Communication and Collaboration Solutions

In the wake of new realities, some companies have turned to online events or briefings instead. So which online teleconferencing solution might be right for your business? In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the top solutions that you can use to help bring together your employees, clients and others in one, simple and safe meeting space.

Zoom


This meeting solution is very popular and is used around the world for conferences, training rooms, as well as executive offices, board rooms and online classrooms. Zoom offers a free plan. With the free plan, you can host up to 100 participants in meetings, and unlimited 1 to 1 meetings. You also get a 40 minute limit on group meetings and an unlimited amount of meetings. The free plans boast features like HD Voice, Video, full-screen view, screen share, and telephone join in, similar to Teams. Anyone can dial-in or join Zoom meetings as long as they have the link.

 

There are also some paid plans for Zoom. These plans range from $15 per month, all the way up to $20 per month. The plans are divided up into Pro, Business, and Enterprise licenses. The plan varies based on the size of your business, with Enterprise being the top plan, and Business being the middle plan. Pro plans will include up 100 meeting participants, Business, 300, and Enterprise, 500. For streaming meetings, Zoom has what it calls a Webinar service, but pricing and viewing limits vary based on your company size.

 

You’ll find that as you move up between Pro, Business, and Enterprise, more features get bolted on, such as user management, admin dashboard, and more meeting duration limits and recording times. You always can pay to add up to 1,000 meeting participants if needed, with the rate varying with each plan. See more Zoom pricing here.

 

Slack


With Slack, teleconferencing is a bit more complicated. It’s more of a team collaboration tool that allows your organization to be in close contact virtually and features the ability to segment conversations, and direct message.  If you want to teleconference Slack has its own built-in conferencing features known as Slack Calls. However, Slack Group Calls are only available with paid plans, and it caps the group call limit using its own services to up to 15 people, regardless of which plan you have. Slack has stripped down free plan and paid plans range from $8 per person per month, all the way up to $15 per person per month.

 

To create a large-scale meeting or conference with more than 15 people Slack, you need to set up a workspace for the meeting first. You’ll also need to send out guest invites and have attendees set up accounts so they can join your Slack workplace.  If the meeting has more than 15 people, an IT Admin can configure Slack to work with a third-party calling service. This includes Google+ hangouts, GoToMeeting, Skype, Zoom, and more. Be aware, though, that some of these can’t be set as the default calling app.

 

Skype


Microsoft is moving many features of Skype for Business into Microsoft Teams, but the regular version of Skype is still good for some small businesses. It is designed for use in situations where you might have less than 20 employees. It is free to use unless you want to buy credit to make calls to landlines and mobiles.

 

 

Other Skype Resources

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Skype for PCs (eBook)

Skype for Dummies (Kindle, eBook)

Microsoft Teams


Microsoft Teams is already included with most Office 365 Business and Enterprise plans. Plans including Teams range from $5 per user per month and up, depending on your needs. Thanks to the Microsoft Teams Live events feature, Teams also lets you hold and stream online meetings with up to 10,000 people, with certain Office 365 plans. All paid versions of teams will even support hosting unlimited HD video conferencing meetings with up to 250 people. As for sending out meeting invites, anyone can dial in or join without creating an account.

 

If you’re not willing to pay up, there is also a free version of Microsoft Teams that anyone can use, but with a limited set of features. It only allows you to add 300 users, with a total of 10GB of shared space, at the rate of 2GB per user. There’s also no support for group calls, scheduled meetings, phone calls and audio conferencing, and no access to administration tools for managing users, apps, and reporting usage statistics. You’ll find all these features in the version of Teams included with Office 365. You’ll even be able to record your meetings if need be in the paid version of Teams, with no limits.

 

Honorable Mentions


Messenger, hang out anywhere, anytime by getting on a call or a group video chat.

 

Google Hangouts Meet, which is Google’s video conferencing solution. This is included as part of Google’s G-suite plans. There is no free version, and a basic plan is $6 per user per month, which will include up to 100 participants per call. Jumping up to a Business plan for $12 per user per month will get you up to 150 participants per call. Finally, the $25 per user per month Enterprise plan will get you up to 250 participants per call. Enterprise also includes an ability to livestream meetings to up to 100,000 people across a company.

 

But that’s not all. Other teleconferencing solutions worth considering include GotoMeeting. These plans start at $14 for Professional, with a limit of 150 participants, $19 for Business, which a limit of 250 participants, and Enterprise, which has up to 3,000 participants. Pricing on the Enterprise plan varies.

 

Other services worth considering include BlueJeans,  join.me, Webex Meetings, Lifesize, and Voxer App.

 

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