As remote work and flexible schedules become more prevalent, cloud video conferencing software is increasingly replacing face-to-face meetings. Of course, email is a convenient way of communication, but video conferencing provides a more personal touch and is 34 times more successful than email interaction.
The global video conferencing market size was valued at USD 6.28 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% from 2022 to 2030.
Thankfully, a vast and diverse market brimming with abundant video conferencing software options exists. Choosing the optimal one for your company necessitates the consideration of several factors, including but not limited to the number of employees, your budget constraints, and any special features required to meet your unique needs.
To assist you in this process, we have compiled a list of the top 5 cloud video conferencing software programs for 2023. Before we reveal our best picks, understand why you should consider them in the first place.
Top 3 Benefits of Using A Cloud Video Conference Software
In today’s fast-paced, globally connected world, cloud video conferencing has emerged as a valuable tool for companies looking to streamline their operations and optimize communication. The benefits of this technology are numerous and multifaceted, ranging from increased productivity to greater work-life balance for employees.
- One of the primary advantages of cloud video conferencing is its ability to connect teams in real-time, regardless of their location. It can significantly reduce the need for travel and save precious time. This time-saving feature is particularly beneficial for companies with a global workforce. It allows teams to collaborate seamlessly without the added expenses of travel.
- In addition to cost savings, cloud video conferencing facilitates more effective communication between team members. It can lead to better decision-making and, ultimately, tremendous business success. Communicating effectively and collaborating in real-time allows for faster problem-solving and more streamlined policy-making.
- Moreover, cloud video conferencing can provide employees with greater flexibility and work-life balance, which is critical in today’s rapidly evolving work environment. This flexibility can improve employee satisfaction and retention, allowing employees to balance their work and personal lives more effectively. Furthermore, it can help companies attract and retain top talent by offering a more flexible and accommodating work environment.
Our 5 Best Cloud Video Conferencing Software of 2023 and Beyond
The premier cloud video conferencing platform has gained enormous popularity, in no small part due to its extensive features, ease of use, and dependability. With a bevy of options designed to accommodate organizations of all sizes, from SMEs and start-ups to medium, large, and enterprise businesses, Zoom’s allure is hard to deny.
Some of the features that have made the platform such a hit include its ultra-clear audio and video, instantaneous sharing capabilities, SSL encryption to safeguard sensitive data, and real-time transcriptions with closed captioning. Additionally, you have access to user management and reporting tools, making managing a call’s many moving parts simple. The platform is available on every major operating system, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, making it a breeze to use, no matter what device you prefer.
All in all, Zoom stands as an excellent team video application, with a complimentary plan allowing you to host a virtual gathering with up to 100 participants for 40 minutes. For the ultimate experience, upgrade to the Pro plan for a mere $14.99 per month per host.
Our Reason to Pick It
Zoom has seen an unprecedented rise in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic, turning it into a household name. The platform’s value proposition is hard to ignore, offering excellent performance, great pricing, and stellar customer support. However, Zoom’s handling of privacy and security concerns is a different matter entirely, garnering mixed user reviews.
Who Can Use It?
Recent updates have further cemented Zoom’s position as a top player in the video conferencing space, with its exceptional virtual whiteboard capabilities proving to be a game-changer. It has also expanded its already impressive array of integrations with third-party business software, ensuring that it remains a go-to choice for companies looking for a versatile and dependable platform.
- A generous free account that offers unlimited one-to-one meetings
- Competitively priced paid plans
- Offering a seamless virtual communication experience with unparalleled video quality, clear audio, and lightning-fast sharing capabilities
- Robust features for hosts and participants, including real-time transcriptions with closed captioning, user management, and reporting
- Easy to use with apps available on every major platform
- Good track record for prompt support resolution
- Lack of toll-free dial-in numbers for the US and the UK
- Inability to add a description or meeting agenda to an invitation from the app
- Mixed track record for the company’s response to privacy and security concerns
2. Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is an impressive chat & video conference tool that was purposefully crafted for workplace collaboration with a laser-like focus on integrating with Office applications like Word and SharePoint. Its creation was born out of an intense desire to keep up with the fierce competition that collaboration tools like Slack presented. Fast forward to today, and it has blossomed into a team collaboration behemoth that’s an absolute core part of the Microsoft 365 suite.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Microsoft Teams is its seemingly effortless integration with other Microsoft tools, creating an almost organic environment for users to collaborate on projects. The platform’s infrastructure is awe-inspiring, fostering an interactive and immersive experience, including a video conferencing option that you can launch directly from your chats. A carefully crafted interface combined with seamless functionality gives you the best of both worlds.
