13th of April, the Indian Government, in a surprising move, banned 59 Chinese apps. It opened doors for Indian tech companies as the demand for virtual collaboration apps like teams and Zoom is sky high.
Most of the Indian tech organisations are already prototyping the apps to meet the demand and utilise the huge opportunity presented by this sudden move.
We will share our first use experiences with different apps in comparison to teams or Zoom as benchmark. Most of the apps are in beta or initial release stage and a lot of improvement is expected in coming months.
Here is our look at the most interesting solutions that we have tested so far:
Mumbai based Inscripts developed Say Namaste and within a couple of days of its release, gained more than 500000 users.
Say Namaste is a multi-party video conferencing solution for organisations and personal users alike. The software also lays great emphasis on file-sharing in a chat window (the feature which I miss in Cisco webex) along with live screen sharing possibilities.
Inscripts also shared that to ensure data security they do not store any conversations or videos on their servers.
The working is pretty similar to the one found in the Zoom video conferencing app.
- Simple interface allows user to make video conferencing call using the meeting link and code, like Zoom.
- Users can visit the Say Namaste website/ or download app to create a meeting or join the existing meeting.
- Users can also toggle between the screens and check for other participants, which is again very similar to Zoom.
- User friendly chat feature to talk to other participants and one can also send files during the interactions, which is also the feature available in Zoom.
Could be better
- First of all, the application is in beta stage, meaning that the features are not stable.
- Features like sending files during the video call did not work properly
- Can’t set future scheduled meetings so you have to create one on the spot
- Screen-sharing is only available on PC
One of the first thing that I noticed while using JioMeet, is its similarity to the Zoom. They appear almost the same and have a similar user interface. So, for people who are familiar with Zoom, switching to JioMeet won’t be a hassle.
Relatively, Jio is a new operator whereas Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams are already there with loads of features. Still, JioMeet catches eyeballs of almost every person looking for a video conferencing solution at low cost.
- Think of it as free Zoom, with most features completely free to use
- Unlike zoom which offers call upto 45 minutes in the free version, JioMeet offers upto 24 hours call time
- You can schedule a one-on-one call or group calls with audio-only or video
- You can collaborate in real-time and can share your screen or documents
- JioMeet is available for all the major platforms including Windows, macOS, Android and iOS
Could be better
- Limited to only 100 participants
- Since the JioMeet UI appears to be almost identical to Zoom, a comparison is inevitable!
10Times, a business events discovery platform has introduced a video calling platform known as Floor. The new Floor video calling platform aims to help individuals and organisations conduct live events such as buyer-seller meets, tradeshows, conferences, seminars, summits, meetups, and more.
- Event planners can effortlessly add and manage speakers, sponsors, or exhibitor profiles
- The ticketing, space booking, and sponsor sign up open the essential monetization channels to keep the show going.
- FLOOR is secure and does not require any prior downloads.
- It can be scaled to host millions of users and works across all devices.
- Some of the additional feature available while you are in a video call are – instant audience poll and Live Q & A. The app also uses AI to suggest poll questions and responses basis your usage patterns…
Could be better
- It’s a feature rich platform so could get complicated for some users
- At low internet speeds some users have reported video/audio sync issue
KL MEET, BY KNOWLEDGELENS
KL Meet is a Bangalore-based solution, aiming to integrate big data, AI and IoT functionalities into its video conferencing solution. The application aims to stand out by getting rid of the hassle of subscription, providing full control of the video conference to the host enterprise, using locational services to implement unique features such as pinpointing nearby kirana stores and aiming to build a KL Meet community network for users to interact with each other.
- Simple customisable controls for audio/video calls and group chats
- 1 click screen sharing feature
- Easy personal calendar/ organiser for conducting meetings with contacts.
- It’s quite secure as it is a completely in-house hosted solution for businesses of any size
Could be better
- Not very practical for individual users as the additional in house server setup comes with a cost
To summarise, while most of the apps are coping up with functionalities on top apps like Teams or Zoom, there is a lot of improvement required to become a reliable team collaborations app. Having said that tech companies are burning the midnight lamp to add new functionalities and make newer releases more stable.
Our verdict is that the Indian app closest to Zoom and Teams in terms of functionalities is definitely Say Namaste and Jio Meet, with FLOOR and KL Meet catching up fast.
In my previous article, I shared about how Slack is adding the fun bit to team collaboration, the element which is hugely missing so far in any of the Indian apps. But like I said companies are releasing new functionalities everyday so hopefully we will see some development in that front soon.
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Author: Vishal Punetha
Corporate Training Consultant
I Train Consultants India Pvt. Ltd.
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