You need the right technology to get the best value from web conferencing. Without good connectivity; via wired, wireless or WiFi networks and high-performance hardware and software needed to support great video and audio, it will be hard to achieve the optimal experience.
It’s all about the app
Ultimately, everything depends on the capabilities of the app you use for your web conferencing. Even with great connections and hardware, you won’t get the best outcomes from your online meetings unless your app can deliver what you need.
Your app should be well integrated with your operating system and business suites such as Microsoft 365. This makes Microsoft Teams, the Windows conferencing and collaboration app included with Microsoft 365, the ideal option for anyone using a Windows PC. It’s already built-in with the software they are using every day.
Making teamwork easy everywhere
Teams offers high-quality audio and video and has an easy user interface, which helps to encourage more people to adopt web conferencing as part of their daily routine.
During a call, Teams gives users big buttons for muting their microphones or switching off video if they’re not comfortable on camera.
Extra functions to boost productivity
There are also several handy options for screen sharing, whether it’s a particular window, a specific presentation or an entire desktop. The ability to send private messages to individual participants during a call is also very useful, and there is a whiteboard function that allows real creative collaboration.
Users can also add third-party apps such as Trello or InVision to their groups, giving everyone access to essential tools in one place. With Teams, time and distance really don’t matter when you need to deliver a successful project.
Teams for free
Some of the best web conferencing apps are available free of charge, though it pays to invest in a subscription if you’re using web conferencing regularly.
Microsoft Teams offers everything you need and is available in a freemium version that includes the basics of audio, video and screen sharing. If you have a subscription to Microsoft 365, the full version of Teams is included as standard.
(Note also that, at the moment, Microsoft is offering the full version of Teams for free,
to help organizations who
are getting used to remote working at scale.)
The hardware is also important
Most laptops now have built in cameras and microphones, but they’re not always good enough for effective and productive conference calling.
Some laptops, like Lenovo business laptops, however, are designed and built to work with Teams and they are optimized for communication when working remotely. The range includes models offering a variety of key features for web conferencing with Teams and other web conferencing applications:
- 720p HD cameras and dual-array, noise-cancelling microphones
- Dolby Audio™ for rich audio quality
- Keyboard Noise Suppression so users can type notes discreetly
- Acoustic Echo Cancellation, which reduces feedback and echo between the microphone and speakers
Accessories make all the difference
If you’re spending more than three or four hours a day on web calls, it’s worth enhancing your laptop’s built-in capabilities with specialist accessories.
The right accessories can enhance the audio, video and collaboration capabilities of laptops and desktop computers like those offered by Lenovo like the ThinkSmart View, a dedicated conference device with 720p wide angle camera (with privacy shutter) and dual 360° microphone array; or the Lenovo VoIP 360 Camera Speaker – a portable web conference device with privacy-enabled high-resolution 360° camera, 360° speakers and multi-directional, noise-cancelling microphones.
Privacy protection while web conferencing
A new etiquette is emerging around web conferencing. Having the right equipment and using it correctly is courteous to all participants because it makes you easy to see and hear.
- Mute your mic when you’re not speaking to reduce background noise
- Blur your background (a function in Teams) to prevent distractions behind you
- Use a device with built-in privacy protection like the ThinkShutter physical webcam cover that is available on some Lenovo laptops, for assured privacy
Find out more
When it’s working well, web conferencing can liberate everyone from their desks and their offices, keeping your organization collaborative, efficient and productive no matter what.
For more information about remote working solutions, contact us today.
This article includes content provided by Lenovo. Tech Prognosis is a Lenovo Business Partner.