Look at the two opposing conferencing solutions in the title of this blog post, and then try to answer the following questions about them. Are web conferencing and video conferencing the same thing? If not, what are the differences? Is one better than the other for use in business meetings?
Chances are good that, unless you’re very familiar with both products, you might not be able to succinctly answer these questions. But chances are also good that if you’re visiting this blog because you’re thinking about adopting one over the other at your company, you’re interested in learning a little about what distinguishes the two and a bit about the comparative advantages of each.
So What’s the Difference?
Before we can talk about what separates the two technologies, we first need to establish why businesses would be interested in them to begin with. One of the leading drivers is to upgrade traditional voice-only calls and conferences. Both web and video conferencing solutions take the concept of multiway communication and attempt to create a more engaging and productive experience. As you probably know, the words you use account for just a small portion of the content of your message.
Web conferencing was designed as an upgraded audio bridge with pictures. It made it possible to share presentations with audio participants located around the globe, and its features, like recording and presenter video, make it great for dissemination of information from few to many. It can still be used for smaller meetings, but it really lacks the features that today’s savvy user has come to expect with collaboration tools.
Video conferencing, on the other hand, gives everyone a seat and a face at the meeting and is intentionally designed around collaboration. The best solutions focus on enabling communication in all of the different ways people meet—direct and meet-me, instant and scheduled, on any device and in multiple languages. Conference rooms and huddle rooms can be set up with video systems that can connect to other conference rooms and to remote users on laptops, tablets and smartphones. Participants can share their screens with the group and can dial in via an audio bridge if video isn’t convenient to them at that moment.
So What’s the Verdict?
Simply put, if the meeting matters and collaboration is important, you’ll want the high-definition image and audio quality that only video conferencing can provide. Web conferencing works great for broadcasting a single speaker’s speech to a large audience, but if quality, reliability and dialogue are important to you, nothing beats video conferencing.
Want to learn more about how video meetings can enable your entire organization with face-to-face connections? Check out our competitive analysis on “Lifesize Cloud vs. Web Conferencing“.