3 Virtual Platforms to Consider
PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Everyone knows about Zoom. It's our classrooms, boardrooms, and parties. It seems like Zoom rose to popularity overnight, but the company has been nine years in the making.
Zoom went public in Spring 2019, though it was founded in 2011. When COVID-19 restrictions were set, Zoom was our friend we could depend on. Its user-friendly platform was simple enough to use for whatever you needed. Plus, the free 40-minute-meeting plan attracted lots of users.
Fast Forward to now, we're entering the new year, and virtual events and telecommuting remain in high demand. Zoom is great, but companies may need a more robust platform to meet all of their needs.
There are hundreds of virtual platforms on the market. Here are three that have risen to the top and might be just the thing your company needs.
Webex Meetings by Cisco has been a popular choice for webinars, webcasting, and virtual learning. Funny enough, Zoom founder Eric Yuan is a former founding engineer on Webex.
Webex Meetings is a great option because:
- Tiered memberships start at $0 per month for personal accounts of up to 100 participants.
- Can host large groups of up to 100,000 participants when paired with other Webex platforms
- No limits on meeting duration
- Participants can dial in from anywhere in the world, and
- Meetings can be recorded and shared.
Susan Hammiche, marketing, and operations manager for SYSUSA, Inc., said Webex Meetings works great for presentations to show products and services to clients before meeting in person, canceling any travel expenses. SYSUSA, Inc. has between 11 and 50 employees.
For plans, pricing, and additional information, visit webex.com.
Another popular platform is ON24, a robust virtual solution.
Over 1,200 global organizations, including LinkedIn, Microsoft, and Marriott, rely on ON24.
Some of the features include:
- 24/7 phone and chat support; plus videos, live training, and attendee guide, and
- Highly customizable
Tyler Hershberger of Jackson Systems, LLC praises ON24 for its certification widgets.
"The certification widget is well thought out, giving the trainer a lot of flexibility on how to track a passing scenario for the class. Once an attendee has met the requirements, they can download a certificate that auto-fills their information."
Hershberger added ON24 allows them to broadcast their training sessions across the country, which was a challenge they faced before finding ON24. His company has between 50 and 200 employees.
Companies can request a demo, find pricing information, and other resources at on24.com.
Lastly, GoToWebinar is a happy medium for a lot of companies. This platform is a step up from Zoom but not as high-tech as On24.
Hosted by LogMeIn, GoToWebinar allows up to six video streams at once for up to 2,000 participants.
Some features that win over companies are:
- Interactive features, and
- 24/7 phone and live chat support.
Customer support technicians can view your event live to diagnose any issues you're having. Hosts can browse how-to videos or join live training sessions to learn GoToWebinar.
Andy Ryan, with Let's Launch, recommends GoToWebinar for companies selling products.
Companies can request a demo and view pricing at gotomeeting.com/webinar.
With hundreds of virtual platforms to choose from, these three options show a lot of promise for a wide variety of uses.