September 29, 2020 | Video Conference Toolkit

Cost Comparison of Video Conference Platforms

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There are numerous virtual conference platforms in the market and each with a different cost structure. The cost for each virtual conference platform is based on the number of features you select and capabilities that you may require. You will need to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine which platform features and capabilities you may actually require because the price can quickly increase the more features you add.

This article is meant to be informational and not serve as an endorsement for any virtual conferencing platform identified herein or as a review (positive or negative) for any specific virtual conferencing platform that is or is not mentioned in this article. Additionally, any prices are subject to change at the discretion of the virtual conferencing platform provider and you should review the platforms website and materials for the most current information on pricing and features.

Subscriptions

Most virtual conferencing platforms charge users a monthly subscription fee per user and allow users to terminate their subscriptions with one-months’ notice. Some platforms also provide annual subscriptions at a discounted rate. Additionally, each virtual conferencing platform has add-ons that can be added on an as needed basis and depending on the add-on it can be an additional per user monthly or annual fee, or a one-time fee. Given the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and the permanent effect it will have on the traditional workplace, it may be worthwhile to consider entering into a long-term subscription with the virtual conferencing platform of your choice to benefit from any discounts they may offer for a long term subscription. However, you will have to do a cost-benefit analysis to make that determination.

Additionally, along with your Information Technology (IT) staff or consultant, you may want to consider if any enterprise software, Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription, or other software you or your firm is currently utilizing has the option to incorporate virtual conferencing as an add-on. This may be a more cost-effective option and will allow the video-conferencing add-on to seamlessly integrate with your current software.

Free Access

Many of the virtual conferencing platforms offer free access to their platforms. However, this free access comes with limited capabilities and access to more advanced features. For example, many of the free virtual conferencing platforms place time limits on the length of meetings or limit the number of participants. While these free options may be good to use in a pinch it would be best to invest in a plan that provides you with all the features you may require. Some of the virtual conferencing platforms that provide free access, and some of their respective capabilities, are:

    • Microsoft Teams
      • Up to 500K users
      • Screen sharing
      • Background blur
      • Guest access
      • File sharing
      • Access, share, and edit Word docs, PowerPoint, and Excel files in real time
      • Unlimited chat and search
      • 10 GB of team file storage and 2 GB of personal file storage per person
      • Security, Compliance, and Data encryption
    • Zoom
      • Host up to 100 participants
      • 40 mins limit on group meetings
      • Unlimited number of meetings
      • HD video and voice
      • Simultaneous screen share
      • Virtual backgrounds
      • Instant or scheduled meetings
      • Group messaging and presence
      • Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, AES 256 bits encryption
    • Google Meet
      • 1-hour limit on meetings
      • 100 max participants
      • Unlimited number of meetings
      • Invite external participants
      • Live closed captions (English only)
      • Share your screen
      • US or international dial-in phone numbers
      • Adjustable layouts
      • Encryption in transit and at rest
    • Cisco Webex
      • 50-minute limit on meetings
      • Up to 100 meeting participants
      • Fullscreen video with 4 layout options
      • Screen sharing
      • Unlimited direct and group messaging
      • Notes, raise hand and polling
      • End-to-end encryption option
      • Interactive whiteboarding

Plans and Pricing

There are numerous platforms and while this article does not discuss all of them, it provides a range of the costs associated with such virtual conferencing platforms as well as the additional features you are paying for. Many of the features included in any given subscription include and/or increase the capabilities and functionality provided with the free access, as well as provide additional features.

Moreover, many of these virtual conferencing platforms also offer enterprise options. If you wish to move forward with an enterprise option, you would need to contact the virtual conference platform provider of your choice to discuss pricing.

Virtual Conferencing Platform Additional Features Cost Range
Microsoft Teams Additional storage space; Desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other productivity software; additional security settings; Exchange email hosting with custom email domain address $5.00-$20.00 per user/month
(annual commitment)
Zoom Increased number of participants; vanity URL; managed domains; user management; meeting duration limit increased to 24 hours; Admin dashboard $14.99-19.99 per host/month
Google Meet Meeting duration increased to 300 hours; US or international dial-in phone numbers; additional security and privacy tools; additional storage space $10.00-$20.00 per user/month
Cisco Webex Meeting duration limit increased to 24 hours; additional meeting participants; mp4 recordings and recording transcripts; HD VoIP, toll dial-in, or toll-free dial-in $13.50-26.95 per host/month
GoToMeeting Transcription; keyboard and mouse sharing; unlimited and mobile cloud recording; drawing tools; notetaking $12.00-$16.00 per organizer/month
RingCentral Increased number of meeting participants; increased meeting duration; popular integrations with other software; HD video; additional storage space $19.99-$49.99 per user/month

About the Author(s)

Xavier E. Alban is an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Miami. He is a member of The Florida Bar’s Committee on Technology and was a Class VI fellow in The Florida Bar’s Wm. Reece Smith, Jr. Leadership Academy.