There are numerous web conferencing providers that offer a variety of different software and services. Having options to choose from may be nice, but it can also prove to be extremely overwhelming. To ensure you select the best option for your company, divide your search into these three different steps.

 1. Determine Needs

The first step to making an informed decision about any office solution is determining your needs. Start with the people who will actually be using the product. If it’s a small group, invite them to an informal round table meeting to discuss what they’re looking for in a web conferencing solution. If dealing with a larger group, consider sending out a brief survey. Whichever method you decide to use, be sure you also inquire about their current and future needs. After you’ve assembled your checklist, you’ll be ready to start researching the different providers.

2. Research Products

After you’ve determined what you’re looking for in a product, begin gathering a list of web conferencing providers whose products meet and possibly exceed those needs. Once you’ve reviewed product information in detail, reach out to a company representative who can walk you through their systems. Make sure you thoroughly understand the technology used for each system so you can make equal comparisons across the various products.

While completing your research, remember features don’t just include things like sub conferencing or document sharing. The level of customer support can vary widely between products. A solution with robust technical support takes a lot of pressure off in-house IT employees. Also, since video conferencing is frequently used to bring in new prospects and keep clients engaged, you want to make sure the software is easy to use and offers high quality, HD video.

3. Take a Test Drive  

Participating in a product demonstration is a helpful way to understand the basics of how a video conferencing solution operates. It’s also a sure way to decide if the system will fit within your organization. You can easily see what it looks like and if it runs smoothly. Once you have your list narrowed down to two or three options, see if there are free trials available.

Whether you’re searching for a product to accommodate your large or small group meetings, PGi offers demos and trials that allow you to try each product free for 30 days—no credit cards required.