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Top 10 Platforms for Hosting Online Meetings

Online meetings

Meetings in a company are inevitable; they sustain continued business. But with company operations and offices spread over wide geographical areas -some even global- it can be a challenge to conduct meetings.

Traveling for a meeting is always an option -and it has been done before- but the cost of travel is high, and the ROI is hardly ever justifiable given the length and/or output of the meeting. In addition, as the world grapples with how to do business in the era of covid19, online meeting tools are useful now more than ever. Travel is not an option for anyone and even when travel resumes, having the option to hold online meetings while saving costs will still remain a preferable option.

In this article, we will explore online meeting tools that make having business meetings easier, cost-effective, collaborative, and productive.


Top 10 platforms for hosting online meetings

1. ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting is a reliable meeting platform that comes loaded with many useful features. It’s ideal for video conferencing, hosting webinars, online conferences and holding online meetings.

It’s easy to use, making it ideal for anyone with little to no technical skills. Click meeting runs online, so you do not need to download or install anything.

Features:

  • Host online conferences with thousands of attendees and multiple presenters
  • It works straight from your browser
  • Customize with your logo and colors to suit your business or event
  • Stream live on FaceBook and Youtube and reach new audiences through those channels
  • During Q&A sessions, use “question mode” to control your audience 
  • Translation feature allows attendees speaking a different language to participate
  • You can share your screen
  • Recording feature is available, making it ideal for record purposes and future analysis
  • A call-to-action feature, to increase productivity
  • Record up to 10 hours of meetings

Pricing:

Free: for 30 days

Live: $25

Automated: $40

Enterprise: Contact for more details


2. Skype

Skype

Skype has been around for a long time. It is online meetings platform that is trusted by brands and individuals alike for its reliability and security (thanks to the Microsoft brand name). Though skype is great for chat, its video conferencing capability is its most hyped feature.

Most people use the free version of skype, but paid options are available for meetings hosting 50 or more participants.

You need to download and install Skype on your computer, although the process is quite easy to follow. After installation, you can sync Skype to your address book, making it easy to access and call your contacts in one step.

The search feature allows you to find and invite anyone who is not in your contacts, to connect witty you.

Features:

  • Free for up to 50 people
  • You can chat, group chat, call or video
  • File sharing enables collaboration
  • It has versions for web and mobile
  • Skype has subtitles feature
  • You can call phone numbers from skype

Despite its popularity, Skype is a bit of a heavy app and may sometimes have unclear output on calls having many users.

Pricing:

Free for up to 50 participants. Otherwise, contact for more details


3. BlueJeans

BlueJeans

BlueJeans is an online meeting and video conferencing app trusted by enterprise brands like Facebook, LinkedIn, Zillow, among others. BlueJeans was acquired by Verizon in April 2020, a move that will see the app leverage Verizon’s 5G technology for better video conferencing.

Its analytics, live meeting controls, minute-taking and enterprise-level security are some of the features that make BlueJeans an enterprise meeting tool of choice for most.

Other features include:

  • One-touch-access allows users to join from their browser or device
  • It is integrable with more than 30 apps
  • Confiture to suit many meeting room systems
  • Make phone calls for free to more than 40 countries
  • Customize to suit your brand
  • Record meetings and save to the cloud

As with most enterprise-grade apps that host many users, video and audio quality may be unclear when using BlueJeans. However, the acquisition by Verizon may just fix this issue.

Pricing:

Standard: $9.99/month

Pro: $13.99/month

Enterprise: contact for pricing


4. Aira by Eduba

AIRA
Aira

Aira is an online meetings platform that offers quite a number of interesting features that make it unique. These include:  

  • Its Voice AI feature automatically records meetings. The AI continuously upgrades, enhancing performance and productivity
  • Recordings are available as transcriptions.  Therefore, you don’t have to miss out on meeting discussions or take minutes later on
  • Aira will attend multiple meetings for you, allowing you to still keep up with your busy schedule without missing out on important meeting details
  • Aira uses Zapier to integrate with your CRM
  • The analytics feature allows you to suggest ways to optimize future meetings and improve performance

To use Aira for online meetings, you can sign up for a free trial.

Pricing:

Available during the demo.


5. Blizz by TeamViewer

Blizz

The Blizz Collaboration Companion™ is a video, voice and instant messaging application created by TeamViewer.

