Which videoconferencing tool to use

  • Describe some of the issues with videoconferencing
  • Explain some drawbacks of the different video conferencing tools available
  • Identify some of the issues around security

Martin Bamford, of Informed Choice Financial Planning in Surrey says: “We’ve tested a good range of the video conferencing tools, and settled on Zoom as the most reliable and easiest to use.

"I know there have been some security concerns around Zoom in recent months, but we take steps to secure the links we use and manage entry to the calls, as well as storing any recording on our own secure server, rather than in the Zoom cloud.”

He added: “Before the crisis, we would often hold video meetings with our clients, usually alternating face-to-face meetings with remote calls.

"Using Zoom and Skype is familiar to us and a lot of our clients, although it’s a new world for some who need more coaching.

"In the early days of the lockdown, internet speeds seemed to suffer, but this has thankfully settled down now, which means call quality is good.

"The more we use Zoom and other tools, the easier they become to navigate with confidence. We’ve also added a simple guide to our website for those clients who are using Zoom for the first time.”

The Microsoft Teams app has surged in popularity since the advent of the Lockdown, with the company reporting that 44m used the platform on a single day in March, compared with the previous record of 20m users in a single day, as reported by the Financial Times.

One of the innovations the company has launched since the present crisis began is an artificial intelligence function to drown out background noise during video conference calls. 

The advisers to whom we spoke primarily use Microsoft Teams for internal communications with colleagues, rather than for client meetings, and Zoom for meetings with clients.

Most advisers expected to increase their use of video conferencing and remote working.

Minesh Patel, an adviser at EA Financial Solutions in London said that in a recessionary economic environment the time and cost savings that video conferencing allows could be very attractive.

He said: “We are understanding how to become more efficient and use time more productively. My sense is that many tasks are being delivered with more speed because there are less distractions and with more accuracy. 

"My opinion at this stage is remote working has been liberating, an opportunity to understand where we can save money and make the process better for clients.

"They have appreciated our communication and phone calls, we have recognised the value they place on us. It has become an opportunity to streamline and this is likely to be a feature for all businesses in a recessionary environment.

Tom Sparke, investment director at GDIM, a discretionary fund management firm in Cambridge says: “It has worked surprisingly well and without much disruption so I would think it might be used more in the future.”