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The benefits of Zoom video conferencing

24 April 2020
Jan Friend
COVID-19, Digital & Tech, Payroll, People

Zoom is a top-notch online video conferencing service provider for business users.

As many of our clients will know, we have been using Zoom periodically in our business for some time. However necessity has now taken over and it is now used multiple times per day for team meetings, management huddles, client meetings and even webinars. We have really appreciated the benefit of being able to see each other and our clients on the screen in these times where face to face meetings are impossible.

For the uninitiated this blog should help to demonstrate what an asset this software can be, both for business and personal use.

Zoom was launched in 2011 as an online video conferencing service designed to make video calls smoother and more reliable.

Whether you are self employed and just need to check in with a client occasionally, or you want to hold an online meeting with 50 people, Zoom offers a stable, reliable service. Zoom is available in four different versions – Basic, Pro, Business and Enterprise.

Basic is available for free and allows users to host video conferences with up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes, in one group meeting. One-to-one meetings can also be used. Zoom Basic users get the same HD video and voice quality that paid users get. Screen sharing is also supported and meetings can be recorded and stored on your PC.

Zoom Pro removes some of the restrictions associated with Zoom Basic. Zoom Pro currently costs £11.99 per month and is still limited to 100 participants, but users can buy an add-on package for up to 1,000 participants if needed. Meeting duration on Zoom Pro is unlimited.

Zoom Business is designed for small and medium sized businesses and currently costs from £15.99 per month.

Zoom Business adds dedicated telephone support, a custom URL, company branding, custom emails and cloud recording transcripts of meetings.

For larger businesses, Zoom Enterprise is available for the same price as Zoom Business (currently £15.99 per month). This version allows 500 participants (and the option of up to 1,000 as part of an add-on), a dedicated account manager for your firm and some extra dashboard features such as ROI tracking, product roadmap and other analysis.

Personal uses of Zoom include family remote video chats and live exercise classes.

Zoom syncs with various different types of calendar system and works well on desktops, laptops, tablets or smart-phones. This allows users to join video conferences regardless of where they are. Zoom offers best-in-class video and audio quality and its pricing is very reasonable.

There has however been a lot of negative press around Zoom, largely around security. Many businesses and the MOD have banned Zoom as they believe the calls are not safe and effectively individuals can jump on to and hijack calls (“Zoombombers”) and potentially access individual’s data. Zoom state that as with all software basic security precautions can easily be taken to minimize the risk.

In case you are thinking we own shares in Zoom, we can assure you we don’t! There are of course other similar software products, such as Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting and TeamViewer. We are however fans so maybe the next time you want to talk to us why not ask for a Zoom meeting.

The content in this blog is correct as at 24 April 2020.  See terms and conditions.

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