With the generalization of mobility in companies, the GAFA understood that videoconferencing had become a must. In February, Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched its solution (Chime). Previously, Microsoft with Skype and Google with Hangouts had equipped their respective collaborative suite – Office 365 and G Suite – with equivalent solutions. With an identical strategy. A free basic offer with a very limited number of participants and different packages where audio and video quality and the number of services are increasing. True unified communications platforms, these tools allow screen sharing, co-publishing of documents, instant polls …. Alliance Telecom’s sales manager, Maxime Denis tempère.
Although marketers often refer to the term videoconferencing as a product, they argue that it is more a matter of web conferencing for such solutions. Videoconferencing would mean meeting rooms equipped with high definition cameras and flat screens. Proposed by Polycom or Huawei, this approach guarantees a fluidity of image and sound quality worthy of a professional meeting. In contrast, “web conferencing conducted by webcam or smartphone depends greatly on the quality of connection,” Maxime Denis said. “And then to eight participants behind a webcam, it’s not tenable.” It is therefore a question of reserving this use to teleworkers or employees on the move.
- ezTalks Meetings
ezTalks Meetings is one of the best web conferencing solutionswhich lets you conduct or become part of the meetings on the internet. It decreases the limitation between you, partners, clients and other affiliates who might be very distant. It does not matter about the place that they arrive from. You can get a virtual discussion which is hosted over different solutions through the internet. This web conferencing tool creates it easy to create a team that is trustworthy and collaborates with you at the time of online meetings. ezTalks web conferencing and collaboration solutions are free and unlimited. You can avail the tool for a lifetime and you can even improve to the premium model.
- Amazon Chime
With Chime, Amazon plays the simplicity. From a clean interface, a user can, for the “pro” version, invite up to 100 people to a videoconference or teleconferencing. Gathered in chat rooms, participants share documents by simply dragging and dropping them. Conveniently, a “mute” function can be used to mute a caller’s microphone if the quality of communication deteriorates and pollutes the conversation.
Available on a fixed computer (Windows or Mac OS) or mobile (iOS or Android), Chime presents itself as a stand-alone product. Hosted on Amazon’s servers, conversations and their history synchronize across the user’s various terminals. AWS focuses on the security of its solution – whose communications are encrypted (via 256-bit AES). Unlike pricing for its other cloud services, AWS opted for Chime for a flat fee subscription.
- Google Hangouts
Launched in 2013, Google Hangouts is a free online group chat platforms that can gather up to 150 participants in its chat version and ten for video calls. Well integrated with the Google ecosystem, it is accessible from Gmail and Google+, but also available on mobile (via Android and iOS apps). Hangouts allows you to swap files on Google Drive, locate speakers with Google Maps, or send SMS messages with a Google Voice phone number.
In early March 2017, Google unveiled very discreetly Meet: the professional version of Hangouts. It takes over its functionalities and ergonomics with a maximum capacity of up to 30 participants. Meet also offers high definition in addition. To attend a conference, members of an organization must use a dedicated link or enter the meeting identifier. Programming the event can be done from Google Calendar.
In the United States, Meet has already replaced Hangouts in G Suite. This is not yet the case in the French version of the suite. It should be noted that Google bought, at the beginning of the year, the start-up Lime Audio, specializing in improving the sound quality of online conferences. Finally, with Chromebox for Meetings, the American giant offers a range of associated hardware from partner manufacturers to equip a videoconferencing room.
- IBM Sametime
Sametime (former Lotus Sametime) from IBM is the most mature offer of this selection. Completely, this unified communication platform to be installed in-house allows you to switch from one media to another during storage. The discussion starts with a chat session and then connects to a voice call and an online meeting to conclude with document sharing and an instant poll. The presence indicator specifies whether or not the caller is available and for what type of communication and where it is located.
Sametime is, of course, integrated with the IBM ecosystem (WebSphere Portal, Notes …) but can also be used in third-party applications to be traded by Microsoft Office. Note that Big Blue also offers a videoconferencing solution. Named IBM Connections Meetings Cloud, it is sold as a standalone product or as a component of the Connections Cloud bundles.
- Skype Enterprise
Everyone knows Skype: Unified messaging bought by Microsoft in 2011. In its free version, it can accommodate a maximum of 25 participants. The company’s Skype Enterprise (formerly Lync), upgrades the ceiling to 250 people.
Integrating Skype Enterprise with the Office 365 suite allows you to schedule meetings online from Outlook, to start a conversation from Word or PowerPoint to co-edit a document, for example. Skype Enterprise can hold a video conference in high definition (resolution of 1080 pixels) by hosting up to 6 people. The option “Broadcasting Skype meeting” extends up to 10,000 the number of registered to an online conference.
Present in the Office 365 Enterprise E5 subscription, the PSTN Calling service keeps existing telephone numbers or allocates new ones without having to invest in a proprietary telecom infrastructure. With Cloud PBX, Microsoft also provides in-the-cloud routing of incoming and outgoing calls from Skype, as well as managing internal telephone lines or the PSTN.
WebEx is the market pioneer. Founded in 1996 and bought by Cisco in 2007, this American actor has popularized the concept of web conferencing. Based on its proprietary data compression protocol, called Universal Communication Format (UCF), WebEx offers different display formats – from full-screen video to a mosaic of other participants’ videos (up to 7). The platform offers annotation and whiteboard tools. It also allows the recording of meetings.
More original, the function “Call me”. It allows you to answer a call to enter a meeting without the need for a number and a code to be entered. Cisco has redesigned its solution in different versions for Event Center, Training Center or Support Center.