As a follow-up to my light-hearted comments on working from home, a couple of readers asked about the state of the art in videoconferencing. This is becoming a pressing issue for many businesses needing to connect staff temporarily working from home, and for event organisers, whose conferences and seminars are being cancelled at an increasing rate.
I’m not an expert on this, but I suspect that the best applications probably vary according to need. For individual conversations or small groups, it would make sense to look at the free or low-cost proven team communication systems offered by Slack, Google (Hangouts Chat) and Microsoft (Teams or Skype). Many of you may also have access or subscriptions to long-established services such as Cisco’s WebEx or LogMeIn’s GoToMeeting.
A lot of people seem to be mentioning Zoom at the moment. This service has been around for several years but seems to have been growing rapidly recently. A free tier can host up to 100 people for up to 40 minutes, and one-to-one conversations without limits. Paid plans can handle online events with up to 100 interactive video participants and up to 10,000 view-only attendees. With built-in PayPal access and the ability to simultaneously broadcast on Facebook Live and YouTube, I can see this being used for entertainment and sporting events if it becomes harder to host live gatherings.
What are you using? I’d be very keen to know, and to hear your experiences.