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At Concept, we don't just provide amazing IT Support and IT Services to businesses in the North East of England, we also like to share some of our knowledge and experience whilst providing guidance & insight.  Here you will find the latest information, advice and news from Concept.  If there are any topics you would like us to cover, please get in touch.  

11 June 2020
Which video conference platform should I use?

With the majority of the UK still working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic, more and more of us are now using a host of video conferencing apps, but which platform should you be using?

These tools have been available to us for quite some time but, as employers need to protect personal employee and client data, there are several things you should consider before you encourage your team to use a particular platform.

With social distancing firmly in place for the foreseeable future, the Concept IT team have pulled together the pros and cons of the most popular apps…

Circuit

This platform allows voice and video calls, screen share, chat and send files to colleagues. The aim of the company is to make collaboration simple, giving your team everything they need to communicate easily.

 

Pros:

  • It’s incredibly simple to use.
  • There’s a mobile and desktop app.
  • You don’t need an existing eco-system to use Circuit.
  • There is a free, basic version but also three packages to choose from.
  • You can use this app without having to download or pay for any other software.
  • Messages and calls are encrypted and secure.

Cons:

  • It could be quite costly for larger businesses as you pay per user, per month – the more members of staff who need accounts, the higher the monthly bill will be.

Zoom

This video communications tool provides videotelephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform – it’s used for teleconferencing, telecommuting and distance education. 

Pros:

  • There’s a free option – you can host a call with up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes, which may help you stick to your agenda and keep meetings short and sweet.
  • Zoom also offers a range of paid packages too, which start from £11.99, per month, per host.
  • You don’t need any other software to use this app, which means there are no additional costs to consider.
  • It’s a great option if you are not discussing any private or delicate information.  

Cons:

  • If you don’t want to pay, you are limited to 40-minute meetings.
  • The calls you make are not encrypted and therefore not private.
  • Your data isn’t protected – Zoom has received criticism from users about its privacy policy and security over the last few months, including sending user data to Facebook, selling data to advertisers and allowing meeting hosts to track attendees. Although the firm has made significant changes, you need still need to opt out and change your account’s privacy settings if you don’t want Zoom to track and use your data, or sell it to advertisers.

Microsoft Teams

This is a platform we’re sure you’ll have heard of. Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular business collaboration tools on the market, enabling users to communicate, share document and files all in one place.

Pros:

  • This app is easily integrated with other Microsoft Office applications.
  • Your Teams and Outlook calendars automatically link.
  • There’s a free plan, which can provide you with all of the basic features.
  • The platform works seamlessly with Microsoft 365.

Cons:

  • If you’re not using Microsoft 365 is can be difficult and expensive to fully set up.
  • You could accidently create two teams with the same name, as the app doesn’t give you a heads up on it, which can cause confusion.
  • Some users have commented that the structure of the app is quite puzzling at first.
  • It can be expensive – if you want to fully integrate the programme into your workplace and use all the features it can be quite costly as it will take your IT provider a significant amount of time to install.

Google Hangouts

This platform is available on mobile and desktop and allows users to text and make a phone or video call.

Pros:

  • Google Hangouts works well with Google Docs and other Google programmes.
  • You can host a group video call with up to 10 people.
  • There is a free, basic option.
  • You can talk for as long as you like as there’s no time limit on any calls.

Cons:

  • You have to have a Google account to use the platform.
  • The app doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other leading platforms.

With so many options to choose from we recommend that you take the time to explore all of the platforms available to you, take a look at the features and try the free options, or ask for a free demo to see what would work best for you and your team.

The Concept IT team recommends and uses Circuit on a daily basis. With fantastic features and a user-friendly layout, it’s been a real hit with us.

If you have any questions on video conferencing platforms don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 01207 234637.

 

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