TeamViewer specializes in providing remote support through cloud-based technologies to businesses around the world. Boasting installations on more than 2 billion devices, TeamViewer’s popularity as a collaboration tool is unquestionable. Blizz leverages some of TeamViewer’s features, allowing screen sharing and remote access to all your essential meeting and communication tools.

Features:

  • Blizz is free for up to 5 participants but has the capacity to support up to 300 people on one call.
  • It supports sharing on multiple 4K screens
  • Records calls and store in the cloud
  • It’s a secure application that uses 256-bit end-to-end encryption
  • Message indexing for easier tracking of conversations and ideas

One downside with Blizz is that it doesn’t support whiteboarding, which limits interactive use of shared documents during video conferencing.

Pricing (billed annually):

  • Free: for 5 users
  • Core: 6€ / Month
  • Crew: 14/€month
  • Company:19€/month

6. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft teams is an ideal online meeting tool for large businesses, as it supports as many as 10,000 participants on one call.  Microsoft teams support chat, call, video and file sharing on iOS, Windows, Android and web, all while ensuring the privacy and security of participants.

Features:

  • Navigating within Microsoft team is easy; with just one click, you can for instance navigate from group chatting to video.
  • File sharing on Microsoft teams makes team collaboration easy even when traveling or away from your workstation, as you can access and edit relevant files through TeamViewer.
  • Powerful search,
  • Live training online
  • Task management

Although Microsoft Teams has great features, it does not do audio calls, nor does it integrate with third-party software.

Pricing (annual commitment):

  • Microsoft Teams (free): free
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic: USD$5.00/ user/month
  • Microsoft 365 Business Standard: USD$12.50/ user/month
  • Office 365 E3: USD$20.00 user/month


7. Google Meet

Google Meet

Google Meet is a free service that started off as a secure meeting service for businesses. It is now open to everyone. Google Meet integrate with Gmail, google drive, docs and google calendar, letting you manage your video calls straight from your communication resources.

Features:

  • Live streaming on google meet supports up to 100,000 participants.
  • In addition to enjoying Google’s security feature, GoogleMeet benefits from extensive AI research by google, giving the app powerful abilities like adjusting to environmental noise, so that calls remain clear even in noisy environments.
  • GoogleMeet can adjust Performance to suit different network speeds. This ensures high quality calls in spite of network strength.
  • You don’t need to download googlemeet.
  • G Suite integration allows participants to join calls without internet

GoogleMeet is reasonably priced, making it ideal for a small budget

Pricing:

Free


8. GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is an online meeting tool through which users can host or join audio or video meetings from anywhere. It works on MacOS, Windows OS and mobile.

GoToMeeting has a high price tag, making it suitable for enterprises or businesses that can meet the budget.

Features:

  • The GoToRoom kit allows you to turn your meeting room into a collaborative space.  
  • GoToMeeting helps you to fully leverage your video conferencing hardware
  • Integrate with third-party apps like google calendar, salesforce, or Office 365.
  • Use Siri voice commands
  • Enjoy unlimited meeting time with screen sharing and HD video
  • Get MP4 recordings of your meetings
  • Enjoy end to end security feature

Pricing:

Professional: $14/organizer/month

Business: $19/organizer /month

Enterprise: Call for details


9. Zoom

Zoom

Zoom only went public in 2019 and has in a very short time soared in popularity as online meetings and conferencing tool.

Features:

  • Zoom offers free 40-minute calls for up to 100 participants
  • It is intuitive and easy to use
  • You can hold video calls, voice and chat
  • You can share files and make presentations on zoom.
  • Video and audio quality on zoom is good even on slow connections
  • Supports dual screen sharing and HD video

One downside of zoom, according to the intercept, is that it does not offer end to end security encryption.

Pricing:

Basic personal meeting: Free

Pro: $14.99/mo/host

Business: $19.99 /mo/host

Enterprise: $19.99 /mo/host


10. EverWebinar

EverWebinar

EverWebinar is a reliable and fast online meeting platform that allows you to set up calls and webinars in as little as 3 minutes. it’s a great tool not just for meetings but also for offering live training and webinars.

EverWebinar can automate your trainings, all while giving your audience flexible scheduling options for specific dates, managing recurring events and managing time zones.

Other EverWebinar features include:

  • Manage all your chats, videos and statistics in one compact screen
  • Access all your communication and analytics safely and securely
  • Download previous chat history
  • Send notifications by email or sms

EverWebinar however requires a bit of time to learn the features but when you do, the ROI will be worth it. The testimonials on the app’s webpage bear this out.

