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Video Conferencing | Zoom, Microsoft Teams & Whereby

Jeff Herbert | Web Consultant

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Did you know that Four Pi is completely made up of remote workers? Yes, all employees are not located in a central office and a key-to-our-success is the ability to efficiently use video conferencing software to collaborate on digital projects and communicate with the entire team.

Because of the unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19, we’ve seen a huge adoption rate of video conferencing work protocols throughout all industries in Australia with thousands of employees now working from home.

Looking forward to the future of remote working in Australia, we now have time to consider the best video platforms for your business.

Four Pi CEO, Chris Long, has been working remotely for 10 years and has built a successful remote-first business - so he knows a thing or two about the best team productivity software and technology for remote teams, local teams and travelling team members.

In a recent Four Pi Facebook Live Video, Chris discussed Zoom video conferencing and their security concerns, Microsoft Teams and their integration of Skype video chat, and Whereby (Four Pi’s preferred video chat platform).


Video Conferencing | Video Security, Privacy & Considerations

Video security became a hot topic at the start of COVID-19 causing a surge of articles posted online that weren’t written by tech-journalists or tech-professionals. Most didn’t do their due diligence researching video security and data encryption and quickly overlooked key points regarding end-to-end encryption and video conferencing security.

The most notable phrase was ‘Zoombombing’ which led to Zoom focusing more on their platform security which they detail on their website: https://zoom.us/security

How do you have secure video conferences? The simplest and effective way to have a secure video conferencing without uninvited visitors is to use a password. Video conferencing tools have the feature to set passwords for video rooms and video meetings.

Everything can be hacked. The Zoom video platform uses end-to-end encryption, and though very secure, everything can be hacked.

Will your video stream get hacked? Very unlikely. So before you picture a person in the shadows sitting behind a computer screen hell bent on stealing your personal data by hacking into Zoom’s infrastructure, just know that probably isn’t the case.

The more likely security threat your business faces are their internal employees relaxing their personal security by sharing passwords, not using passwords and leaving sensitive material in the open.

Discussing sensitive material online. It’s common for business owners, management, boards of directors and other senior stakeholders to discuss highly confidential material. When discussing secretive items please consider your meeting options - perhaps an in-person meeting or a phone call will give you the security peace of mind you need.

Legal confidentiality clauses of video security. Ask yourself what are reasonable steps you can take to avoid getting hacked and when on camera make sure you’re being responsible with your physical location. Establish your video setup in a quiet and private corner and avoid streaming from sensitive areas. Finally, understand your legal responsibilities and insurance details.

✔️ The best remote working teams use video chat

🔒 Use passwords & trust recipients

✔️ Know that everything can be hacked

🔒 Use the security measures provided by platforms & ensure your team abides

🔒 Consider video platforms with login features

✔️ Consider sensitive material and insurance/legal risks

Video Below: Four Pi CEO, Chris Long, discusses Video Conferencing and things you need to consider when deciding on the best video meeting software for your business. Chris also touches on video chat security and addresses the security issues Zoom users have been experiencing.



Video Conferencing | Zoom Upsides, Downsides, Features & Security

Zoom video conferencing has experienced a massive rise in users given the surge of remote teams working from home in 2020. Zoom has many features and provides business owners an opportunity to enhance team communication and team productivity.

Zoom is one of the most popular and widely used video platforms in the world. For many years the Zoom video platform has been on the rise which saw the company go public back in April 2019. Who would have thought a global pandemic would come less than 12 months later and rocket their users from 10+ million daily in December 2019 users to 200+ million users in April 2020.

FREE unlimited 1-to-1 meeting time. Zoom delivers quick, easy and free video conferencing for two people. As with all free things, there is a downside to the free Zoom service. Instead of Zoom servers, it acts as a peer-to-peer platform that uses your internet and the recipient's internet which may affect video quality and performance. Fluctuations may occur with individual internet connections.

FREE 3+ team member video chat. A meeting between 3 or more team members will involve a 40 minute limitation. Like the above, video performance and sound quality will vary based upon individual internet connections.

Zoom passwords and invite settings. If you can prevent your team distributing passwords and share settings then Zoom can be a terrific video conference that provides enough security.

Multi-speaking on Zoom is poor. In our experience we’ve found Zoom struggles a bit when multiple team members are speaking at the same time. We wouldn’t worry about this too much as your team will upskil and get a feel for video communication - you’ll all be much better soon enough.

Zoom’s user interface. Zoom has multiple staff window features allowing you to select a screen layout that works for you. Zoom has a really good explanation on their room display options here.

