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These days organizations heavily rely on online meetings, be it to discuss business with offshore partners or coordinate with the team on-the-go. The coronavirus pandemic has further highlighted the relevance of online meetings by making them a staple of remote working.
However, managing the various underlying tasks, such as audio/video conferencing, sending invites, and sharing documents, can be cumbersome if they are not consolidated on a central platform. This is where online meeting software comes in.
In this buyers guide, we’ll discuss more about this tool and how it can help businesses. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Online meeting software helps businesses schedule and host meetings over the internet. The tool provides features that facilitate audio/video conferencing and collaboration between two or more attendees.
It also helps users manage the administrative aspects of holding meetings, such as sending calendar invites, requesting RSVP, and sharing meeting agenda.
It is essential for a business to pick a deployment option that aligns with its needs. Let’s look at the key aspects of the two most common deployment types:
Cloud-based deployment: This deployment model involves less upfront investment, which makes it a great option for early-stage businesses. The upfront costs are low as the software is hosted on the vendor’s or any third-party’s servers, exempting the user from large infrastructure and maintenance costs.
Users need to pay subscription fees, which is typically charged monthly or annually. These tools can be accessed via computers or mobile devices connected to the internet.
On-premise deployment: This deployment model involves higher upfront costs, which makes it better suited to businesses comfortable with owning and managing servers. Incidentally, all costs related to hosting, supporting, and data storage become user responsibilities.
On-premise tools are available for a one-time license fee and can be accessed via devices installed within the business premises.
Key question to ask a vendor before you buy: Which deployment model for your tool will have lower long-term costs for my business?
By looking out for these common features, you can ensure the tool covers the essential functionalities to support online meetings effectively.
Meeting invites: Send meeting invitations, along with meeting agendas, to multiple attendees. Users can also request for RSVPs and attach essential meeting documents with the invite.
Sending meeting invite in LoopUp
Scheduling: Set date and time for meetings and send attendees automatic reminders. Sync with Google or Microsoft Outlook calendars to make tracking meetings easier.
Calendar view of meetings in Robin
Video/audio conference: Communicate with attendees via video or audio calls. Some tools allow users to customize how attendees appear on-screen—grid view, focused view, etc.
Video conferencing in GoToMeeting
Collaboration: Allow the host or another participant to share their computer screen with other attendees to share presentations and important documentations. Some tools also offer in-meeting document sharing or a virtual whiteboard on which users can annotate.
Screen sharing in Cisco Webex Meetings
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy: What are the differentiating features of your software?
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.