5 questions small business owners should ask themselves before choosing a video conferencing solution
Choosing the right solution for your small business
With the advent of widespread remote work, collaboration has become more complex. Instead of gathering in a physical conference room, meetings are now virtual. How do you choose the right solution for your small business and give your teams the tools they need to succeed?
Unproductive meetings are a time and energy suck. When conducted remotely, they have the potential to be even more disorienting. The right video conferencing solution can make meetings productive again.
5 things to look for in a video conferencing solution
Before purchasing a conference solution for audio/video calls and meetings, there are some questions to be answered. Look carefully at each of your prospective solutions and as a buyer, consider a customer value management approach to see if they support your business needs. Some features may include:
Many video conferencing solutions require users to have an account or download an app. That’s just one more hoop to jump through and one more login to remember. Look for options that support in-browser use and have a fast uptime instead.
When you can simply invite people to a meeting with a quick email and they can get straight into the meeting by clicking a link, you cut down on time waiting for people to find their login or request a new password, or download and launch an app.
Cisco Webex Meetings has a fast browser-based interface, providing easy access for desktop users. Your participants can also join via tablet, phone, or any standards-based video conferencing system. The goal is to provide unparalleled video quality from anywhere your team member is located, on any device they choose to utilize. You can easily customize the meeting layout for best viewing and usability.
Best of all, there’s no download or configuration required, and users can easily jump into meetings over the phone with the Call Me feature. You can schedule, start, and join new meetings directly from your toolbar for added flexibility and convenience.
The ability to actively share and collaborate during a conference can enhance video calls and teamwork. Look for solutions that allow the following functionalities:
- Screen sharing. Being able to show, not tell, can streamline training processes and make it easy for groups to follow along as you demonstrate how to use a new tool or application.
- File sharing. Dropping a document into your meeting for everyone to access saves time and effort over having to create and send an email blast with the attached file or link.
- Instant messaging. Having a built-in chat allows participants to ask questions without interrupting the flow of a presentation and helps preserve a record of participation.
Webex Meetings facilitates screen sharing, file sharing, and real-time chat during video conferencing calls to help foster collaboration and build stronger teams.
Being able to revisit what happened in a conference call can give your video conferences lasting organizational impact. Look for features like audio/visual recording, closed captioning, real-time transcription and note taking. Being able to share a past video conference with someone who missed it is easier than trying to recap later.
Webex Meetings can record each conference, provide closed captions, facilitate note-taking, and deliver accurate transcriptions that you can download, save, and share as needed. When you need to revisit an older conference, you can use targeted keywords to search transcripts for sections of interest.
Cost vs. value
While cost is certainly a factor for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), it shouldn’t be the deciding factor when choosing how to handle your video conferencing call needs. All options aren’t created equal, and it’s better to pay a little more for a video conference solution that meets the needs of your team.
- Quality. Read reviews and find out which solutions repeatedly get praise for clear audio and smooth video feeds.
- Resolution. Does the picture quality suffer on certain devices? You need a solution that doesn’t just work only on desktop or only on mobile.
- Security. How are your calls encrypted? Who handles the speech to text function and provides recordings, transcriptions, and closed captioning?
- Support. When you’re having issues, waiting in a queue or having to email a support team isn’t a viable solution. You need help that is available and accessible in real time.
Webex Meetings video conferencing provides clear audio and high-resolution video, along with in-house encryption, recording, captioning, and transcription for a secure experience. The support team is continually available to troubleshoot any potential issues with you in real time.
How well will the video conferencing solution integrate with tools you already use? Ask the following questions when considering adding video conferencing to your array of small business solutions:
- Can you seamlessly merge your contact list, email client, and calendars to facilitate meeting invites?
- Will you be able to readily access files from your favorite file-share and storage locations?
- Is the solution compatible with both Microsoft and Apple tools and applications?
- What about chat and communication platforms?
- Can you use the video conference solution inside your preferred small business customer relationship management (CRM) platform?
Being able to continue using the other solutions your team is familiar with will make video conferencing easier and more intuitive.
Webex Meetings smoothly integrates with Google Cloud, Microsoft, Apple, Box, Salesforce, and Slack to complete your suite of small business tools while fostering scalability and adoption.
Video conferencing can give your SMB a strong strategic advantage. Learn more by getting started with a free trial today.
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Sep 16, 2021 — Aruna Ravichandran