Zoom’s paid services. The paid service of Zoom is probably the best in the market right now and something you’d certainly expect from the world leading video platform. Upgrading to the paid tier of Zoom gets you server based rooms which boosts both your video performance and business security.

Watch Chris discuss Zoom video services and his experiences and answer questions from the audience including ‘Can you use polls in a Zoom webinar?’ and ‘Which platform is the best for school children to use?’.



Video Conferencing | Microsoft Teams Upsides, Downsides, Features & Security

Microsoft have had a long, turbulent journey trying to deliver a successful instant chat / video conferencing productivity tool, such as Windows Live Messenger and Microsoft Lync Server 2010. Not until Microsoft purchased Skype in 2011 for $8.5 Billion (in cash! Read about it more in this Wired article) did they start to get traction in the market.

Jump forward to 2020 and you’ll now find Microsoft Teams incorporated into their Office 365 packages providing instant messaging and video chat with their subscriptions.

Video conferencing and instant messaging in one. Microsoft Teams proves to be the ultimate communication tool for businesses by combining instant messaging with Skype’s video chat features.

Blur your background for privacy. Unlike other video platforms, Microsoft Teams has the option to blur your background and retain focus on the person.

Pricing: Microsoft Teams is NOT free. To instal and use Microsoft Teams you will need an Office 365 licence which is available in annual subscriptions.

Pricing: BUT it does come with all Office 365 pricing models. Which means that if you’re using any Microsoft product in the workplace (Such as Microsoft Word or Excel) then you probably have full access to Teams right now.

Office 365 for Business comes in 3 x varieties of annual subscriptions:

Basic - $6.90 user/month

Standard - $17.20 user/month

Premium - $27.50 user/month

For more information on pricing and subscription inclusions here is their pricing page: https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/microsoft-365/compare-all-microsoft-365-products?&activetab=tab:primaryr2

Watch the video below to see Chris’ discussion about Microsoft Teams and a tech-historical event called the Browser Wars.



Video Conferencing | Whereby Upsides, Downsides, Features & Security

Probably the video platform with the least notoriety of the video conferencing platforms discussed in this article is Whereby (formerly known as AppearIn).

Fun fact - Whereby is the video conference platform used by Four Pi! Yes, our team of Australian remote worker professionals all communicate using Whereby video chat where we conduct meetings, one-one-one chats and client meetings.

No downloads and no logins for guests. Whereby is a browser-based way of conducting video chat so all you need is a URL to enter the room. Four Pi have a specific video room setup for client meetings so anyone outside the company can join simply by clicking a URL (no logins, no signup’s or software downloads required) - a single click to start.

Native Apps. Whereby has native iOS and Android apps which can be installed on devices for quick access and video meetings from anywhere.

FREE 4 person rooms. Hold unlimited meetings for up to 4 people in a peer-to-peer video room.

Pay for 12, get 50 users. Once you need a video room for 5+ team members then the paid model will get you a server-based room with excellent quality and lighting fast service. The best part is that rooms can hold up to 50 members but you’ll only ever have to pay for 12.

Pricing models and inclusions can be seen on Whereby’s website: https://whereby.com/information/pricing/

Loaded with features. Without going too deep into the list, you can expect these features:

  • Privacy & locked rooms
  • 1 click join for guests - no registration or downloads
  • Screen sharing
  • Simple video room names that includes your business name
  • <50 video call members
  • Custom branding
  • Mobile support with native apps
  • Record, download and share
  • Watch YouTube videos together
  • Instant chat
  • Emoji’s

Screen sharing. With one click you can start sharing your screen with team members. Whereby’s screen share feature is used heavily by Four Pi employees when discussing and collaborating on projects.

Multiple speakers. Unlike our experience with Zoom, multiple people can speak at once without blocking out other team members. There are also mute features and a button to quickly switch on/off your camera feed.



You can find all Four Pi’s useful videos on remote working YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsCYXJwnWIMLhQ8cIkLITfg/playlists?view_as=subscriber

To compliment your businesses video chat platform we highly recommend the use of an Instant Messaging productivity tool.

The Four Pi team of digital managers, website developers, app developers and graphic designers relies heavily on video conferencing tools in conjunction with Slack instant messaging (we did videos on that too Slack Part 1 & Slack Part 2).

For more remote working tips and guidance you can follow the official Four Pi Web & App Development channels:

Web: https://4pi.com.au

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/4piweb

Instagram: https://instagram.com/4piweb

Twitter: https://twitter.com/4piweb

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/4pi-web-and-app-development

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