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Video conferencing software allows teams to connect and conduct business remotely through two-way video and audio transmission. It allows a host to present to an online audience from any location. Video conferencing can include multiple use cases, such as internal and external collaboration.
In this buyers guide, we’ll cover:
Video conferencing software is a type of web conferencing software that helps users connect via video calls regardless of their physical location. Video conferencing includes several unique use cases, such as enabling internal/external collaboration, hosting webinars and conferences, leading training sessions, and conducting sales demos.
Based on business needs, you can choose to host your video conferencing software using on-premise or cloud-based servers. We’ve explained both options below.
On-premise: In this option, the software is hosted on your server, and you have to manage maintenance, upgrades, support, bugs, and data storage internally. Any device that has access to your business server can access the software. On-premise hosting usually involves a one-time, upfront payment for the software license. However, when comparing deployment options, you should factor in the time and effort it’ll take your team to manage the software on-premise over time.
Cloud-based: Cloud-based software is hosted on the vendor’s cloud server, and you typically pay a monthly or annual subscription fee for it. The software vendor manages support, maintenance, upgrades, and data storage on your behalf. You can access the software via any device connected to the internet. While the initial upfront cost is less compared with an on-premise solution, you might end up paying more in subscription costs over the long term.
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy: Companies have unique video conferencing needs, which you should be kept in mind when deciding on a particular vendor. Here are a few key questions to ask a vendor before purchasing.
How does your software work for companies that already have video conferencing hardware/room setups vs. companies that primarily have users conferencing in from their own devices?
Do you have a desktop app that needs to be downloaded, or will users get full functionality via the web?
Do you offer any artificial intelligence (AI) integration, such as meeting transcriptions, background noise cancellation, or virtual meeting assistants?
Understanding the common features of video conferencing software will help you make an apples-to-apples comparison of the software.
Two-way audio and video: This feature allows users to conduct two-way audio and video conferences to communicate remotely.
Video calling in Pexip
Screen sharing: Using this feature, call participants can take turns sharing their device’s screen to display content, such as documents and spreadsheets.
Screen sharing in LoopUp
Presentation streaming: With this feature, users can stream a live presentation to their entire team. This functionality is helpful for a variety of use cases, such as HR training, sales demos, and webinars.
Presentation streaming in Livestorm
Chat: The live chat feature facilitates real-time communication between call participants. It can be in the form of private chat, group chat, or both.
Direct messaging and video chats on Zoom
Mobile access: Users can schedule or attend meetings from any mobile device when they are on the go or not at their workstation.
Mobile access in G Suite
Recording and playback: This feature allows users to record meetings for future reference. This can be helpful if someone missed a presentation, or if a demo or training requires multiple sessions to be completed.
Event recording in BigMarker
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.
The following source was used for this article:
Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions (Accessed on May 12, 2020; full report available to Gartner clients only)