Choose How You Communicate
Amazon Chime lets you choose the communication options that are best suited for your business. You have the option to choose from meetings, chat, and business calling or use Voice Connector to direct your voice traffic over the internet. With Amazon Chime, you have the flexibility to choose the communication option that fits with your business needs, and the freedom to scale up or down as needed.
Webex Introduces Emojis Through Gestures
Cisco has added an emoji button, too. While we don’t consider emojis essential to a good video conference, they’re still both fun and useful to express emotion or reaction in larger meetings where a single presenter needs to be doing most of the work. However, you’ll find support for them now in most video conferencing apps, so this isn’t unique. Something you won’t find in much of the competition, however, is the ability to display emojis based on your hand gestures.
We tried a few, including thumbs up, thumbs down, and clap. Webex readily picked these up using its recognizer and the correct emojis flashed on the screen. On the other hand, by happenstance, we were eating a snack while testing the software, and the recognizer kept mistaking the sound of us eating crackers as clapping. Nothing is perfect.
Administrative meeting options are handled via a single button that opens to offer several such features. The first is to lock the meeting. In an era of Zoom bombings, this has become a must-have. It also prevents late joiners from jumping in and causing a ruckus. Next down is an invite-and-remind feature that lets you remind someone if they forgot to join or just simply cant find the link. Below that is an ancillary option to just copy the link to your clipboard and send it to them by another means, like a Slack message.
The Web Conferencing Software Market
The web conferencing software market reached a valuation of $3.2 billion in 2018. This was, of course, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that increased demand for these products across businesses and the consumer market. In the early months of 2020, many companies required employees to work from home to reduce the spread of the virus.
These new remote working conditions dramatically increased the number of meetings held via web conferencing platforms as companies struggled to maintain workloads while employees worked from home. The exact impact of these business operations changes remains to be seen.
Many web conferencing software vendors also provide their customers with specialized hardware to support video and audio conferences in offices. The end of the 2010s showed a turn toward businesses incorporating remote employees into workplaces, which on the one hand may signal an increased use of laptop computers or monitors with built-in webcams. But the use of video conferencing software to connect individuals at dispersed offices has also led to an increase in the virtual meeting hardware market.
Companies have invested in webcams, microphones, headsets, digital video displays, and audio speakers to augment corporate meeting rooms and conference centers.
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Web And Video Conferencing Software Comparison
To compare different web and video conferencing solutions, consider these factors for each product offering:
High-Quality Audio & VideoAudio and video quality is of the utmost importance to web conferencing software. Users want to feel like theyre having authentic face-to-face conversations with other participants, and quality video is a major component of that. Beyond the quality of your webcam or microphone, the software itself can feature tools that enhance the overall quality of your experience such as noise cancellation, auto-mute for non-speaking participants, and settings adjustments for users with low bandwidth.
Screen SharingScreen sharing allows users to display their screen with other meeting participants. As online meetings become more collaborative, this is a must-have feature for most buyers. Screen sharing must not only be high quality, but easy to toggle on and off as well. The option of having multiple participants sharing their screen at once is also gaining steam, but not every tool on the market offers this feature. If this is important to your team, be sure to confirm that your preferred tool has this feature before subscribing.
Video Conferencing Requires A Reliable Internet Connection
Even if you have the best video conferencing platform ever, itll still only work as well as your internet connection. If you are frequently experiencing a drop in video conferencing stream quality, the culprit is probably your internet connection.
Few things are more annoying than trying to have a productive meeting and having the stream cut out of every few seconds. Put in your ZIP code below and see what internet upgrade options you have in your area:
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Web Conference: Gdpr Data Subject Rights: Handling Requests From Third Party Platforms
Original broadcast date: Sept. 9, 2020This virtual privacy education program will provide examples of how these platforms work in practice. The expert panelists will consider the challenges organizations face when handling these requests, and how they can be addressed in in practical terms. A representative from the European Data Protection Board will provide an update on collecting feedback from stakeholders regarding data subject rights issues, and well hear from an IAPP WLP advisory board member on how she navigates GDPR data subject rights, and the CEO of a startup Tech company focusing on novel ways for individuals to manage their personal information online.Read More
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Top 10 Free Web Conferencing Apps With Screen Sharing
If your office is looking for a new web conferencing software, you may not have to break out the company credit card just yet. Between completely free open-source apps, or providers that offer a freemium version of their paid service, there is actually a larger list of completely free video conferencing solutions with screen sharing out there than you might think. Many teams rely on conference calls to share information, discuss projects or connect with potential clients or current customers.
