As more people transition to fully remote or hybrid workflows, popular video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Webex, and Microsoft Teams have started to take over the workplace. While these are great choices, there are many other video conference tools with unique features which are great for specific niches. Here is a list of 10 video conferencing tools that fly under the radar but that you should give a try.
SignalWire work keeps remote teams connected by providing a suite of tools that recreate elements of the physical office - online. For instance, you can join a virtual lobby to see who else on your team is online, and if you want to chat with a coworker quickly, you can head to the virtual water cooler. When you are on a larger call, such as a company all-hands meeting, you will be able to see your coworkers on one screen because SignalWire supports up to 100 participants in a single view. SignalWire works best for fully distributed teams and has many features that try to recreate the natural spontaneity of a traditional office environment. For instance, you can switch between video rooms with ease, similarly to how you would jump between different conference rooms. However, this large suite of features comes at a premium price point; SignalWire Work costs $24.99 per user for the basic plan, with an enterprise tier that costs $49.99 per user.
urLive offers one-click video conferencing that is great for quick meetings. urLive works with a browser, so there is no need to download an app or even make an account. It also has advanced scheduling features so that coworkers can see everyone's availability and schedule calls with ease.
Lifesize is a highly customizable video conferencing tool designed to work around your existing workflow. Lifesize is interoperable with other 3rd party conferencing tools, so for instance, you can start a Lifesize meeting and access it using Microsoft Teams. It also comes with powerful APIs that can help with meeting scheduling and even allow administrators to customize the meeting room interface. Lifesize is designed for larger organizations with very specific needs who want a platform that is highly customizable. It has a free tier, with a more advanced premium tier that costs $12.50 per month.
Livestorm is a powerful video conferencing tool designed for larger corporations that are holding webinars, virtual events, and meetings. Users can schedule Livestorm meetings in advance, and Livestorm will send out a reminder email when the event is near. Using Livestorm, you can easily highlight individual coworkers by bringing them onto the "stage," which is a great feature for larger video calls. Livestorm also has powerful integrations from companies such as Salesforce, Slack, and Zapier. To truly utilize Livestorm's features, you will need to subscribe to a premium subscription which is $99 per month.
Uberconference is a tool specially designed for organizations to have great online conference calls. Uberconference has many standard video conferencing features, such as the ability to screen share, record the call, and have a live chat. In addition to these standard features, you can add custom hold music before the call begins, which makes the meeting more fun. It also has granular meeting analytics, so administrators can see how effective meetings are. Uberconference is great for smaller organizations because it has a free tier, but also has a more advanced tier for larger organizations which costs $15 per user.
Highfive is a video conference tool designed for organizations that have a distributed workforce in different cities or countries. Highfive's main differentiator is its strong integration with premium video conferencing hardware. Instead of using the camera on your personal laptop, Highfive is designed to be used with professional-grade cameras and microphones that are placed in conference rooms. A huge pro of Highfive is that it can stream video conferences at a native 4k resolution. Since Highfive requires more premium hardware, its plans are more expensive, with the starter tier priced at $99 dollars per month.
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Whereby is a great video conferencing tool for companies that want maximum customization over their meetings. With Whereby, organizations can change the background of their video calls; for instance, the background can include the company logo and colors. In addition to background customization, Wereby's powerful API enables administrators to embed meetings directly onto websites, making meetings very easy and convenient to join. Whereby also has many features that increase productivity, such as a virtual whiteboard where team members can collaborate. Another great feature is consistent meeting room links. Whereby uses the same link for each meeting room, so you can easily jump into a meeting without sending out a new link each time. This is a great time saver. Whereby's free tier can host a maximum of 100 participants while its pro and business plans provide more features for larger companies.
Reslash is a video conferencing tool that tries to create virtual collaborative spaces. Unlike many other conferencing tools, Reslash does not have boring rows of video boxes. Instead, it lets users place their video anywhere on the screen, creating a much more spontaneous and collaborative feel. Reslash also has a powerful screen share feature that enables you to share up to 32 screens at once, which is perfect for project managers holding brainstorming sessions. For larger meetings, you can avoid going into breakout rooms by using Reslash's spatial audio feature, which enables you to divide people into smaller groups without leaving your current session.
Gather is an entertaining way to hold virtual conferences online while still maintaining a sense of in-person spontaneity. Unlike other video conferencing apps, Gather takes place in a virtual world where you control a video game character. You can roam around many different environments, such as a virtual office space or a virtual college campus. When you get close enough to another person or a group, you can start video chatting with them. Gather is perfect for companies that are holding large remote events or special workshops. One downside, however, is that Gather's pricing model is hourly, making it unsustainable for companies to use as their only video conferencing tool. For the basic "town" plan, it costs 2$ per two hours for every user.
When workshops are conducted online, they usually lack the energy and focus that are present during in-person events. Butter has designed a suite of tools to reduce Zoom fatigue and make company workshops more fun and engaging. Butter has unique features specifically designed for workshops, such as setting a timed agenda, having a conversation queue so that people know when to talk, and interactive polls. With these features, workshops are way more productive and enjoyable. Butter is a fantastic tool for small and medium organizations because you can host up to 100 people, and the service is free with additional premium plans arriving later in 2021.
While these video conferencing tools can certainly improve meetings and make them more fun, we can all agree that it is very hard to focus on your coworkers while also taking good notes. That is why you should give deepTalk a try! deepTalk is a smart meeting assistant that automatically summarizes your conversation. Using deepTalk and its AI assistant, you are able to have more productive meetings by focusing all your attention on your coworkers or customers.