The meeting solutions or conference software solutions market is on a roll after usage hit record levels in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Surge in remote-working after enforcement of social-distancing measures augmented the higher use of these platforms. The main meeting platforms dominating the market include Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet.
Among the lot, Zoom has an upper hand. In web conferencing, Zoom commands 41 percent market share, per Data Analyze.
Amplifying the product appeal, Microsoft Teams announced plans to increase group call participants limit to 250 from the existing 100 on the video conferencing platform. Microsoft is aiming to take a larger slice of the market from rivals Google Meet and Zoom who have a limit of 100 participants in a group call.
According to CEO Satya Nadella, “Teams” has a user base of 75 million. The news was reported in Petri.com that said paid subscribers will have access to this expanded capacity by mid-May. The IT giant is trying to attract big companies with this new feature.
Microsoft Teams has been trying to position as a robust robust platform than Zoom. It is targeting business customers’ more than casual users. Microsoft is also presenting itself as a more secure platform Vis a vis main competitors.
Teams’ edge comes from its integration with Office 365 and productivity tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Office 365 subscriptions offer additional support for video conferencing up and live events up to 10,000 people.
Under the new plan, free plan users group call option of 20 people will remain while subscribers will enjoy bigger benefits such as scheduled meetings, recordings, and audio conferencing.
Microsoft Teams’ paid version will also offer 1TB storage per user, while free users will have 10GB of shared storage.
Zoom appeals to the market with its HD video and audio calls and chats. It is accessible from PC, Android, and Apple devices. Zoom’s free version caps all video calls to 40 minutes.
However, the Pro version offers many capabilities such as improved admin controls, encrypted meetings, custom meeting IDs plus analytics.
The Pro version also expanded the maximum meeting duration to 24 hours. While Zoom has heard criticism for security issues Zoom 5.0 offers better tools for hosts to control access to meetings. Features like the Waiting Room and a new Report User button are part of that.
Google Meet’s freebies
Google Meet has been a favourite for remote workplace get-togethers. Recently, it made its video chat app free. Google Meet was restricted to enterprise users of Google’s G Suite platform.
Now, access is open to anybody with a Google Account that can be signed up using Gmail address. Google Meet allows hosting video meetings with 100 participants along with screen sharing, recording, scheduling, and real-time captioning.
Free video meetings are capped at 60 minutes for basic users although some relaxations are there until 30 September.
Rising user base
Market drivers include the rising penetration of web conferencing in user industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, IT, BFSI, and education.
The outlook is upbeat. Market research says the sector will grow in double digits at 16.5 percent until 2025. Among geographical markets, North America leads with a regional market share of 35.17 percent followed by the Asia Pacific.
Europe is also showing a steady growth on account of the growing service sector in the UK, France, Sweden, and Ireland.
No matter how you look at it, the web conferencing wars are only heating up.