There was a time when you asked someone if they could do a Webex call, and everyone knew what that meant. Just like Kleenex means tissue, or Q-Tip is a cotton swab, there was a time when Webex and video calling were synonymous.
Webex was cutting-edge technology when it was launched in 1995, however, those days are in the rearview mirror. Video conferencing has come a long way, especially when considering the solutions’ user-friendliness. In this article, we give you five better options than Webex. Some you are familiar with, and some that may surprise you.
Features All Video Conferencing Platforms Should Have
Before we dive into the intricacies and nuances of the best platforms, it is important to establish what are table stakes (or should be) when it comes to video in 2023. Here is a list of what all video collaboration platforms should have standards:
- High-Quality Video and Audio
- Screen Sharing
- Collaboration Tools
High-Quality Video and Audio
All platforms now offer high-definition video and clear audio, which is essential for effective communication during video conferences.
This allows users to share their screens with others during a video call, which is useful for presentations, demonstrations, and collaboration.
Virtual whiteboarding, file sharing, and chat can help to enhance productivity during meetings.
Allow users to record their meetings, which can be helpful for reference or for those who couldn’t attend the meeting in real time.
This is a newer feature that is available and one of our favorites as you can receive a transcription of the conversation.
Integration with Other Applications
The ability to integrate with other popular applications, such as Microsoft Outlook, Google Workspace, Salesforce, and most CRMs. This makes it easier to schedule and join meetings as well as document the meeting’s cliff notes.
Password protection, waiting rooms, and encryption ensure the safety and privacy of users.
Zoom Is the New Webex
Remember 2020? Of course, we do! That is the year that Zoom video conferencing became a noun, a verb, and the everyday term for hopping on a video call. The business world crossed over into our everyday lives as families and friends were connecting virtually. Proposing a video call to your family before the pandemic started would have seemed awkward, now it is part of our everyday lives.
Zoom earned its place in the video conferencing world for a variety of reasons with ease of use being at the top of the list. If you have used a computer or smartphone for any amount of time, the platform is intuitive and user-friendly. This means fewer calls to IT and a much higher adoption rate amongst your team.
Because of Zoom’s popularity, the integration capabilities with the most common applications and platforms are second to none. Zoom has over 1,500 integrations and the process does not require an IT degree or developer to make it happen. Something Webex administrators will find comforting.
RingCentral Continues to Impress
When it comes to unified communications RingCentral is an industry leader and continues to impress with its innovations. Once powered by Zoom on the video side, their team has been working hard to create their native offering and it is impressive.
The one word that describes their solution is flexible. You can easily move from a call to a video with the touch of a button. Presentation mode is as powerful as you would like to make it, the noise reduction feature works and doesn’t make your voice robotic, and the live transcription is consistently accurate.
Where RingCentral separates itself from Webex and others is what happens after the meeting with their Advanced Meeting Insights. You can get up to speed quickly with meeting summaries, categorize meetings by subject, search by keywords, and create video highlight reels. In a world where time is at an all-time premium, you can summarize 12 hours of meetings into 10 minutes. RingCentral has created a productivity tool with its video conferencing and UC platforms.
Microsoft Teams Went from Clunky to Collaborative
Two years ago, Teams would not be anywhere near this list. When Microsoft bought Skype it kickstarted a lot of competition and for good reason. Skype was largely a consumer product with limited business applications. Then came Skype for Business, which did not have a very good adoption rate.
This all led to the creation (or rebranding of Skype) of Microsoft Teams. When it was first launched in 2017 the user interface was lackluster and not very intuitive. The constant updates caused many to be late or abandon meetings altogether.
Since the pandemic, Microsoft has invested heavily in the Teams product and worked diligently to bring a user-friendly and dare we say borderline fun experience to the business community. The collaboration and project management tools within the platform are a productivity enhancer, the presentation options are good for a small or large group, and integration with the 800-pound elephant Office 365 makes Teams a go-to for many businesses.
8X8 Deserves a Seat at The Table
8×8 has worked hard to innovate and earn a seat at the video conferencing table. The quality of the video is impressive in a world that consistently is innovating to bring the best video without interruption to your meetings.
What other companies like Cisco failed to grasp over the past decade is that Integrations are the name of the game. Where some chose to monopolize, 8×8 strategically integrated with the biggest players in the business world. IT directors want the ease of use and easy integration, 8×8 delivers.
When considering video conferencing platforms 8×8 should absolutely be on the list of demos to try as there is a strong chance this checks your boxes for both internal and external communication. With the added ability to stream your meetings live to YouTube and other platforms, being visible to customers and prospects is more possible than ever.
Google Meet Has to Be on The List
Google and the G-Suite have become commonplace in the business world offering everything that Microsoft has just all in the cloud, and before Microsoft was in the cloud. Google has been at the forefront of collaboration, especially in the startup and small business world.
Like most companies, the pandemic caused a mass innovation and race to video conferencing and Google was no exception. With a larger war chest and more talent on the bench, they have poured hundreds of millions into making Google Meet a viable video conferencing option.
Innovating or “borrowing” features and functionality has been a good plan so far that has worked well. Bringing advanced transcription and automatically syncing to Google Drive for recordings has helped Google stay on brand with its user-friendly reputation. They anticipate the needs of businesses and will continue to innovate and expand their offering.
Video Conferencing and Collaboration Is Not One Size Fits All
Your business is unique, quirky, and different than your competition or other industries. Just because a peer found Teams to be the right fit does not translate into the right fit for your business. Whether it is video conferencing or contact center solutions, the implementation partner is equally as important as the solution itself.
Partner with someone you can trust and schedule some time with our team who has decades of experience finding the right fit. We always start with the most important piece of the communication puzzle, your business!