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You can hold depositions in three states, in a single day, all from your office. You can interview potential associates without flying them into town. You can see what your cat does while you're at work all day. The future is here -- if you've got the right video conferencing software.
And no, not all video conferencing platforms at the same. You can't share your screen while streaming in Facetime, for example, and you're not going to get much in the way of customer service if you're getting face-to-face on Gchat. Indeed, when it comes to video conferencing, some of the small names are much better than the big guys.
When it comes to videoconferencing, Apple's Facetime and Google's Gchat and Hangouts boast millions and millions of users. But they're a bit too casual for business use. You'll need a third-party add-on to record your Facetime meetings, for example, and you'll be largely on your own if something goes wrong in a Gchat meeting.
So when it comes to finding video conferencing software, you'll want to look beyond free services targeted at casual users. Many smaller videoconferencing companies offer better features, dedicated support, and greater ease of use. Here are our top choices:
1. ClickMeeting - We'll be honest. We hadn't heard of ClickMeeting until PC Magazine listed it as it's Editor's Choice for video conferencing tools a few weeks ago. But we're glad we found out about it. ClickMeeting allows you to set up meetings easily, creating a simple, short URL you can share with participants. Or, if sharing a URL seems too informal, you can create fancy, customized invitations with preregistration and all that jazz.
The service also allows you to use a virtual white board or share your screen with just a click. It's web-based, so you don't have to worry about everyone having the right software. You can easily record your meetings and participants can chime in via toll-free call in numbers or VoIP.
2. Skype for Business - Skye helped popularize video conferencing and it's still a pretty decent option for attorneys. For this reason, Skype for Business will be relatively easy to use, as the Skype interface is familiar to most, and easy to understand if you haven't used it before. Since Skype is owned by Microsoft now, Skype for Business integrates easily with Outlook, letting you start video chats with Outlook contacts pretty seamlessly.
3. Cisco WebEx - WebEx offers a lot of control over your meetings. You can record the meetings video, audio, and on-screen displays, you can mute and unmute participants, you can switch hosts with ease, share files, share screens, share applications, etc. There's a lot WebEx allows you to do, including hosting seven video feeds at a time or conferencing from smartphone apps.
Of course, you don't have to pick just one video conferencing platform. Each of these three offers a free trial, which should give you enough time to test out your options before choosing which you like best.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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