Web conferences can also help simplify tech support or even customer service. Conference calls are pretty much a guaranteed part of work for many, but instead of just a boring phone call these apps make it possible to do much more between screen sharing, video conferencing and online whiteboard tools. While not the most common free tool available, we were able to round up a solid list of the top 10 best free web conferencing services, all of which include screen sharing.
We looked at the most impactful criteria to help you determine which solution was the best pick for your business. Our analysis factored in elements like pricing, security, feature set, and compatibility with third-party integrations. Without further ado, lets take a look at a few online meeting platforms to consider for your business.
Web Conference: Finding Sweet Spots For Successful Compromise On A Federal Privacy Law
Original broadcast date: May 3, 2021 In 2020, U.S. Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a consensus on a slew of privacy-related bills. This year offers a better opportunity to bridge disagreements and reach a long-awaited deal. This panel includes representatives of two key constituencies working seriously toward consensus. Learn from them what the prospects for legislation are in this Congress, promising areas where disagreements may be bridged, where a final bill is likely to land, and how your California Consumer Privacy Act and EU General Data Protection Regulationcompliant programs are likely to change as a result of federal privacy legislation.Read More
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Web Conference: What Legal Needs To Know: Breaking Down Your 2021 Cpra Compliance Checklist
Original broadcast date: February 25, 2021 Join us for this privacy education web conference in which we will discuss how using artificial intelligence technology to automate the data breach process can help enterprises manage the complexity of the regulatory landscape, avoid the risks of notifying too late, notifying when not required and notifying the same individuals multiple times. Read More
Is A Free Web Conferencing Solution Good Enough For My Business
It depends! For some small businesses that aren’t heavy web conferencing users, they can probably get away with a free solution. There are a ton of solutions out there from Cisco WebEx Meetings to GoToMeetingbut not all meeting solutions come with telephony or SMS or instant messaging. Make sure you check the fine print!
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What Is The Best Free Video Conferencing
Video conferencing software providers often encourage people to take their web conferencing solution for a spin via a free trial. Some video conferencing software platforms even have a version thats free forever .
Finding the best free video conferencing tool could be as simple as contacting your existing VoIP provider. So, as a first step, wed suggest checking with your business VoIP provider to see if they offer any video conferencing tools.
For example, RingCentral Video offers business VoIP as well as web-based video conferencing. Your package may already include some of the conferencing calling features you need!
In some instances, your phone system may include a dial-in conference calling option, but lack access to web conferences or video conferences. If this is the case, you should probably look for a standalone video conferencing platform .
If youre looking at standalone tools, generally its possible to integrate a new video conferencing platform into your existing phone system.
Pro-tip: Often, the best free option is the trial version of a paid video conferencing solution. That said, you can get a perfectly robust option with something like RingCentral Video by RingCentral.
Fun And Functional Features
Zoom has three features that aren’t strictly necessary but make video calls more enjoyable: Virtual Backgrounds, Touch Up My Appearance, and Video Filters.
First, Virtual Backgrounds lets you change your backdrop to an image or video of your choosing. The app gives you a few to try out, and you can upload others. For corporate types, it’s an opportunity to add a company logo or use other kinds of branding. It’s also useful for privacy if you don’t want people to see any details about where you are. Sometimes, it’s just fun. Before a virtual baby shower, for example, the party organizer might send around a photo of the expecting family that people can use for their background, to give the sentiment that they’re all together even when they can’t be.
Next is Touch Up My Appearance, which is only available on Apple mobile devices as well as Microsoft Windows 10 and Apple macOS computers . This a feature that softens skin and hair to smooth over wrinkles, dimples, pimples, and the like. In the desktop app, a slider lets you decide how soft a focus you want. The image above shows the touch-up completely off and at about the halfway point .
A few other special features in Zoom focus more on utility. The ability to assign a co-host to a meeting, for example, makes it easy to share responsibilities for managing the meeting and participants.
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An Introductory Guide To Web Conferencing
Web conferencing can be a little daunting if you’re not familiar with how it works. However, its not hard to understand why it’s such an important communication tool and why so many businesses are adopting it as a way of holding meetings with people all over the world.
Learn more about web conferencing and how it can help your business.
