio, video, and screen sharing, which are the fundamental features of any online meeting software. Convey ideas better and build trust through video conferencing. Add context to your discussions by sharing documents and presentations through screen sharing. To protect your privacy, Zoho Meeting always requests your consent before sharing your video and audio during online meetings.
Meeting’s remote access feature makes it easy for participants to collaborate in real-time on a shared screen. It can also be used by IT personnel to troubleshoot technical issues. As a security measure, Zoho Meeting enables remote access only with the permission of the person who shares the screen. Participants can also use the chat option in the live meeting window to send messages to everyone in the meeting.
Webinar solution lets you add your colleagues or guest speakers as co-organizers so they can present with you, answer attendee questions, and launch polls. If you want to protect your webinars from spammers or abusers, you can moderate the people who register for your webinar. Accept, deny, or cancel registrations to filter your audience and prevent spam.
BlueJeans by Verizon is a company that provides an interoperable cloud-based video conferencing service that connects participants across a wide range of devices and conferencing platforms. It is headquartered in San Jose, California, United States. Prior to its May 2020 acquisition by Verizon, the company was known as “BlueJeans Network”.
BlueJeans provides an interoperable cloud-based video meetings service that connects many users across different devices, platforms and conference programs.
Every BlueJeans member has a private “meeting room” in the BlueJeans cloud to schedule and host conference meetings. It operates with business conferencing solutions such as Cisco, Microsoft Lync, StarLeaf, Lifesize, and Polycom as well as consumer services like Google. This service can be used directly through BlueJeans Network or through its partner companies. For example, in 2012 BlueJeans Network began powering the videoconferencing services of InterCall.
Join.me offers the simplest, easiest and most, um, well-rounded way to meet face-to-face from anywhere. Easy to start and easy to join from your desktop or mobile device.
With unlimited audio conferencing, join.me is the ideal solution when you need an instant, hassle-free way to host an online meeting – scheduled or not. Anyone can call the join.me conference number of their choice, and enter your unique 9-digit code. And with join.me toll-free you can give clients or customers the option to use a toll-free number. Callers are put on hold until others join, then when everyone is on, you can see who is actively talking.
Getting everyone on the same page is easy – so long as join.me instant screen sharing is involved. When you start your join.me meeting, simply press the “Broadcast” button and you’re ready to go. It’s that simple. If you’re a join.me PRO user, you can share just a single window instead of your whole screen full of unread emails, Word docs, PowerPoint decks and those puppies you want to rescue. Plus, you can keep working on any document that is not being shared and nobody else will see it.
Google Meet (formerly known as Hangouts Meet) is a video-communication service developed by Google. It is one of two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Chat. Google planned to begin retiring Google Hangouts in October 2019.
Features of Google Meet include:
- Two-way and multi-way audio and video calls with a resolution up to 720p
- An accompanying chat
- Call encryption between all users
- Noise cancelling audio filter
- Low-light mode for video
- Ability to join meetings through a web browser or through Android or iOS apps
- Integration with Google Calendar and Google Contacts for one-click meeting calls
- Screen-sharing to present documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or (if using a browser) other browser tabs
- Ability to call into meetings using a dial-in number in the US
- Hosts being able to deny entry and remove users during a call
With Jabber you can Streamline communications and enhance productivity by integrating presence, instant messaging, desktop sharing, and audio, video, and web conferencing into a single client for your laptop or desktop.
You can use real-time presence information and instant messaging to reduce delays. View the availability of contacts within and outside of your organization on your Windows desktop.
For more than a decade, Lifesize has been at the forefront of video collaboration delivering high-quality technology designed to bring people together. It focuses on developing market-leading products that deliver easy-to-use and scalable audio, web and video conferencing.
Lifesize combines an integrated, best-in-class cloud-based conferencing experience, with award-winning, easy-to-use HD camera systems and HD phones so that you can connect to anyone, anywhere. It’s a meeting experience like no other.
Lifesize is a video and audio telecommunications company in the United States which provides high definition videoconferencing endpoints and accessories, touchscreen conference room phones and a cloud-based video collaboration platform.
Lifesize’s worldwide headquarters is located in Austin, Texas. Its Europe, Middle East and Africa regional office is located in Munich, Germany.
Whereby is made to work straight in the browser on your phone or laptop – no downloads needed. Perfect for inviting internal and external participants.
It features chat and reactions that help shy team members give valuable input during a meeting without interrupting the speaker.
All rooms are locked by default. Guests have to knock to be let in. You are in control of who’s allowed into your room. All rooms can be unlocked for easy access.
Fill the room with up to 50 participants at the same time. Whereby designed it to manage both the bandwidth and screen space – with 12 on stage with the rest listening, while contributing with audio, chat, and reactions.
This is an American publicly traded provider of cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions for businesses.
RingCentral CEO Vlad Shmunis and CTO Vlad Vendrow founded the company in 1999.
RingCentral provides a cloud-based business phone system. It offers PBX features such as multiple extensions; call control; Outlook, Salesforce, Google Docs, DropBox and Box integration; SMS; video conferencing and web conferencing; fax; auto-receptionist; call logs; and rule-based call routing and answering.
This powerful video chat platform is built to help you not just run webinars but also get powerful analytics out of them. On top of that, you can use ClickMeeting for day-to-day business meetings of up to 25 participants.
ClickMeeting is absolutely loaded with features for webinar hosts. To start with, the software includes just about all the tools you could want during a presentation. You can share your screen, play slideshows and videos, and even let attendees take over your mouse to explore an interactive display.
