In order to make collaboration seamless, organizations must understand exactly what kind of meetings they intend to host via video and have an idea of what features and integrations they need to support it.the structure of their video conferencing needs and have an idea of which features support it.

Choosing a video conferencing solution

Before choosing a video conferencing app, it’s important to consider a few things:

  • How: will an organization host small team meetings or company-wide conference calls? Will participants be able to type questions to the host? Will presenters share written presentations or just spoken? 
  • Where: It’s important to determine how and where an organization will host video conferences and where participants will physically be when they dial in. For example, a fully remote workforce might use their phones from their homes. Organizations that have office workers instead might prefer to have teams access the video call from a conference room.  
  • How many: Some teams might prefer to host one-on-one meetings, while others might use video conferencing to connect the entire company. Many video conferencing services limit the number of participants an organization can include. An organization should have a rough idea of the max number of meeting attendees to narrow its search to services that can accommodate. 

With a deeper understanding of the role video will play in their organization, leaders need to evaluate which solution is right for them. Here’s what to look for:

1. The user experience

Regardless of how an organization intends to use its video conferencing platform, ease of use is imperative. Convoluted video conferencing applications are frustrating for employees and IT teams alike. Consider these features to maximize video calls:

  • One-click to join: An intuitive video conference solution should make it easy for people to join via a link, meeting code, or number. If users have to download software, enter passwords, or jump through multiple hoops to join a meeting, they’re more likely to default to less collaborative forms of communication, such as messaging or email.
  • HD audio and video: Video conferencing is designed to emulate in-person meetings as much as possible, so poor video and audio quality can seriously detract from the focus. A video conferencing platform should maintain high-quality video and audio regardless of how many participants are on the call and from where they are joining. 
  • Screen sharing: Screen sharing allows participants to see the speaker’s screen. Used in conjunction with video, screen sharing is a vital feature to make conferences more engaging and keep everyone on the same page.

2. Third-party integrations

Some video conferencing solutions enable third-party integrations with applications like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft Office 365. Organizations that already have subscriptions to these other services should look for a video conferencing platform that can incorporate them. 

Integrations enable users to:

  • Schedule/launch meetings: Video conferencing solutions that integrate with calendar apps or email clients allow users to quickly schedule/launch meetings or send an email to other participants without having to leave those apps.
  • Import presentations and documents: This enhances video calls with a visual aide, or enables teams to update files or projects in real-time.
  • Add notes: Some video conferencing platforms use artificial intelligence to automatically take notes of a meeting. Others allow users to add their own notes.
  • Record videos: Certain video conferencing applications allow users to save a recorded file of the meeting. These recordings can be helpful to reference for projects or as training materials for new employees.

3. Secure and reliable

Security is among one of the top concerns for IT teams as they search for a video conferencing solution. Who can blame them? Many meetings involve confidential information, and an unwanted visitor can be a huge breach of company confidentiality.

Look for providers who publish comprehensive information on their security and compliance practices. Make sure your app is built with multiple layers of security, is regularly checked by third-party audits, and undergoes regular penetration testing.

(See: 6 Security Questions to Ask When Choosing a Video Conferencing Provider)

4. Messaging, video, phone, together

The ideal video conferencing platform enables collaboration beyond what’s discussed on the call with additional features like messaging and cloud phone. Having other means of communication during a video call helps teams facilitate side conversations without detracting attention from the speaker. For example, if the speaker is talking about a new product launch, the marketing team can start a message thread to brainstorm ideas about the launch campaign. Video is powerful, but these added features create an immersive video conferencing experience.

The future of collaboration

With the right platform, users spend more time communicating and collaborating and less time figuring out the technology. Combined with tools like team messaging and cloud phone, an effective video conferencing solution removes the friction around teamwork and gives employees everything they need to supercharge productivity.

With RingCentral, video is built into the RingCentral app, which features messaging, video, and phone all together in a single platform. Employees can switch from messaging to a phone or video call with a single click, as well as launch meetings directly from their browsers. By making videos a seamless experience for everyone, your teams are prepared to take collaboration to the next level and tackle the challenges of tomorrow.