To Meet, to Zoom, to Team, to GoTo?
In 2020, we saw our collective global vocabulary expand to include new terminology. Sure ‘coronavirus’ was already a word before, but it wasn’t ‘a thing’. See also ‘self-isolate’, ‘Covid-19’, ‘flattening the curve’ and ‘hand-san’. We think ‘the new normal’ actually peaked back in June, but we’re now in the depths of another wave, and another national lockdown (in the UK, at least).
Also of note, is the fact that pretty early on, Zoom became a verb and a noun. ‘Let’s Zoom first thing in the morning’ or ‘can we jump on a quick Zoom’?
But is Zoom is the best way for companies to ‘do meetings’ remotely?
Well, just as a Hoover is not necessarily the best hoover, that which captures the verb does not necessarily reign supreme.
As we at Oval have steadily transitioned to Google Meet, we’ve noticed a few cool things that it handles really well.
Sometimes very funny, but mostly alarmingly accurate, Google Meet’s captions facility is well worth checking out. It’s not just there to show off Google’s AI and ML capabilities; it’s genuinely useful, especially if you have difficulty hearing. It’s a joy to watch how masterfully it copes with a range of accents. It even corrects itself as it goes along. Magic!
A waiting room is a nice thing to have for a meeting organiser, in order to control admissions at the door. But, as a Google Meet attendee, it’s also a really good opportunity to prep before you enter. Check your microphone and speakers are working and that you look good on camera. Tweak your fringe or moustache. It also lets you know who is already there before you enter the room. Nice.
Let’s add ‘can you see my screen yet?’ to the list of 2020 vocab. Meet handles this very intuitively, providing a range of options so that you can share only what you want and need to. So, if you just want to share the window portion of a single Chrome tab (instead of showing all of your tabs and bookmarks – I always look at people’s bookmarks!), you can.
Look & feel
This is important. It has been said many times before, that corporate users’ expectations are often driven by their experience of consumer and/or social tools. Your team does not want yet another bland, native desktop bit of software. They expect a clean, simple, vibrant web tool. When you go to meet.google.com (when signed in) you get exactly that. It’s a nice place to be.
Whether it’s adding video conferencing detail to a calendar entry or getting hold of an important document, the click-count with Meet is refreshingly low. Just click one button within a Google Calendar entry to add video conferencing, and it’s done! If you add files, such as presentations or the dreaded PDF ‘pre-read’, these documents are there waiting for you in the Meet. More functionality. Fewer clicks.
Two great things about the virtual backgrounds. The choice of off-the-shelf good quality backgrounds is really nicely curated. Also, the rendering works surprisingly well, given that we don’t all happen to have a studio-quality green knocking around in the home office. My favourite, by the way, is ‘trendy cafe’.
So, we encourage you to give it a whirl whether as a standalone piece, or as a venture into the much bigger world of Google Workspace – and, as ever, you know where we are if you want a hand or any advice!