All Microsoft Teams plans come with an array of features, including web versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and the ability to store and share files easily. With the capacity to host up to 300 users at a time, Microsoft Teams offers 24/7 phone and web support to cater to the needs of its users.
Our Reason to Pick It
Recently, Microsoft introduced a new feature allowing you to invite guests not part of your enterprise’s Azure Active Directory. The company also added voicemail support to its mobile version of Microsoft Teams on Android and iOS, expanding its already impressive list of features.
Who Can Use It?
While it’s true that Microsoft Teams is a full-featured cloud video conferencing system, it’s much more than just a one-trick pony for basic video conferencing capabilities. Best suited for die-hard Microsoft fans, it offers a level of sophistication and customizability that caters to the needs of more discerning customers. However, if you’re in the market for a no-frills video conferencing solution, and the Microsoft way of doing things doesn’t particularly pique your interest, other options are worth considering.
• Offers unparalleled flexibility and customization options that you can optimize for various workflows and communication styles.
• Seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office apps, facilitating a cohesive and streamlined collaboration experience.
• Provides an abundance of integration options.
• A part of Microsoft 365 business accounts and Windows 11, making it a cost-effective solution.
• Requires a Microsoft-centric environment to be truly effective, which may be limiting for users who prefer to work with other platforms and software.
• Boasts a compartmentalized design that can feel overly formal and rigid, potentially hindering open dialogue and collaboration between team members.
• Finding specific conversations can be challenging, requiring you to navigate various menus and search functions.
• Not all features may be available in testing, which can frustrate some users.
3. Google Meet
Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts) is an extraordinary and essential component of Google’s G Suite productivity software, offering a vast suite of tools that aid in improving user productivity. The platform’s ability to seamlessly integrate with other Google products, for example, Gmail and Google Calendar, is a testament to its impressive functionality and capabilities, which help it keep up with the ever-evolving market trends. This first-rate cloud video conference platform provides unparalleled sound and video quality, coupled with advanced noise reduction technology.
What’s more, with a free Google account, anyone can host a meeting for up to one hour, making it a fantastic solution for individuals and small businesses alike. However, the platform also offers premium features, including the capability to live stream to up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, making it an ideal choice for large businesses, schools, and other organizations that require high-quality video conferencing services. With a free account, you can host up to 100 participants, while a paid account offers the ability to host up to 250 participants per meeting.
Our Reason to Pick It
The platform comes equipped with an array of features, including the convenience of one-click meetings, screen share capabilities, and mobile, tablet, and desktop accessibility, making it highly accessible to users across a wide range of devices. Additionally, it offers features like waiting rooms and virtual whiteboarding, designed to enhance collaboration among users.
Who Can Use It?
Google Meet requires no dedicated clients to download and install, which makes it highly accessible to anyone with a modern browser. Besides, it integrates seamlessly with the popular Google Workspace suite of productivity apps, making it a suitable video conferencing solution, especially for Google Workspace users.
- Google Meet’s generous free tier allows you to host meetings for up to 60 minutes.
- The platform includes document collaboration, letting you work on shared documents during a meeting.
- The conferencing software works entirely within your web browser without the need for any additional downloads or software installations.
- Meeting recordings are automatically saved to Google Drive, making it easy to access and share.
- The program integrates well with other Google Workspace apps, allowing you to transition between different productivity tools seamlessly.
- You must have a Google Workspace membership to access the full range of business features.
- It does not have a built-in transcription feature, which could be inconvenient for those who need to transcribe meeting recordings.
4. Cisco Webex
Cisco Webex is the go-to solution for businesses seeking to enhance online training, webinars, and remote support. With its outstanding security features, it offers unparalleled safety and privacy. The software’s robust security measures, like Transport Layer Security (TLS), encryption, firewall compatibility, single sign-on, and secure scheduling options, guarantee that your information is always secure. Additionally, third-party accreditations add another layer of protection, further ensuring the platform’s reliability and credibility.
