If nothing else, 2020 has been the year of the web conferencing service. It’s a platform that exploded on a worldwide level as businesses transitioned into work-from-anywhere environments. Additionally, everything from family reunions to cooking classes have moved to web conferencing platforms. There’s a seemingly unlimited variety of options when it comes to picking the best service for your needs, but the solution is far from cookie cutter and understanding your specific needs is key to making educated decisions.
First, and most importantly, is to determine your conferencing requirements. What do your employees need? Who will they be conferencing with? How long will their meetings be? How many participants will the meetings have? Will they need audio and video? Is there a need for screen sharing? Is there a need for meeting security? What is your budget for conferencing services? Who will be supporting your staff with these services? It’s important to understand your teams needs before you begin your search for your company’s conferencing solution.
One of the biggest decisions you will need to make, in regards to the conferencing solution you choose, will be if you need a paid subscription or a free one. The guidelines you set above will provide enough context for you to be able to determine if any of the limitations of a free subscription will be business impacting. If you expect your team will only be doing short audio meetings, then there are many free services that will fit your needs. However, if there’s a need for centralized account and cost management, advanced security, or longer meeting times, you may need to look into paid services.
For customer-facing meetings, think about the perception a free conferencing service may invoke. Will it be perceived negatively by your customers? Just as you would not want to use a free email domain for your work email, you may not want to use the same free web conferencing service for your business needs.
Assuming you’re going with a paid version, consider how you will manage and allocate the costs. Do you want to establish a corporate account for centralized management and charge back to the departments or will you have your employees purchase their conferencing services individually and expense it back to the company? Corporate accounts usually receive discounted pricing or other cost incentives. They also allow you to manage the users from a central account or portal.
Managing your conferencing services is as vital as managing your landline services. Knowing how to get employees the support they need when things go wrong, ensuring charges are properly allocated to cost centers or business units, or even researching the best vendor for your business needs can take more time and resources than you have available. If you find yourself overwhelmed with your evaluation and decision process, an experienced TEM provider like 4TelecomHelp can offer relief. Click HERE for more information.