U is designed not for enterprises, but for the individuals who work in them. It’s fast, fun to use and as simple to handle as the social apps you use every day to connect with people. Build your work teams and business partnerships with free online meetings, webinar presentations, and instant messaging that’s super easy to use, smooth HD quality, and completely lag-free.
Host video meetings and webinars with up to 25 people for FREE. U is simple, it’s social, and it works!
- Best video meeting quality
- Lowest drop-call rate
- Simple UI and meeting layout
- No downloads or plugins required for meeting participants
- Fast to host a meeting and invite people
- Lag-free, full frame rate (30fps) screen sharing
- Engage both in-room and remote audience simultaneously
- Real-time text chat
- Annotate live, or jump through slides in any order to adjust the presentation on-the-fly
- Record a presentation during a live broadcast or offline
- Post editing of “modular” slide recordings; edit on slide-by-slide basis
- Schedule a pre-recorded session to play at a dedicated URL at a specific time
- Send group texts, images and audio from mobile and desktop
- Instantly start a video call with up to 100 participants
- Send stickers
- Collaborate and simply drag and drop to share files
With FreeConference free video conferencing solutions, up to 100 participants can quickly join a video meeting using browser-based web conferencing. Effective online meetings for remote work and team collaboration happen without any downloads, delays, or set-ups.
The most popular feature, the free online meeting room, gives participants a place to meet before the online meeting gets underway. Hosts have the freedom to choose when to be seen and when to turn the video conference feature off.
Intermedia AnyMeeting™ is a powerful online meeting solution built for businesses of all sizes. Easy to use meeting experience is available on desktop and mobile devices so that you can have reliable, stress free meetings anywhere, anytime. With the highest HD audio and video quality, interactive collaboration tools and artificial intelligence capabilities, AnyMeeting transforms communications with a smarter, faster, engaging and actionable meetings experience.
Intermedia AnyMeeting® Webinar makes telling your stories easier. Presenters can use video, audio and screen sharing to market products and services to audiences anywhere. AnyMeeting webinars help build personal connections, engagement, and trust by simply allowing attendees to see the presenter in real-time and engage through Q&A, Emoji’s, and live Polls and more. Reach a broader audience and grow your business with an easy-to-use service that connects and engages anyone, on any device, from anywhere.
Fuze (formerly known as ThinkingPhones) is a cloud communications and collaboration software platform designed for the enterprise. The company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Fuze’s main product combines business voice, videoconferencing, text, instant messaging, content sharing, and collaboration apps under a single cloud service to deliver both traditional phone systems and mobile devices a seamless transition between communication methods. It runs on a natively-developed platform, and focuses primarily on large enterprise and mid-market customers. The company also provides analytics and real-time intelligence, with an expanded version of caller ID that pulls information from a caller’s online profiles to provide more information on the caller. Mobile enhancements to Fuze offer mobile workers more flexibility and control, while maintaining the full capabilities of the Fuze platform. The products can integrate with existing enterprise software services, such as Slack, Salesforce and Gmail.
Fuze offers enterprise-grade HD audio and video conferencing for meetings with up to 1,000 participants with dynamic screen and content sharing. These services are tightly integrated into the same unified application with a consistent user experience across desktop, mobile, web, and rooms.
Flock is a proprietary messaging and collaboration tool, founded by tech entrepreneur Bhavin Turakhia in 2014. The app is available on Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS and Web.
Flock allows users to configure external apps and integrations from the Flock App Store, and receive notifications and updates directly in Flock.
Flock functions on a freemium pricing model. The application was launched in 2014.
The primary features of Flock are direct & channel messaging, video conferencing, screen & file sharing, and unlimited chat history. Flock users can create public channels and private channels. Public channels are open for everyone to discover and join, and do not require an invitation from the team admin. These channels are for sharing knowledge, interests and experiences. Private channels are for more focused discussions, and can be joined by invite only.
This is a UK-based company that provides voice and video conferencing systems for conference rooms and desktops, and software clients for mobile users.
StarLeaf owns and operates a global video communications network and as of July 2018 has fifteen points of presence across North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. The infrastructure on which this network is based was developed by the company and provides a platform for the provision of voice and video services to businesses globally. The range of voice and video endpoints were also developed in-house by the company.
In 2019, StarLeaf achieved ISO/IEC 27001 certification, an internationally recognized standard for data security.
Livestorm is a browser based online web conferencing software used to share real-time live streams. It can be used to power remote live meetings, product demos, sales webinars, online lessons, onboarding sessions, more.
Livestorm was founded in Paris, France in 2016 by Gilles Bertaux, Robin Lambert, Vincent Garreau and Tom Forlini.
Livestorm comes with HD webinar and video streaming, screensharing, browser-based webinars, text chat for participants, text Q&A for participants, polls during webinars, custom registration page, replay available for streaming or download, inviting guest presenters to the stage, sharing documents via upload, Iframe, or YouTube embeds, multi-language support, recurring events.
It also provides features for marketing: creating a custom registration form embeddable on any page, source tracking, analytics report, replay analytics, email invitation supporting variables using the Liquid templating engine, registrant profiles.
Of course these are not the only platforms for video confererencing, webinars, education etc. There are much more today. And the number will continue to grow due to the current and future demand for the technologies like these.
To be more efficient and productive you need to use some of the video platforms. For your teams I as well may suggest to use some of these apps. And you can read more articles like this in Marketing Automation section of the website.
Stay focused! Stay productive! Happy marketing!