Zoom-ing into the Future of Online Collaboration

We finally managed to put pen to paper about our favorite collaboration tool for distributed teams: Zoom video conferencing. Of course, all the following conclusions were reached via several Zoom meetings.

Thanks to technological innovations, we have managed to reinvent a lot of things in the 21st century. Perhaps one of the most important transformations has occurred in the way we work and do business.

Over the past years, technology has enabled people to work in increasingly flexible ways. More and more companies, of all shapes and sizes, are embracing this potential. The traditional 9—5 office schlep is slowly being replaced by a much more flexible working schedule from remote locations. In 2015, the world’s mobile worker population was estimated to reach 1.3 billion, representing 37.2% of the total workforce, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast.

Also, full-time remote workers tend to be more productive than those confined to a cubicle; 13% more productive that is, according to a study conducted by a Stanford University professor.

However, a new approach comes with new challenges. Some remote teams experience difficulties with members feeling isolated and disconnected from the rest and the company. But fortunately, this is a problem easily solved.

One of the keys to optimizing collaboration is video conferencing software.

Remember: 80% of communication is based on visual cues. Over the past year, we’ve put in a lot of energy in finding the best video collaboration tool for our teams; we’ve tested and tested, then tested some more, and came up with a winner: Zoom.

Proclaiming itself the #1 video conferencing and web conferencing service, with the highest NPS score in its industry (based on a 2016 Tech Validate Survey), we decided to take it for a free “test drive” during the weekly meeting with our creative department. And what were the results?

  • This gave us 40 minutes of free service for each conference session with up to 25 of our colleges.
  • The first Zoom meeting was flawless; the software was very quick to download, and this enabled us to be punctual. As our CEO is always busy with streamlining those ROI’s, he joined our meeting via the Zoom app for mobile; he downloaded Zoom from iTunes and installed it on his phone. It is as simple as that. Users can join the meeting from their browser, mobile (IOS & Android) or desktop app, which makes it even more agile.
  • The first thing that strikes you is the tool’s straightforward user interface, layout and HD video quality (from whatever device you’re using). Other features don’t fall too far behind, like the possibility to share your screens, record conferences, annotate collaboratively, and integrate with a host of software, ranging from Dropbox to Marketo.

Also, no matter how many people join in your Zoom conference, this online meeting tool makes it easy to see who’s talking and shows them in the center of the window. If you choose to see just a preview of everyone’s faces, Zoom will put a border around the active speaker.

During Zoom meetings, you can open a text chat box and hold side conversations, as well as share links. When you’re putting presentations or other documents up for discussion, the tool opens them full-screen to make sure everybody’s on the same page.

Slow internet? No problem! Zoom will reduce the video quality, if necessary, but keep the video going. Also, it’s won’t drain your battery or overload your CPU during calls. Just remember, that in order to engage in the smoothest possible meetings, close any applications you don’t need to use for the meeting itself. More pointers on how to have the best agile video conferencing experience are just a click away, compiled by a leading expert in the field: our CEO, Sharon Koifman.

Another appealing feature of Zoom is its pricing plan. Small teams to large enterprises have access to the tool for a maximum of $19.99 a month with unlimited cloud storage and up to 200 participants. If you’re out hunting for freebies know that you can host meetings with up to 100 participants for free, as long as they don’t go over 40 minutes. You can find elaborate details on each of their pricing package.

We’ve never needed it so far, but Zoom’s customer support includes tutorials, and training videos as well as chat and phone support. No wonder Gartner has included it in its 2016 Magic Quadrant for Web Conferencing report.

All in all, Zoom is a valuable addition to the other online collaboration tools that have helped our company work smarter and have become an essential part of our culture. What is your experience with online collaboration tools? Drop us a line or a comment below.

Photos via: GetVoip.co

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Lili Mihaila

Lili Mihaila

Lili Mihaila is a freelance writer who works with DistantJob to research and synthesise the best remote work related content into practical, accurate and actionable guides and articles on how to improve remote leadership and better manage your teams.