A leader’s job is full of risks. A decision to implement technology or process changes risks money and time. A decision to not innovate risks your company’s reputation. Scalable, cloud-based SaaS software helps to mitigate some of this risk, making applications easy to deploy and more cost-effective. However, how do you choose the right application for your business?
When it comes to new software like web conferencing, you can minimize risk through the free trial period. Don’t overlook the free trial to ensure new tools fit your company’s work style. Instead of looking at features on paper, you can experience how well a web conferencing product integrates into your team or entire organization.
Use these best practices to make the most of your web conferencing free trial:
1. First, create clear goals. Before you try the software, consider what a successful trial period should evaluate for your company’s unique needs. Is file sharing important? Does audio quality matter most? Record it so you can check off your wants and needs.
2. Download an app. To test the mobility of web conferencing software, download an accompanying app and use it during your trial. Take note of how difficult it is to join meetings while mobile (a common cause for late online meetings).
3. Try different access points. Set up any associated desktop apps or email toolbars, and toy with different methods to schedule and connect to meetings. Try accessing a web conference directly from your phone or even switching between your desktop computer and smartphone.
4. Make yourself at home. Customize your URL, fill in your bio and choose a new background if the web conferencing allows it. Features like these help engage whoever’s on the meeting so you can see just how well it works not only for you but also for attendees.
5. Hold real meetings. Move your weekly team meeting or presentation to the web conferencing software. While you’re there, share a file, share your screen or start a poll. Invite an overseas team into your meeting room to see how well the tool supports international participants. Give yourself time to listen for audio quality and glitches.
6. Show and tell with team members. Outside of meetings, invite other colleagues to experience the user interface for second opinions. You may even create cheerleaders for the new tool in case you do choose it for your company.
7. Assess security. One way to test out security is with the administrative controls. Watch for how well sensitive data in shared files, chats and recordings is secured across different access levels.
8. Test user support. Call, email or instant-message tech support or customer care. Is it really 24/7 support? Are your issues actually resolved? You’ll get an idea of not only the troubleshooting assistance you can expect, but also what implementation support may be like. Plus, you can ask more questions about navigating the features to meet your needs.
You wouldn’t buy a car without test-driving it, so why buy web conferencing without a free trial period? You risk not only wasted resources but also the effectiveness of company collaboration, now a business-critical activity.
Sign up now to start your free, 30-day trial of GlobalMeet, PGi’s best-in-class web conferencing solution. During your trial (no credit card required), you’ll test-drive unlimited web conferencing for up to 125 people, plus get tips and reminders on your free trial expiration date.