Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Meetings
The pandemic has changed the way business travel works; travel has become more limited, and so businesses are resorting to virtual meetings as a substitute. However, virtual meetings are not perfect; they have their own set of drawbacks as they do have advantages. In this blog, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of virtual meetings, as we provide you with our top recommendations for business phone systems where your business can hold its own virtual meetings and much more!
Let us start with the latter and talk about the drawbacks of virtual meetings. First, the richness of face-to-face meetings is hard to replace with virtual meetings. We, as human beings, thrive on social interaction, and virtual meetings make contact less personal as you talk to your team on a screen rather than their faces in real life.
Virtual meetings also make it a little difficult to build good relationships between colleagues, thus making collaborative teamwork a little rough as well.
Moreover, virtual meetings can be tedious and challenging to organize. You cannot ensure all your participants have access to the same technology or are familiar with the platform you are using. Not to mention, remote workers abroad can have a hard time finding the right time to join virtual meetings because of different time zones.
Lastly, you are bound to face some technical difficulties with virtual meetings, whether in audio, video, or internet connection. Any disruptions or difficulties will make such meetings insufferable and reduce engagement. As we mentioned earlier, there isn't a unified platform that everyone uses for video conferencing, so making sure all your participants are familiar with the one you are using can be time-consuming and tiring for everyone.
Putting all these issues aside, virtual meetings can still be quite beneficial for you and your business. It offers a variety of benefits and convenience in many ways.
First of all, virtual meetings can save your business a lot of money spent on travel, whether it's flights, accommodation, food, or gas. This gives you the opportunity to reinvest travel expenses in other aspects of your business, such as hiring, development, resources, or research.
Despite the reduced richness of face-to-face meetings, with today's business phone systems and virtual meeting platforms, your participants can share their screens or any documents or presentations they have on their devices to increase engagement.
Speaking of engagement, virtual meetings can also attract clients and colleagues from anywhere around the world; with a stable internet connection and any smart device, anyone can join a meeting from anywhere at any time. International businesses and organizations will find great use of virtual meetings. Their meetings can be more inclusive to workers in different countries and provide clear communication over tasks and objectives.
Last but not least, virtual meetings are environmentally friendly; your company's carbon footprint will decrease as your air or car travel is reduced.
Our top recommendation for the best business phone systems goes to Ooma. It offers comprehensive business phone system capabilities designed to suit any business size. Ooma also extends its compatibility from desktops to smartphones on Android and iOS.
Ooma offers three plans for its business phone system:
Ooma Office: $19.95/month/user
The Ooma Office plan is a basic plan best for small businesses. It offers the following solutions:
- Call forwarding
- Call waiting
- Virtual faxes
- Text messages
- Virtual receptionist
- Forward calls during device outages
- One virtual fax per user
- Multi-device ring
- SMS messaging
- Overhead paging
Ooma Office Pro: $24.95/month/ user
This plan is an upgraded version of the office basic plan. It provides your business with video conferencing, call recording, caller info match, call analytics, and advanced business phone features. All basic Office plan features are also included.
Ooma Enterprise: $27.99/month/ user
The Enterprise plan is more suited for larger businesses or enterprises, and it provides you with extra capabilities such as:
- International coverage
- SIP trunking
- PRI replacement
- Hybrid deployments
- Easy SaaS integration
- Dedicated customer success tea
- Customizable solution options
- Call parking
- Analytics dashboard
RingCentral is our second pick for a business VoIP system for several reasons. It provides all the features and capabilities any business needs, and since customers love it, we do too. RingCentral supports any business type, whether it's governmental, healthcare, retail, or educational; RingCentral stands out.
RingCentral offers four subscription plans that businesses can benefit from, three of which, however, are best suited for virtual meetings. Find the summary of their plans below:
Standard plan: $27.99/month, billed annually
The Standard plan provides you with a wide range of capabilities, such as unlimited calls within the U.S. and Canada, unlimited business SMS, document sharing, toll-free, and business phone numbers. More features include, but are not limited to:
- Unlimited audio conferencing
- High-definition video quality
- Collaborative software integrations such as Google Workspace, Slack, and Microsoft 365
- Up to 24-hour meetings
- Video meetings with up to 100 participants
Premium Plan: $34.99/ month, billed annually
The Premium plan packs all the features offered in the previous plans, in addition to the following:
- Automatic call recording
- Single sign-on
- Hot desking
- Admin and management for multiple sites
- Advanced call handling
- Video meetings with up to 200 participants
- CRM integrations like Salesforce, Canvas, and Zendesk
Ultimate plan: starting at $49,99/month, billed annually
This plan is perfect for large businesses and organizations who need advanced features, unlimited storage, device status reports and alerts, and much more. All previously mentioned features are also packed with this plan, in addition to tons more.
Our third recommendation for the best business VoIP is Nextiva. Nextiva offers businesses an inclusive platform where employees can perform many functionalities such as business phone calls, video conferencing, and customer management, all from one place.
Nextiva is a cloud-based business VoIP system that offers a mobile version compatible with Android and iOS. Its system promises a 99% uptime and the latest technology to provide you with the features your business will make great use of.
Nextiva will provide your business with:
- Video conferencing
- Contact center
- Phone system
- Collaboration tools
- Mobile application
Nextiva offers four plans for its business phone system:
Essential Plan: $18.95/month/ user
This plan provides you with:
- Unlimited video and voice calling
- Toll-free numbers
- Business phone system
- Mobile app
- Outlook and Google Contacts integrations
Professional Plan: $22.95/month/user
This plan offers all the perks provided with the Essentials plans, plus unlimited conference calls for up to 40 users and unlimited video conferencing for up to 250 users.
Enterprise Plan: $32.95/month/user
The Enterprise plan provides you with unlimited voice and video conferencing participants, call recording, call pop and all the features that come with previous plans.
Ultimate Plan: $57.95/month/user
The Ultimate plan offers the fully-featured Nextiva platform, which comes with all previously mentioned features, in addition to the following:
- Ticket Management
- Customer Analytics
- Service Productivity
- Unlimited calling within the U.S. and Canada
- Free local and toll-free number
- Desktop and mobile app
- 24/7 customer support
Dialpad is our last pick for one of the best business VoIP phone system providers. It offers comprehensive plans tailored to meet any business size and type. Dialpad packs built-in AI, Google, and Microsoft Office 365 app integrations to provide you with advanced capabilities and a unified platform for your data.
As for its features, Dialpad offers the following:
- Unlimited calling
- Call forwarding
- Call transcription
- Assistant pairing
- Custom routing
- Three-way calling
- Spam detection
And tons more!
Dialpad offers three subscription plans for its business VoIP phone system:
Standard plan: $15/month/user with 1 license
Pro plan: $25/month/user with 3 licenses
Enterprise plan: Quote-based with 100 licenses
In addition, Dialpad offers three extra products to enhance your business communication, they are:
UberConference Business: $15
Contact Center: $75 with 3 licenses
Sales Dialer: $95 with 3 licenses