Zoom has become popular in a world where the number of people working from home has shot up overnight.
But the platform has been called out for security issues and many users are looking for alternatives to Zoom for virtual meetings.
While the market is inundated with many tools that can be used as Zoom alternatives, how does one know how efficient these tools really are?
To make your task easy, we’ve done our research and compiled a list of the top five secure alternatives to Zoom for virtual meetings.
Now, virtual meetings are the closest you can get to a real-world meeting. But, what about managing remote teams and productivity?
In this case, video conferencing tools are not enough. What is required is a good remote team collaboration tool for instant communication and teamwork on projects.
Therefore, we’ve also given you an overview of how collaboration tools can make your work easier in a flexi-place scenario.
Apart from managing remote teams, a good mobile intranet can also help you manage a distributed workforce with a large chunk of blue collared or deskless workers.
Before we proceed, it’s good to get an overview of Zoom as a platform:
Zoom is a video conferencing app that allows audio and video collaborations across devices.
According to Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, the platforms’ daily users have increased from 10 million to 200 million in a short period, because of the on-going global health crisis.
Despite the growth spurt, there have been many complaints about security issues that cropped up while using the platform.
“Zoombombing” was a major issue, where random people could enter Zoom meetings and broadcast all kinds of stuff.
There was no end-to-end encryption on the platform. The tool was also vulnerable to data leaks and hacking.
While Germany, Singapore and Taiwan have banned the product, Google has banned the use of Zoom for desktop by its workforce. SpaceX and NASA have also banned the use of the platform across their staff.
The company has released an enhanced version, Zoom 5.0, which is, apparently, a more secure version of the product.
But, just this week Zoom has been down, with loads of users reporting audio and video issues.
Social media sites were thronged with users reporting problems in Zoom especially with audio, video, logging in and admitting people into meetings.
Despite Zoom having released an enhanced version with end-to-end encryption, there still seems to be no end to the glitches on the platform.
So, it doesn’t hurt to equip ourselves with information about alternatives to Zoom for remote meetings.
In this post you will discover five alternatives to Zoom for meetings.
You will also learn how an all-in-one employee app will help you in a remote work scenario.
1. Google Meet
Google Meet, the business-oriented version of Google Hangouts. It was only available to anyone that subscribed to Google’s paid service called G-Suite.
However, Google recently announced that Meet is free of cost for interested users.
Google Meet shows up to 16 people at once and is incorporated into Gmail.
The platform features unlimited meeting time valid till September 30th this year. After this, each meeting will be of 60-minute duration.
The platform can accommodate up to 100 participants.
2. Cisco Webex
Cisco Webex’s free version has features such as up to 100 participants for unlimited time.
This video conferencing platform has screen sharing and recording options. The platform offers paid plans and an Enterprise plan as well.
Skype Meet Now is a feature in skype which allows videoconferencing.
You can also create a free video meeting without signing up. The number of users varies depending on the device. The call can be recorded for up to a month and you can share presentations.
4. Jitsi Meet
Jitsi Meet is an open source platform that makes virtual meetings as easy as opening the website and clicking on Go.
The platform allows for upto 75 participants. Features offered are: background blurring, chat, session recording and also the option to remove participants.
5. Go ToMeeting
Go ToMeeting is an application used by millions of businesses for professional online meetings and collaborations.
Features include screen sharing, audio and video conferencing. The app is both android and iOS compatible.
But, are video conferencing and virtual meetings enough to manage remote teams?
If remote working is here to stay then employee apps are here to help!
Even when the stay-at-home order is lifted, encouraging work from home might help cut costs and boost bottom-lines.
For some industries like manufacturing, remote working poses a serious threat to operations.
Engineering team managers are crucial to maintain operational efficiency in a manufacturing unit.
Most manufacturers use paper to track workflow and create checklists.
As a result there is a delay in the information reaching top management.
Remote monitoring solutions are needed to track workflow and outputs regularly from any location.
So, while virtual meeting tools are good for, well… meetings, only a good old employee app can salvage operations during times like these – a.k.a. a crisis.
The number of deskless workers globally stands at 2.7 billion, which is 80% of the global workforce.
A large part of this group is in the process of a digital upgrade.
Whatsapp for business is still the main platform used to communicate between these workers.
This is a huge risk. No admin controls or security protocols demands for an alternative to Whatsapp for business comms.
Deskless workers need access to the same technology that desk workers have access to.
A good employee app for blue collared workers is good for a productivity boost.
Good strong measures have to be taken to make a remote workforce productive.
And not just a remote workforce, any distributed workforce can benefit from digital comms tools.
These tools keep everyone aligned and therefore, boost productivity.
Subscribing to a good mobile intranet loops in desk workers, deskless workers AND remote workers, keeping the entire organization connected at ALL times!
Learn more about why remote working is the future of work in our take on the issue here.
The need of the hour is a tool that helps with internal comms, operations, and other stuff.
We have done the heavy-lifting by assessing differences between an all-inclusive employee app and a mere video conferencing tool.
The verdict is – video conferencing tools don’t have features that help manage remote teams during a crisis or otherwise.
Video Fatigue is a real phenomenon! Research has shown that constantly starting at faces and maintaining eye contact has a very negative impact on mental health.
With back to back virtual meetings, you have to stare into someone’s eyes for hours on end.
This is stressful to say the least. This also means there should be alternatives to collaborate from a distance.
The audio and video collab tools are good for just that and nothing more.
What about chatting, tracking progress and completion of tasks, collaborating on projects, and so on?
We need a platform to help us instantly and constantly communicate with each other.
An employee collaboration app is also needed as part of a business continuity plan. Having a strong and secure tool in place will help businesses easily adapt during uncertain times.
Groupe.io is one such employee app that helps you connect and collaborate with your entire workforce safely and with ease.
Groupe.io is an app that connects the entire workforce – desk, deskless and remote workers.
The app is specially designed for deskless workers – those that don’t have official emails and are constantly on the go.
This is a mobile first platform – all you need is a mobile number, and voila, you’re in. No email needed for on-boarding.
Get read receipts and metrics on participation and engagement on the Groupe platform.
This is a new feature that takes conversations to the next level. You can make video calls on the Groupe web app, which also has screen sharing abilities.
We’ve also integrated with Zapier which will help with process automation.
These features make Groupe a handy tool to manage remote workers.
In conclusion, video conferencing is important for meetings and sync ups.
But organizations need a lot more than just that. An easy to use and secure mobile intranet is the way to go!