Remote Meeting Software

Remote Meeting Software: Which One to Use?

In early December, I presented a webinar through ASA Chicago (Association of Subcontractors and Affiliates) with a fellow colleague. Our topic was remote meeting software options, features, and what makes them different from each other. It was very well received, so I thought I’d share our findings with all of you.

Webex—This is a Cisco product, designed for enterprise companies with multiple locations, in multiple countries, with multiple presenters. It has an impressive list of languages it supports, BTW. It has all the important features such as screen sharing, application sharing, cloud recording, and storage.

Although this is overkill for most of our clients, you may find yourself on the participant side of the product. As many of you know, we are Sage Business partners, VMware partners, Microsoft partners, and have many other tech-related partnerships with multi-national corporations. It’s not unusual to be on a Webex meeting with one of these vendors. The good news is that as a participant, there are only a few things to learn when joining these meetings, and the user experience is similar to other products.

Zoom—They’ve been around a while, but their user base has risen at an amazing pace since March and April of 2020.  They have the necessary features such as video and conference calls. There’s even a free version with limited features and a max of 45 minutes for the meeting.

When you’re on a Zoom meeting, Chat is available. You can hold one-on-one or group webinars. They have screen sharing, file sharing, and the ‘take control’ feature for easier collaboration.

The price point is very competitive with other products. It’s free to attend someone’s meeting, and the free version may meet some basic needs. Plan to spend between $15and $20 a month. They have some great promo pricing!

When it comes to security though, they have been behind the times. Zoom is well known for feature enhancements, but their security was not up to the task last Spring, so some meetings were hijacked or had drop in guests that were not welcome!

The good news is that they immediately saw the need and focused all their efforts on security. However, they are very clear that if you use Zoom, “Whether you have a Zoom account or not, we may collect Personal Data from or about you when you use or otherwise interact with our Products.” Proceed with caution!

Teams—They have everything you need in a remote meeting; video and audio, chat, group webinars, screen sharing, take-control, real time collaboration, file sharing, you name it.

One thing that makes it different than Zoom is that you can chat even if there isn’t a meeting. Also, the data is encrypted in transit and at rest, is SOC 1 and 2 compliant and meets HIPAA standards.

If you’re not on M365, this is a good time time to look at the many features that are included, even at the most basic price level. Here’s our article on Microsoft 365 and the many tools that are offered. See page 5 of our January newsletter for more on Teams.

GoTo Meeting— We use this all the time and have several licenses! It has all the basic meeting features such as screen sharing, take-control; webcam and audio options; the web app is great and easy to use; there are drawing tools; you can record the sessions. It’s easy to invite others, as well. Security includes SSL and AES-256 Encryption, SOC2 data centers, and more.

For training and interactive work during a meeting, this is a great tool. The price point is higher than Teams, comparable to Zoom, and there are pricing promos.

Still not sure? Give us a call and we can talk it through with you. This ‘convenience’ has now become a standard for those who must or can work remotely. —CMW