The best videoconferencing software makes it easy and simple to connect online with coworkers, customers and colleagues. It enables you to work on your desktop in the office, on your laptop or your smartphone — whether you are working at home or on the road.
When it comes to which videoconferencing software you should use, you have plenty of choices, with free and low-cost options mixed in. Some of the most popular platforms include:
- Microsoft Teams.
- Google Meet.
- Cisco Webex.
The growth of videoconferencing over the past year has been both astounding and explainable. With the pandemic forcing people to work remotely, the need to replace face-to-face meetings and events with virtual meetings became a necessity.
Zoom grew from 10 million daily meeting participants to 300 million. Google Meet claims 100 million users each day. Microsoft Teams meeting and videoconferencing software went from 75 million daily active users in April 2020 to 115 million by the end of the year – an increase of 53% in six months.
Which Video Conferencing Software is Right for Your Business?
A lot of what makes videoconferencing software right for your business is how you plan to use it. Any of the videoconferencing options will do the basic job of connecting you to colleagues and customers. They will provide interactive tools to share screens, annotate and chat.
Where the difference lies is mostly around integration with other tools that your organization uses. It is one of the reasons why Microsoft Teams meeting software has come on so strong in recent months.
Teams is tightly integrated with Microsoft Office 365 tools to give you seamless use of other applications – like file sharing – without having to leave the application. Zoom may be more popular with nonbusiness users, but Microsoft Teams is used by 93 of the Fortune 100 companies.
Building on the backbone of Skype for Business, Microsoft already had a robust cloud voice telephony platform. Microsoft Teams access to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) can be enabled by using Direct Routing to connect to a telephony provider or by adding a Microsoft calling plan (for a fee). Zoom has also recently launched its own voice calling solution that lets you tie into your phone service provider.
The Importance of Connectivity
Regardless of which video conferencing or voice calling service you choose, the most important thing is robust and reliable business internet to make it happen. If you do not have a reliable connection, no videoconferencing solution will get the job done.
That is where dedicated business fiber makes everything run more smoothly.
Using video conferencing means that you are sending and receiving larger amounts of data. You need fast upload and download speeds to keep things moving and to prevent your internet connection from slowing down. Only fiber can offer you synchronous speeds that have the same fast upload and download speeds for the best video conferencing. Cable, residential suppliers and many national internet service providers cannot offer that.
This has become especially important with distributed workforces and employees working from home. They need access to company resources, which means that more data than ever before is being transferred back and forth, and being stored on the cloud. When you are moving in and out of applications, sharing files in both directions or collaborating on a project, business fiber internet is the best choice.
Voice over Internet Protocol business phone calls and videoconferencing are converting pictures and sound to data packets and constantly sending them back and forth. When you do not have synchronous uploads, packets can move more slowly. It can get even worse if you are also using network resources. For example, say you are doing a videoconference with a group of potential customers and are running through a slide deck, playing a video or accessing a software program in your remote data center. That is a lot of resources being used at once. If you have limited upload speeds or are sharing your internet connection, it can cause delays, slowdowns and lag time.
Or let’s say that you are in a video call and need to upload a 1-GB file. At 25 Mbps – the average speed of uploads for an asynchronous internet connection – your file upload can take nearly six minutes to complete (five minutes and 43 seconds). At 1 Gbps, the file takes an average of eight seconds; that’s less time than it took to read this paragraph. If you are uploading data throughout the day (and all of us are), average upload speeds can add up to a lot of downtime just waiting. Every minute that your employees are waiting is time they could be using more productively. At the same time, if you are not using fiber, you might be slowing down the connection for everybody in your office while you are waiting.
About LOGIX Fiber Networks
LOGIX Fiber Networks has more than 280,000 miles of fiber installed throughout the region. As the preferred business fiber network provider for more than 10,000 businesses and 3,000 enterprise businesses, LOGIX is the most reliable fiber network available. With Texas-based support and a network operations center that is monitored 24/7 year-round for performance and security, LOGIX is the choice for business fiber internet.
Contact LOGIX to request a quote, or to learn more about Microsoft Teams and business fiber internet.