As coronavirus takes the world by storm, the ever-changing face of business has been forced to mold and adapt to today’s newest disruption: human contact.
Amongst this COVID-19 outbreak, businesses have taken their meetings to the internet through digital conferencing platforms, and we aren’t short of options.
Zoom was designed to help more than 700 000 businesses around the world unite their teams with an innovative and collaborative conferencing service.
They are recognised as one of the best on the market in terms of ease of use, stability, and video functionality.
The main features of the Zoom interface are:
- MEETINGS – this service on Zoom allows for collaboration, training and tech support. It has features like whiteboarding, screen sharing, HD video and audio as well as remote screen control features.
- VIDEO WEBINAR – for those wanting to hold online presentations, this Zoom service provides access to up to 100 interactive participants, with packages that allow for up to 100 000 view only attendees.
- ZOOM ROOM – is a cooperative feature, which is intended for use as a conference, executive offices as well as huddle rooms. You can include remote participants with this application
- BUSINESS INSTANT MESSAGING – Zoom also offers an instant messaging platform that allows businesses to stay connected with text, audio, and even image file delivery.
Skype was one of the first hybrid instant messaging services that allowed for messaging and voice chat applications that connected users globally. With over 663 million users.
Most importantly in comparison to Zoom, Skype is a free application. However, to turn it into a business conference calling application, there is a fee of around $5 (R75) per month.
Hangouts launched as a revamp to Google’s services. It ties into the Google+ network, and has replaced Google Talk, GChat and Google Messenger. This one integrated service now allows for text as well as video conferencing, all for free as part of the Google Suite.
A Google hangout can be used in a number of different ways:
- Employee engagement – keeping engaged with employees who are working remotely has been an increasingly important way of communicating given the coronavirus outbreak.
- Client consultations – another benefit that more and more businesses are utilising with the current business climate
- Product demonstrations – Video is a great way of showing product benefits, but a more hands-on way of doing demonstrations as to how a product should be used.
- Customer support – it is easier to solve problems on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis using the video or messaging mode on Google Hangouts. These answers can also be saved and archived for later access.
- Behind the Scenes content – if a business is comfortable with sharing behind the scenes content, ranging from business conferencing to maintain communication with staff members who are working remotely, all the way through to doing client consultations. Broadcasting some of a company’s idea sessions can give customers an insight into the brand and the people who form a part of it.
Teams is a coined as a collaborative workspace that facilitates the modern way of working. It is especially helpful for remote teams, which are all too common during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The access to communication tools helps aid in collaborative efforts. Threaded conversations that can also include video calls helps keep all tasks relating to a project in one place, rather than have to scan through many confusing email threads to get the job done.
Teams allows for a customizable workspace, and can integrate different third-party tools for example, Twitter updates can be important and can be added to the stream to keep everyone in the loop up to date.