This best video conferencing software offers seamless integration with Outlook and is compatible with a variety of platforms, including Mac, Windows, and iPads. It is part of an ecosystem of interoperable solutions for remote work, allowing you to incorporate specialized functionalities for webinars, remote technical support, or training.
Cisco Webex provides comprehensive features for all its plans, including screen sharing, HD video, unlimited meetings, and cloud recording and storage. The limits for these features vary by plan. While lower-level plans provide business-hours phone support, pricier ones offer 24/7 support.
The free version of Cisco Webex is limited in functionality and only accommodates two participants in meetings. However, paid plans offer a range of participants, from 50 to 1,000, making it an excellent option for businesses of all sizes.
Our Reason to Pick It
Cisco Webex has a long development history, having existed in one form or another since 1995. Today, it is owned by Cisco, which has integrated the software into its extensive ecosystem of tools, hardware, and smart conference room systems. This integration with other Cisco solutions makes it the preferred choice for some of the world’s most prominent names in the Fortune 500.
Who Can Use It?
From small businesses to large enterprises, Webex is fully capable of scaling to meet your needs. If dependable support and the potential for almost unlimited growth are your priorities, Cisco Webex could be the perfect choice for your business.
- Features an intuitive interface streamlining and simplifying user navigation with a thoughtful blend of technology and functionality.
- It possesses powerful application-sharing and whiteboard features that serve to enhance collaboration and information-sharing.
- Features cloud recording, allowing you to easily store, access, and share digital information on the cloud with maximum flexibility.
- It boasts real-time transcription technology to cement further its status as a leading-edge cloud video conference software.
- Offers a comprehensive range of breakout rooms that allows teams to work seamlessly and efficiently with multiple groups or individuals across diverse channels.
- Sporting an incredible and valuable Reactions feature that is well-designed, polished, and functional, facilitating effective communication and collaboration.
- Real-time translation costs more.
- Though comprehensive, the software is relatively expensive, which may put it out of reach for smaller businesses and start-ups.
- With only 10GB of cloud storage available, some users may find that storage space is inadequate for their needs.
The ins and outs of GoToMeeting, the videoconferencing service provided by LogMeIn, are nothing short of impressive. Offering a multitude of features such as audio and video conferencing, screen sharing, and mobile friendliness, it is a formidable tool in the videoconferencing world. The ability to set up and start a conference from your smartphone is a feature that even some of the biggest names in software struggle to achieve. The one-tap invites to join meetings and chats make it even easier to use.
But that’s not all. GoToMeeting also has separate mobile apps for Android and iOS with good user ratings, making it a user-friendly option that balances quality and usability with mobile use. In terms of pricing, the basic payment tier offers almost all standard features and a generous limit of 150 participants, making it an ideal choice for most businesses.
For those who require a higher level of functionality, a Business plan tier is available that increases the number of participants to 250 and includes admin features, drawing tools, and mouse sharing. And for the largest enterprises, an Enterprise plan can accommodate up to 3,000 participants.
However, while GoToMeeting offers a lot, it may not be the best solution for businesses needing a VoIP system. For those customers, GoToConnect offers a cloud-based phone system that integrates GoToMeeting as part of the package, making it more cost-effective to sign up for that instead.
Our Reason to Pick It
Starting at around $11 per month if billed annually, GoToMeeting offers a mature video conferencing solution that strikes a balance between features and cost. It includes competitive features like smart transcription and unlimited recording to the cloud and integrates with Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 calendars.
Who Can Use It?
Despite its strengths, GoToMeeting may not be ideal for general-purpose video meetings. Instead, it is best suited for use cases like webinars, contact centers, and remote IT management, particularly when paired with GoTo’s other software for those markets.
- Compatible with all platforms and mobile devices
- One-tap invites and chats
- Competitive pricing with most standard features included
- Business and Enterprise plans available for increased participants and added features
- Integrates with Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 calendars
- Smart transcription and unlimited cloud recording
- Annotation during screen sharing
- Requires separate product for virtual backgrounds
- Needs whiteboard functionality
Featured image by flickr