Pricing:

Installment plan: 3x$199/year

Annual plan: $499/year

Biennial plan: $799/2 years


Final Words

That’s it for now.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right software. But this list of 10, feature-rich online meetings apps has something for everyone, and should make doing business in 2020 and beyond a lot easier.

The Top 10 AI Assistant Tools That Are Ruling the Roost Today

ai assistant tools

It is almost impossible to believe that ten years ago, Siri was the only voice assistant in the world. In one decade, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken over the world.

By 2019, we had over three billion voice assistants globally. It estimated that the world will have close to eight billion of these tireless and friendly AI assistant tools by 2023.

These rising figures prove that the AI assistant tool has become an indispensable feature in the office and home life. Humanity is becoming increasingly dependent on scheduling bots with conversational interfaces that help in maximizing efficiency. We need Alexa around us to play our favorite songs, and AIRA to sit in our meetings and take our notes for us.

There is an AI virtual assistant for just about any task under the sun. Consequently, these tools have become a facet of technology, making an appearance in office equipment, electronic home appliances, and vehicles.

This rapidly growing market will be worth over $118.6 billion by 2025 as large AI invested businesses like IBM, Samsung,  NVIDIA, Google, AWS, Facebook, and Microsoft battle it out for the customer.

Here are ten of the best AI assistant tools that you should get your hands on.

1. Siri

Siri

Siri was the world’s first voice assistant. This fantastic Apple feature started as an independent voice assistant app for the iPhone. The smart people at Apple saw its potential and acquired it in 2010, integrating it into the iPhone 4S.

Apple has kept a tight rein on Siri, limiting third-party developer access to it. This aspect might have throttled Siri’s abilities, but it is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of AI assistant tools.

Some of the Apple voice command feature includes its ‘Raise to Speak’ feature that automatically activates the iPhone’s call feature. Siri can:

  • Post to social media platforms
  • Dictate your posts
  • Do your math
  • Convert measurements for you
  • Save your notes to Evernote
  • Make reservations
  • Remember relationships and pronounce names like Saoirse and Mireille without butchering them
  • Siri can also give you the flight numbers of the planes above you

She’s a great assistant for Apple die-hards. But hey, what if you’re not an Apple fan? You can easily go for this next option…


2. Google Assistant

Google Assistant

Google got onto the mobile voice search technology in the 2000s, but its breakthrough came in 2011. At the time, Google Assistant was a minute microphone button. This simple feature has, over time, graduated into a robust voice technology assistant.

Google Assistant made a debut in 2016 and is today a leading player in the advanced virtual assistant’s sector. The AI tool has become a common feature on a wide range of home appliances, smartphones, cars, and headphones.

The natural language processing tool can perform voice searches, commands, device control, task assistance, real-time translation, and much more.  

You can use it to find your gadget, order your pizza, and screen your voice calls. The “Hey Google, read it” command can narrate web content. The app can amongst many other things, stream your favorite show on Netflix.


3. Cortana

Cortana

Cortana is an AI app from Microsoft named after Cortana, the Halo AI. Nevertheless, Cortana in Halo is 500 years away in the future so, she will be named after the Microsoft AI.

Yes, time travel is very confusing! Cortana, the Microsoft virtual assistant is available on Microsoft platforms. You will find her on Windows mobile, Windows 10, Microsoft Band, Xbox, and Windows Mixed Reality (MR).

She is also on Amazon Alexa and a wide variety of popular headsets such as the Sennheiser GSP350, HyperX CloudX, and the Razer Kraken 7.1 V2. This AI assistant tool provides reminders, answers questions, manages calendars, automates tasks, keeps notes, and offers hands-free assistance. 

Using natural language processing, Cortana can learn and manage complex tasks. She has also integrated data from the Bing search engine and over 400 million devices on the Microsoft network. Therefore, she offers personalized recommendations. Cortana is not purely a Windows AI but has an API that works with other third-party apps.


4. Alexa

Alexa

Amazon Alexa, simply known as Alexa hit the scene in 2014. At first, she powered the Amazon Echo Dot speaker’s ecosystem that runs on the Alexa app. Today, this AI assistant tool powers user communication with it via thousands of ‘skills’ or pre-set functions. For this reason, Alexa is that useful roommate that reminds you of all your important appointment and dates but does not steal your ketchup. 

