As the nation embraces lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘stay home’ hashtag reaches over 2.8million posts worldwide, home workers turn to video conferencing tools to sustain vital communication across the workforce and to keep in touch with friends and family.
The GAS Marketing Team has collectively tried and tested three of the best tools on the market, so you don’t have to.
MICROSOFT TEAMS – The ‘no-frills, reliable one’
Microsoft Teams is the central hub for communications and collaboration within office 365. Microsoft’s long-standing presence in the workplace with its Office suite gives it instant credibility and brand recognition.
There are many easy integrations available with a paid-for Teams account, such as Trello, Yammer, Outlook and SharePoint making it scalable dependent upon your business requirements. The free Teams account allows you to invite up to 299 more people to join you, required they also have a Microsoft ID, such as a log in for Outlook.com however, the integrations are not available.
Overall, Microsoft Teams is a quick and easy tool for your business to adopt. Whilst it’s not as trendy as the likes of Zoom, it’s a great choice for start-ups or SMEs who aren’t looking for anything fancy.
Pricing : £££
ZOOM – The ‘on-trend’ one
Zoom has experienced an explosion in users since the COVID-19 pandemic began to circulate, resulting in the tech brand trending online and users even adopting their own identity – Zoomers!
The free version of the platform allows meetings of up to 100 people whilst maintaining its reputation for top-notch performance. This generous allowance is off-set only by the limitation of 40-minute meetings on the free version.
Zoom even offers a little-known feature for those with a penchant for a perfectly filtered selfie. The ‘touch up my appearance’ setting applies a skin-smoothing filter to the face.
Happy Zoom customers include: Hubspot, Groupon, 21st Century Fox and Uber.
Pricing : £££
3CX – The ‘GAS favourite’ one
3CX is easy to use and combines all the features you need to efficiently communicate, collaborate and connect with colleagues, partners and customers, straight from your browser.
“3CX is a system recently rolled out across the Great Annual Savings Group and it has made home- working & video conferencing so much more manageable”, explains Jennifer Anderson, Marketing and Communications Manager at GAS. “The simple interface is very user-friendly and is the central hub for all actions, so no need to log into multiple systems. Once verified and logged in, all devices including desk phones and mobiles are connected to the central system meaning everybody is within reach. When working remotely both customer and colleague calls can be answered either via a computer or mobile, with full forwarding and call recording capabilities.”
“As a people-focused business, GAS prides itself on the omission of IVR’s. When you call the business, you will always get through to a GAS representative. It is crucial for us to maintain this ethic, even whilst our people work remotely, explains Chris Hobbs, GAS Customer Experience Manager. “3CX has allowed us to do this, and more. We also use the system for daily team video conferencing allowing us to effectively plan for the day ahead and generally chat to one another but this system allows so much more than just video calls.”
Pricing : £££
If you are concerned about the current economic climate and its’ effects on your business, visit our COVID-19 Business Support Hub to learn how GAS can help you control your business running costs.
For more information on how you could save money on our array of cost saving services, please visit our business advice hub.