Five Best Zoom Alternatives for Enterprise
During the Covid-19 pandemic, as the rational world locked itself behind its own front door to avoid spreading the deadliest contagious disease in a century, it also found brand new ways of carrying on with working life. While platforms like Webex (particularly in the business world) and Skype (more particularly in civilian life) had been established for some years as ways to keep in face-to-face touch with colleagues at remote locations or family members in different states or countries, it was Zoom that emerged as the most popular, straightforward way of maintaining connections throughout the pandemic.
But with the end (at least for now) of rigid lockdowns, both people and businesses are beginning to reassess. While the remote working culture seems likely to remain a feature of the post-pandemic office, what’s not as certain is that Zoom will remain the be-all and end-all of simple video conferencing – especially for enterprise. But if not Zoom, then what? Which are the best Zoom alternatives out there with a particular set of benefits for enterprise?
There will be something familiar about several of the candidates in our list, in that, unlike Zoom itself, they’re part of a wider family of programs – and to some extent, it’s that family of programs, and their relative business ubiquity, that recommend them as viable alternatives to Zoom. Although Zoom itself has developed a wide range of extensions to help it play well with other systems and programs, some of the best business alternatives bring a lot more firepower to the table.
Unsurprisingly, then, Teams is at the top of our table. That’s Microsoft Teams, which brings both a seamless integration with Office 365 and enormous scaleability to the party. And we do mean enormous – some Teams meetings have pushed the envelope of credibility with literally thousands of attendees at the same video meeting, without the system seeming to break a sweat. So, it brings benefits for larger enterprises that need to hold bigger meetings on a robust platform.
It’s important not to overlook that Office 365 integration, either. Still the package of programs of choice in an enormous number of offices and enterprises around the world, it’s not all about Word and Excel – the Teams integration includes elements like the One Drive, Microsoft’s cloud storage system, which allows for rapid file transfer in Teams, too.
For its astonishing robustness, its integration with Office 365, and its ease of use, which parallels that of Zoom, Teams has to be worth considering as a non-Zoom alternative for enterprise.
For similar reasons, Google Meet has to be worth considering. Formerly known as Hangouts – and never especially popular under that name, Google Meet integrates into the G-Suite of cloud-based programs, just as Teams integrates into Office 365. That has to make it the Zoom-alternative of choice for any workplace or enterprise that depends on the Google suite for its daily functioning, as opposed to the Microsoft option.
Google Meet has been criticised for its comparative weakness – you can only hold a meeting with a maximum of 250 participants, rather than the 1000 of Zoom or the several thousand of Teams. But in several other ways, it’s more Zoom-like than lots of competitors. The paid version (which is absolutely advised for enterprise) lets you record meetings for dissemination or transcription, and it also comes with attendance tracking, to ensure everyone who’s supposed to be at the meeting is actually there.
Larger enterprises may want to look elsewhere if they have a regular need to get more than 250 people in a video meeting, but otherwise – and especially if your enterprise already uses the Google suite of programs – Google Meet is a simple, effective Zoom-alike with some impressive integrations, including of course the Google Drive.
It would be at least a felony misdemeanor to make this list and not include Cisco’s Webex. Often thought of as the most corporate of video conferencing programs, Webex has a long history, an unrivalled reputation on cybersecurity, and these days, it has the power to outclass almost any of its rivals. It integrates with over 100 third-party apps, so it’s safe to say Webex is user-friendly, and it has a scalable pricing structure, including a specific package for enterprise users – its highest level of functionality, letting you customize your number of attendees, and hold meetings of up to 24 hours in length.
Delivering features unlike any of its competitors, including background noise removal and real-time translation, there are plenty of reasons why many enterprises swear by Webex, day, night, and three times on Sunday. It takes everything you think you know about video conferencing, and adds three scoops of entirely serious, enterprise-minded whipped cream on top.
BlueJeans has always sounded like it’s aimed more at the civilian world than at enterprise, but don’t be fooled – the laid-back name hides the hand of hardcore tech giant, Verizon, and BlueJeans itself is used, above the Google and Microsoft options, and even over Cisco’s Webex by some serious industry heavy hitters, like Adobe and Facebook.
It has some quirky features, but they endear themselves to enterprise by being less random than they at first appear. Real-time captioning is a useful accessibility function, and HD video recording of meetings means BlueJeans offers fidelity, while 256-bit encryption makes it strong on cybersecurity too.
While BlueJeans only lets you host 200 attendees at any meeting, its Enterprise package lets you make unlimited video recordings, so every meeting can be archived for future reference. The ability to tag moments and actions for ease of reference is another touch that sets BlueJeans apart from the field.
What’s more, it’s priced to take the knees out of some of its more high-end competitors, which even for larger enterprises makes it an attractive proposition.
There are some who will be put off by the 200 attendee limit, and that’s fine – there are some easy options for larger meeting sizes. But for an innovative spin on enterprise-centered video conferencing, with the know-how of Verizon and a competitive price-point, it’s worth taking a look at BlueJeans.
If money is less of an object – and it may be, if you’re equipping a large outfit with a video conferencing system to be Zoom-like, but not Zoom – TeamViewer is definitely in the running.
It scores particularly highly on cybersecurity, with 256-bit encryption, and the ability to lock meetings and use two-factor authentication.
It’s by no means cheap, compared to some other options on our list, but it piles on the high-end features to justify its price tag, including secure file-sharing, HD calling, and up to 300 managed devices. So, while there are cheaper options – and some of them from some of the world’s leading tech companies, TeamViewer has a feeling of secure indulgence that puts it almost, if not entirely, in the Webex league.
Choose Wisely, Choose Once
Your video messaging miles may of course vary – if you find a system that suits your enterprise and checks every box you have, then go with your instinct. But any of the Zoom alternatives on this list will see you right, depending on the size of your enterprise, your particular needs, and how much you’re willing to spend on the right solution for your business.
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