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Video call apps for business continuity: How to choose the right one for your business

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Technology has drastically changed the way we do business and build teams. Over the last decade, there’s been an astonishing rise in remote work and distributed teams. In fact, remote work increased over 91% over the last 10 years!

With teams now more distributed than ever, small-to-medium businesses (SMB) need to adapt to maintain culture and continuity. That means getting creative when it comes to how you keep your teams connected.

Luckily, there are a plethora of digital tools available to help you achieve this. Things like chat platforms, call apps, and video chat apps with video and voice call capabilities. So, let’s dive in!

How businesses use video calls

Modern video calling started to boom in the early 2000s. Since then, it's transformed how people communicate, both personally and professionally.

Back in the day, two or more remote coworkers would have to rely on teleconferencing and phone calls to have a conversation. Online video calling opens the door to communicate on a whole other level since it adds that “face-to-face” element. After all, so much of what we communicate is non-verbal.

Businesses use video calls and video conferencing for a variety of things, such as:

  • One-on-one video chats
  • Video conferencing for larger groups including project teams, clients, and partners
  • Sharing information like presentations, whiteboards, websites, or files
  • Collaboration hubs that allow employees within teams and from different departments to share notes and collaborate on certain projects
  • Hosting live webinars or online training sessions
  • Online demos
  • Call parties to celebrate milestones among remote workers

Why video calls are important for your business

Video calling technology (sometimes referred to as video chatting or video conferencing) has become a must-have for many businesses—whether your team is distributed or unforeseen circumstances arise.

Regardless of why you’re looking into a video call app, the benefits of good quality video calling are far-reaching and offer a significant return on investment (ROI), including:

  • Less travel. Reduction in required travel leads to less travel time and fewer travel-related costs.
  • More diverse workforce. Open the doors to hiring top talent since there are no geographical barriers.
  • Enhanced market penetration. Reach a global market without having to leave your HQ.
  • Boosted productivity. Employees can share files and collaborate on documents in real time, making video meetings even more productive than in-person ones.
  • More closed deals. Sales can close more deals by turning sales calls into live demos on the spot and making more personal connections with customers.
  • Increased customer retention. Show customers working prototypes and solve their problems on the spot via screen sharing.

What’s the difference between video chatting, online calls, and video calls?

Not all video chat apps are created equal. Some have features that others don’t, so it’s important to know the difference when weighing your options. Many people often use the terms video chatting, online calls, and voice calls interchangeably. And while it’s true they sound very similar, there are important distinctions between them.

How video chatting works

Video chatting is when you launch a video call from a chat platform and will typically be a chat between two people or smaller groups. The terms “video chat” and “video call” are sometimes used interchangeably. But one thing to keep in mind is that not all chat platforms have video call functionality.
Video chatting allows you to switch between text chatting and video calling with the click of a button. For example, RingCentral’s messaging platform comes with video calls in the Standard, Premium, and Ultimate RingCentral Office® packages. (Sometimes, messaging and file sharing just aren’t enough.) Accessing it is as easy as tapping the camera icon within an active text chat:
video chatting using RingCentral platform
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How video calling over the internet works

If your team does a lot of work on the phone, you should look for a solution that can clearly transmit everyone’s voice at once. Whatever your needs though, you should always look for a few mission-critical features.

Consumer VoIP

Consumer VoIP used in chat apps like Whatsapp offer simple one-to-few or one-on-one video chat, video message, and voice call functionality. Consumer VoIP is handy for people wanting to keep in touch with their friends and family and can even integrate with smart home devices. You can download most consumer video chat apps free from any app store.

Business VoIP

Business VoIP apps, like RingCentral, take it up a notch and offer more flexibility, calling features, third party integrations, and analytics. They often have a variety of paid packages to choose from. Packages typically come standard with web hosting functionality and mobile apps, so employees can stay connected wherever and whenever they need to.

How online voice calls work

Oftentimes, a quick voice call is all you need. Maybe you may just need to clarify something or quickly touch base with a client or colleague. In this case, it’s not really necessary to see someone’s face or share a presentation, and a voice call will do the trick. Using VoIP, you can make calls over the internet to anywhere in the world for free.
Online voice calls for everyone

Which is the best video calling app?

There are robust video call solutions available for businesses of every size. With so many solutions available to keep your team connected, how do you know which video conferencing app to choose? It can feel overwhelming, even at the best of times.
Whether you’re in the market for a free video call app or a group video call app, the best choice for you is one with a calling feature to help achieve all of your goals. At the end of the day, your company size and budget will largely determine your choice.
(Check out publications like PCMag and G2. They do a great job of comparing the different options to help you hone in on the best software for you.)
online meetings platform

How to choose the best video call solution for you: 5 questions to ask

Here are some of our best tips and tricks to help you select the best video conference app for your business.

  • Are all calls encrypted?

    Safety and security are of the utmost importance, especially in an increasingly digital age. Make sure any solution you go with has enterprise-grade security and encryption to make sure your private conversations stay private.

  • Is voice and video quality high definition?

    Nothing interrupts the momentum of a good meeting like a frozen screen or fuzzy audio. Find a quality video calling solution that promises HD video and call quality so you can get that “in the same room” feel. Also, make sure to research what the app’s uptime percentage is to avoid dips in productivity due to downtime.

  • Can I try before I buy?

    Look for a solution that offers a free trial. This way, you can get a “peek under the hood” to make sure the user experience (UX) and calling features work for you. Also, look into whether or not they offer discounted pricing. Some solutions offer discounted rates if you pay annually.

  • Does it integrate with the rest of my tech stack?

    Chances are you’re already using some important tools like Mailchimp or Salesforce. Make sure to go with a solution that plays nice with the technology you’re already using to ensure the seamless flow of data without you having to enter information manually.

  • What type of analytics will I have access to?

    Make sure whichever package you choose provides powerful analytics. A good analytics suite should be intuitive and offer you the ability to do things like monitor call quality, usage, and offer live reporting to help you make better business decisions.

Frequently asked questions about video calls

How can I make a video call?

Every platform works in slightly different ways, but it’s generally very easy and intuitive to make and receive video calls.

To schedule a video call on RingCentral’s web app, you’re only five steps away from scheduling a video call:

  1. Log in.
  2. Click Schedule.
  3. Enter a meeting name.
  4. Select the calendar.
  5. Click Schedule.

Simple as that!

How do I make video calls on my phone?

No laptop, no problem!

Pretty much every business video call platform offers mobile apps in addition to the web and desktop, making it easy to access video calls from your iPhone, Android, or tablet.

Scheduling and taking video calls when you’re on the go is also fast and convenient. To schedule a video call using RingCentral’s mobile app:

  1. Log in to the RingCentral app.
  2. Tap Video > Schedule.
  3. Customize the meeting in the Schedule screen

    How to schedule an RC meeting

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  4. Select calendar application to schedule the invite.

    Select calendar to schedule the meeting

  5. Configure the rest of the settings, and you’re good to go!

Video calls for businesses aren’t just a nice-to-have anymore—they’re a must have. Depending on your company size, processes, and budget, there’s a quality video calling app out there to suit your particular needs.

Not sure where to start your research? Feel free to reach out to a RingCentral expert! We’d be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you towards the best solution for your business.
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