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Cisco Webex Meetings, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom Meetings have taken leading positions in the video conferencing services market, but in many ways, the race has only just begun. The enterprise opportunity is vast, and many companies are eager to close the gap.
To that end, we’ve seen several video startups enter the fray this year, as well as other vendors that might not be known for their video solution attempt to break ground in the industry. All of which are trying to capitalize on the moment of increased demand for video that came with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this slideshow, we explore five video conferencing alternatives — four of which launched this year. Click through for product details and insight on how each is uniquely addressing the video conferencing needs of enterprises.
Huddl.ai Brings the Smarts to the Meeting Experience
One of the newest video conferencing services entries, Huddl.ai is an AI-based video collaboration platform that launched in July. A key feature of the platform is its meeting memory, Huddl.ai Motes, which automatically recaps meeting minutes and creates summaries and action items. In addition to recording these meeting details, the platform will make recommendations for who should participate in the meeting during the scheduling process, Huddl.ai said.
Other features include noise cancellation and auto-adjustment of speaker volume, Huddl.ai said. A Slack integration allows Huddl.ai users to join meetings without leaving the team collaboration platform.
Have a ‘Jamm’ Session
Launched in March, Jamm is a lightweight desktop application designed for spontaneous video meetings — aka, “jam” sessions. Jamm supports click-to-launch one-to-one ad hoc video meetings as well as an open video meeting format that encourages on-the-fly collaboration in a virtual “common area,”, Badri Rajasekar, Jamm co-founder, shared during a No Jitter briefing.
Features include screen sharing, whiteboarding, video and voice recording, the ability to create animated user avatars, and support for AI noise cancellation solutions like Krisp.ai. Via a Slack integration, users can launch, record, and share Jamm video messages within their team channels, Jamm said.
Secured Communications Breaks into Video
Communications security provider Secured Communications, known in law enforcement circles for its services, expanded into video conferencing in June with the introduction of its Mercury Meeting video platform.
One of the main features of the Mercury Meeting platform is its meeting access and host controls. Meeting hosts can not only require a password for each meeting, but also use Secured Communications’ Secured Contacts system for an extra layer of meeting protection, Damien Fortune, chief strategy officer for Secured Communications, told No Jitter during a briefing. By using the Secured Contacts system, hosts can generate unique codes which attendees can use to set up personalized credentials, he explained. When a host launches a meeting with this enhanced security feature, only the specified attendees can log in and participate, even if the link to that meeting has been shared with others, Fortune said.
“Once a meeting is in progress, hosts have broad controls over participants, including the ability to mute individual – or all – participants, disable screen sharing, or turn off cameras. Should a problem arise, hosts are also able to eject a participant with a single click, Fortune said. The Mercury platform also complies with HIPAA, GDPR, and Privacy Shield regulations, according to Secured Communications.
Tauria Encrypts Video End-to-End
With a similar focus on security, software encryption company Tauria this May released its video conferencing and business suite, which features end-to-end encryption for video communications. Tauria's video conferencing service supports meetings with up to 50 people, comes with screen sharing and webinar capabilities, and complies with HIPAA, PIPEDA, and CCPA regulations, Tauria described on its website. As part of the business suite, Tauria offers direct messaging, scheduling, and file sharing, and integration with applications from Salesforce, Atlassian, HubSpot, and others, Tauria said.
The service is available in two price tiers: one for small to medium businesses at $10 per user/per month and an enterprise level dependent on company size and functionality desired. The enterprise-level plan also comes with customizable features and a 24/7 support team, according to Tauria.
Whereby: Knock Before You Join
Launched in 2014, Whereby is a room-based video conferencing solution that allows up to 50 participants to join a virtual meeting room. Whereby features live chat reactions, screen sharing, YouTube and Google Docs integrations, and Apple iOS support, according to Whereby’s website.
Other features are built around host controls. Before joining a meeting, participants will first have to "knock" before entering a room, which the meeting host can either accept or reject, Whereby said. Meeting hosts can mute a meeting participant, ask someone to unmute, and end the meeting for everyone, Whereby said. Whereby also allows companies to brand their virtual meeting room space with logos and colors (available for Pro and Business users).
In June, Whereby announced a partnership with Miro to bring whiteboarding capabilities to the solution. With integration, users can map out flow charts, take meeting notes, and create virtual sticky notes, according to Whereby. As a part of this announcement, Whereby also made its integrated services for Google Drive, Trello, Slack, and YouTube free to all user levels.
Other recently added features include a "picture-in-picture" mode and a one-click end meeting option, Whereby told No Jitter. Additionally, Whereby enhanced its language support for Norwegian, Spanish, and Portuguese speaking users with more on the way.
Whereby offers a Pro plan with three meeting rooms and a Business plan starting with 10 meetings room, available for $9.99 and $59.99, respectively. A freemium option is also available.
Is Video Just Getting Started?
Whether you’re looking to switch your video conferencing service or just seeing what else is out there, these five solutions, among many others, just might fit your needs. With video now the norm, we should anticipate even more video startups to pop up and other technology providers to add video to their portfolios. At the same time, the leaders will continue to refine their solutions to keep and attract users.
For more insight to what’s coming next in video conferencing, make sure to check back regularly to No Jitter and anticipate more discussions on the topic at next year’s Enterprise Connect.
A look at some of the video conferencing solutions launched this year and how they are trying to capture the COVID-19 moment. Click through for details on each!