You use free video or web conferencing services, don’t you?
There’s a dichotomy that exists in Information Technology. We know; we hear from system admins, network admins and engineers. IT employees ask everyone in the company to use specific software — the ones they provide and support. And yet, it’s commonplace for IT employees to use whatever they want to do the job. In fact, IT employees love research and development and spend part of their time figuring out if another, better tool is available.
IT also looks for other solutions because sometimes what was promised doesn’t really deliver. One nameless IT employee confessed his company bought Skype for Business and yet everyone in IT hates it; so they use whatever free tool is available.
Here’s a few reasons why free sometimes doesn’t cut it.
1. Free services don’t look professional.
Sure, it’s fun to see silly hats and crazy filters, but not among potential customers or even business colleagues.
When talking with friends, it’s okay to see lag time and suddenly lose video, but when it happens often in the workplace, you’re wasting time … and productivity. Selecting a professional product with customer service people at the ready keeps meetings on track and productive.
2. They have poor performance and reliability.
Some free video and web conferencing services are free for a reason — they’re beta testing using you as the tester. They’re not reliable, down frequently, and modifications are made on the fly.
You can’t count on it for a business meeting. You can’t count on it period.
3. Those free services don’t integrate with anything to make your business more efficient. (That’s wasted money and time.)
Integration is where you really get the bang for your buck with video and web conferencing systems. The good ones have connections with all types of software from email clients to marketing automation tools and CRM systems.
It reduces the amount of double entry and rework, saving you time and money.
4. They lack customer support.
Sometimes, you just need help. You need a friendly voice to help answer questions — a real person to talk with instead of a pre-recorded message. You don’t want to have to rely on some forum to get answers, you just need an expert to help you quickly.
5. They aren’t scalable.
Lastly, free services are good for a few web meetings, but … they aren’t viable long-term. You usually can’t have several people meet at once. And you certainly can’t make it an enterprise solution.
It’s not worth free web conferencing.
So the next time you’re thinking of trying new technology, think about whether it’s really worth the risk.