Web Meetings With A Clean And Organized Interface
Signing up for an account is the standard process of inputting your organization’s identifying information and providing a payment method. Once signed up, starting a new meeting is also straightforward. You can immediately start a meeting from the home screen, or you can schedule one for later. Typical items, such as the meeting password, an agenda, an attendee list, and similar information are all made obvious at this point and easily entered. If you’re interested in hosting larger meetings, it’s a good idea to download Cisco Webex Productivity Tools, which will become available on the download screen once you’ve set up a paid account. These tools help your invitation and agenda process for big meetings, since they integrate with Microsoft Office, including Outlook and Teams.
Once in a meeting, Webex keeps a clean interface. Along the bottom you have the standard controls to mute and unmute your microphone as well as starting and stopping your video. Next to that, you have a button to share the screen. The sub-menu lets you choose an entire screen or a specific application if you need to maintain a level of privacy. In addition, you can easily play a multimedia file or share a document if needed.
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Best For Cheap Video Meetings
- Up to 40 simultaneous video feeds
- Good webinar features
- Not compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Lacks true integration with Microsoft Outlook
- Webinars in separate product
Maybe you’re looking to avoid travel while the latest version of COVID is still making its rounds. Or perhaps you’re trying to transition employees back to the office, but many want to make working from home a permanent condition. And let’s face it, that can have a lot of benefits. But one thing either scenario requires is a world-class video conferencing system.
That’s because these services have evolved into the beating heart of both online collaboration and personal interactions via the web, at least until the heebie-jeebies around travel finally fade. To help you choose the best service, we’ve tested 12 video conferencing systems, though only the eight top contenders made the list in this roundup.
Web Conference: International Data Transfers Are Bcrs The Salvation To Data Transfers
Original broadcast date: 18 June 2021 2020 was rich in developments related to international data transfers and 2021 is promising to continue this trend. The panel discussed the implications of the CJEU’s judgment in the Schrems II case, notably regarding EU standard contractual clauses. In this context, it follows that companies may be asking themselves the following questions: Should BCRs be amended / updated to become Schrems II compliant? And if so, how? Will specific BCRs be the next data transfer mechanism challenged before the court? Or will BCRs remain the safest solution left available for companies? How to ensure an appropriate data transfer strategy? The panel considered these pertinent issues and offered practical insights on the mechanics of BCRs and their implementation for controllers and processors, including in the environment of a multinational company.Read More
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Recommended By Our Editors
Our reviews also cover the host’s administration features. The best services let you set up different types of meetings, such as a lecture-style meeting where all participants are muted, or a discussion or Q& A mode in which presenters can mute and unmute participants as needed. Other options include enabling and disabling webcams, locking latecomers out of a meeting, creating a waiting room while preparing for the meeting, and allowing break-out sessions.
For presentations, screen sharing is essential. But so are more granular options, such as the ability to share just one application , document, or image, not just your entire desktop. Most of the video conferencing services in this roundup also offer a text chat mode not only during a meeting but sometimes outside a video call, too.
During a trial, you should experiment with all these features and think carefully about how much actual collaboration you need in your various meetings. That means evaluating the service with more than just IT personnel. You should also include stakeholders from your various departments, so you’ve got an accurate representation of the different kinds of gatherings your employees hold between themselves and folks outside the organization.
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Every Essential Conferencing Feature Your Business Needs
Our recommendations below are what we think every paid plan should have, since free plans with these features will be harder to come by
- A video option for a more personal callA video meeting can be much more effective than just an audio conferencing option, allowing a face-to-face connection . This will also come in handy when pitching to new clients, who may appreciate the more personal call.
- Minimum of 100 participants for meetings of all sizesYou may only have 50 employees now and work with mostly local, small businesses, but you should always anticipate business growth and landing large clients. And make sure your service provides international conferencing, so you wont have any restrictions where you can pitch or find vendors. You could also use this to teach a class or have an online event like a webinar. Luckily, plans are upgrades if your web conferences start to get a little cramped.
- Screen and document sharing for real-time collaborationReal-time collaboration with screen and document-sharing is super beneficial for team-building and finding solutions quickly.
- Unlimited conferences for those on-the-spot meetingsThe need to join a call with multiple people can happen at any time . You dont want to be limited by your plan and miss important opportunities.
- Conference call recording for referencingFor those who might have missed the call or for any time you may need to reference the online meeting in the future, the ability to record is a total must-have.