She uses natural language processing and voice queries to offer services such as music playback, voice interaction, stream podcasts, create to-do lists or play audiobooks. Alexa can help you to skip the traffic gridlock, offering the fastest route to work. She will also talk to your pets while you are away and feed them, too.

Have writer’s block? Talk to Alexa and she will help you with her Writing Motivation skill.


5. Lyra

Lyra

Lyra is a personal assistant AI marketed as Indigo until 2017 when it got its catchy name. Perhaps named after Lyra Silvertongue of the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra uses Material Design, which gives her an incredibly attractive look and feel for a simplified AI assistant tool.

Lyra can:

  • Search out YouTube videos
  • Find directions
  • Tell jokes
  • Set alarms
  • Manage your diary

…amongst a horde of other features.

She runs on iOS and Android systems and has a unique cross-platform functionality that allows her to engage in a conversation across different gadgets. She is a conversational, intelligent assistant designed as the Android’s ecosystem answer to Siri and can translate over 70 languages. Her multilingual abilities are astounding, and you can have her functioning across your laptop, desktop, phone, and tablet.


6. Bixby

Bixby

Bixby is an android AI assistant tool for Samsung devices. It is a decent personal assistant that runs a device’s web searches and Google Play app downloads. If you have gadgets from the Samsung proprietary hub, Bixby will support your smart tech as well.

Use its voice command features to send emails and texts. Bixby Voice is one of the most interesting features of this personal AI assistant.

It can adapt to your style of speaking, so you can issue commands in different variations and Bixby will provide an answer without any hitch. You can also view a personalized current activities reminder from Bixby Home, a social stream for all social media updates, reminders, and other relevant information.


7. Hendrix

Hendrix

Hendrix is an AI meeting assistant designed by Testfire Labs. Meeting assistance has become a crucial part of business, capturing the details of discussions accurately. Hendrix, will not only transcribe your meeting’s notes but archive them as well. This AI assistant tool will also create action items and place them on a searchable dashboard.

Since Hendrix will merge all your action items, meeting minutes, and history in one portal, you can relax during meetings and focus on being a productive part of the discussions at hand. Hendrix is compatible with a variety of conference providers such as Zoom, Uber Conference, Go to Meeting, WebEx, and other dial-in platforms.


8. Aira

Aira

In the not too far past, every team, office manager, business process, or function had an assistant. Their job was to take care of chores such as meeting scheduling, taking meeting notes, and other office tasks.

A personal assistants’ job was to support other office workers as they fulfilled the business’s core mandates. This scenario was replicated in offices worldwide…until the AI assistant tool came into the scene.

With intelligent meeting companions like AIRA on your side, you can now handle your meetings without worrying about a human assistant. AIRA will join your web conferencing calls, take your meeting notes, and share them with your group instantly. She will track all your online meetings, step in, and transcribe all that is mentioned. She integrates with CRMs such as Zapier and has a continuous upgrade process to ensure top-notch productivity.


9. Edison Assistant

Edison

Edison Assistant is an all-rounded AI assistant tool with a wide range of automation that will streamline your tasks and notifications. Edison has over 43 automations whose functions can compile your daily tasks, actions, and reminders in a single app.

It will also eliminate any duplicated or outdated contacts and send you reminders of birthdays via Facebook. You can also use Edison to manage your email inbox, create personalized alerts, and save plans to your calendar. It can send texts on your behalf when you are away from the office.


10. Hound

Hound

Hound, made by the SoundHound designers, is a voice assistant app powered by AI. You can have it on your iOS or Android apps and use it to search for data in your natural voice. Hound is powered by Houndify’s Speech-to-Meaning™ and Deep Meaning Understanding™ features that give accuracy to the answers that its users ask.

You can use Hound to make hands free phone calls, send texts, or retrieve weather and news information online. This AI assistant tool integrates with a wide variety of apps. You can use it to hail your Uber ride, book your flight, navigate to an address, or find a hotel.

Hound has an impressive array of clientele that include Motorola, Honda, Hyundai, and Mercedes-Benz.


Conclusion

Digital assistants are here to stay, as human personal assistants become a luxury for the elite. You can now automate your tasks and manage your time much better with their support. The technology is still in its growth stage, but it has so much to offer as it becomes smarter.

The choice of AI-powered tools out there is endless. However, this list has the best of them, pick your AI digital assistant, and enjoy automated and unrivaled intelligent support.

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