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We have all had a crash course in how to use video conferencing tools to get things done.
This week I participated in a 4-hour board of directors meeting because we could not meet in person. Everyone is experiencing the benefits and drawbacks of video.
Zoom is one of the most downloaded video conferencing programs right now and for a good reason. I have been using Zoom for a few years because it is easy to use and the video and audio quality is excellent, even when using a laptop webcam and microphone. They have an Outlook plugin and Chrome browser extension to make it easier to launch the program or invite people to your meeting without having to type in a web address or close one program to launch an app.
Google is promoting its platform – Google Meet – as an alternative to other video programs. It does not want to be left out!
The Rundown on Google Meet
Google Meet is a video meeting platform available to anyone with a G Suite account. Like most programs, Google Meet lets you connect with others via audio or video through your computer’s web browser, or using the Meet app. Launching your meeting is straightforward with invitations being sent through email. You can easily tap into your Gmail contact list to invite colleagues to join you or add contacts directly through Meet. If recipients have a Google account, the meeting is automatically added to their calendar and reminders are set.
This video conference program gives you a specific meeting ID that you can use over and over again. You can also create additional rooms so that multiple meetings can be held at the same time. These can also be used as breakout rooms for more in-depth collaboration on important topics or team-building exercises.
Free Until September 30
Google recently announced they are making Google Meet free for everyone.
For customers who are new to G Suite, they introduced a new way to get started quickly with Google Meet: G Suite Essentials, an integrated workspace that also includes Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for full content collaboration, Google Drive for cloud storage, and enterprise-grade support. G Suite Essentials works with your existing productivity tools so you can get started immediately without having to migrate your email or calendar. If you’re interested in G Suite Essentials, check them out for help to get you started.
If you already have G Suite, Google Meet is included in your G Suite license, and until September 30, Google is opening access to advanced features for free. These advance features include:
- Larger meetings, for up to 250 participants per call
- Live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain
- Secure meeting recordings saved to Google Drive so you can share with employees who can’t attend
If you are already a Google G Suite customer, then using Google Meet makes sense.
If you are using Microsoft 365, then Microsoft Teams could be the best tool.
And, if you are already using Zoom (or another platform), you will need to determine if it is worth the effort to change.
What I do know is you might have signed up for one of these platforms thinking it would be temporary. Video conferencing has quickly become an essential tool for your organization. Take the time to evaluate all the options.
What video platform have you decided is best?