If your organization has been searching for a video communication and collaboration tool among the several leading the market, you likely have several from which to choose.
Due to COVID-19, online meeting technology is now a critical tool for any organization that has sent employees home but is still expecting them to produce their normal workload.
If you expect your company to resume normal in-office operations and maintain a normal headcount in the building, you may not think it’s worth it to buy subscriptions or plans for these services, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Bluejeans, Lifesize or Pexip.
However, most of these providers offer free limited versions of their software to one-time users, customers just testing out the platforms, or organizations that don’t need features of paid versions, according to company websites and presenters during an Enterprise Connect virtual session.
If you aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger, or if you think your company’s remote work will cease once this pandemic is over, consider looking into these free meeting platforms below.
(Note: Some providers are easing free version restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check each individually for more information on their response to the pandemic.)
Teams, Microsoft’s flagship communication and collaboration app, offers a freemium version that doesn’t cap the meeting time limit, and the maximum number of meeting participants is 250. The freemium version doesn’t offer scheduling, the recording of meetings, some productivity features, security features or tech support.
WebEx has long used in the corporate world as a videoconferencing app. Its free version doesn’t cap meeting times (WeBex previously limited free meetings to 40 minutes) and meetings can hold up to 100 participants.
Zoom is another popular platform that offers a free version, but it’s typically a bit more limited. Meetings for free users are capped at 40 minutes, and up to three people can meet for 40 minutes if none have a paid license.
Lifesize also offers a free version that doesn’t cap meeting times for free users, but it only supports up to 25 participants without a paid license. However, the company is currently offering six months of the videoconferencing service to any organization, business, NGO or government agency.
Unlike its competitors, BlueJeans doesn’t offer a freemium version. Instead, it’s free offer is good for only a week. During that week, meeting times aren’t limited.
Pexip offers a free version only for 15 days during which meetings aren’t limited and up to 100 participants can join a call. Streaming is supported in this free version.
LogMeIn’s free version of its videoconferencing software GoToMeeting is essentially a two-week trial that caps meetings at 40 minutes and meeting participants at three. Screensharing is allowed, but recording isn’t. Paid versions allow up to 250 meeting participants and no time limits.
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