In times of hardship, we humans try to pull together and reach out to one another. Large corporations are simply big companies which are also run by human beings and they also reach out to different ones in their different capacities to make a difference in times like this. Microsoft, Google, Cisco, and Intermedia are at this time doing what they can to help different ones and different businesses worldwide to cushion the effect of the novel Coronavirus. They are helping businesses and individuals stay connected and productive by offering for a limited time, free access to their video conferencing platforms. With the extension of the lock down in different parts of the country if you haven’t found a way or are looking for another way to connect with your staff and/or clients, or just to reduce costs, you can try out any of these 4 video conferencing platforms.
Video conferencing and business messaging software and solutions have become vital tools used to keep people and businesses connected. The good thing about these video conferencing platforms is that the free versions given out are actually premium versions that are now available for free for a limited time.
Google is enabling free access to various video conferencing and communications tools for schools and businesses through July 1, 2020. This is available to all their G Suite customers.
This unlocks premium features to users. The premium features that you get access to are, the ability to stream up to 100,000 viewers within a domain and to host meetings of up to 250 participants.
Users of G Suite can unlock these features by following the instructions sent to their G Suite admins. They can also visit their learning centre page to know what to do.
Microsoft, another big player in the video conferencing and online collaboration space has also given access to Microsoft’s Teams for free for the next 6 months. This is available to companies and individuals alike. The free version gives you unlimited chat, search, one-on-one audio and video calls. Each individual is given 2GB of personal file storage. Microsoft is giving out 10GB of team file storage so that a team can upload and share files to one another.
IT professionals can also access Microsoft Teams even if their business isn’t licensed for Teams. They can contact their Microsoft partner or sales representatives to access the Office 365 E1 plan free for six months. For educators, teachers, and students, a free version of Office 365 is available for free to all educational institutions.
From now till the end of 2020, Intermedia is offering free Intermedia AnyMeeting Pro video conferencing licenses for their customers and partners. AnyMeeting Pro allows users with remote workers to hold global online meetings, using high-definition video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, call recording, chats, note taking and more. These meetings do not have any limit on the duration. Just visit their website to get started.
They are also giving out a free Webinar Pro license per account. With Webinar Pro, companies are able to hold larger live broadcast events for up to 200 people. With this, companies will be able to hold corporate all-hands meetings, webinars, lectures, religious services, and other virtual events.
The popular Cisco is expanding the capabilities of its free Webex access. According to Cisco “Effective immediately, we’ve expanded the capabilities on our free Webex offer in all countries where it is available, not only those impacted by COVID-19. This includes unlimited usage (no time restrictions), support for up to 100 participants, and offers toll dial-in (in additions to existing VoIP capabilities).”
All you have to do is head to their website and sign up. After the signing up, you will receive a response. Remember, be patient as it may take a while. You may have to wait a couple of hours before you are set and good to go.
The expansion will enable you have meetings with 100 participants, HD video, screen sharing, and a personal room for use as long as needed.
All four platforms listed are super great and all have their advantages. You can try them out and find out what works best for you. Remember, we are living in a time of crisis. You need to exercise patience and also remember that you may encounter problems as a result of a surge in demand and use because of the COVID – 19 pandemic. Even support related issues could take a while. This is not to say you will surely experience hiccups but to warn you that you may experience them.
If you need any help or clarification, shoot us a mail – [email protected].