This is one of the most commonly asked questions we get at VSee. It’s one of those things that’s hard to explain unless you’ve seen VSee in action. I like how E27′s Joanna Yeo says it in her recent VSee article: VSee kicks “video conferencing up a notch with simplicity in performing collaborative work and high security of information transmission.”
What this means is VSee is a business tool specifically designed to make the collaboration workflow fast and seamless while Skype is more about chatting with friends and family. That’s not to say people don’t use Skype for business purposes, but why use a rock to nail something together if you’ve got a hammer at hand?
Last week Slashdot had a post that was right up our alley: “Building the case for telecommuting.” Not only does VSee build a video collaboration tool that allows telecommuters and distributed teams to work together as though they are face-to-face, we are also practicing telecommuters (almost everyone works from home) and regular users of our own product. With 25+ people spread across the U.S. East and West Coast, Europe, and Singapore, these are some things we’ve learned over the years:
There are rumors (according to Bloomberg) that the two have been chatting about it. Skype users can already call and SMS Facebook friends, making video the next logical next step.
Personally, this feels like a natural extension of Skype’s current incarnation as a consumer video calling tool. I assume it would take a lot less overhauling than their stated plans to work with Citrix’s GoToMeeting to make a complete collaboration suite. Even if I’m wrong about that, I feel the audience fit is better.
We’re only one month into 2011 and we’re already introducing a major new release of VSee! There are some significant and exciting changes, so please set your preferences to “automatically update” or just download the new version right here! (And then set your preferences to “automatically update”.)
Here’s what’s new with some color commentary:
New look and feel. Beautiful isn’t it?
You have to appreciate moving the triangles for expanding/condensing groups rather than the old “+” and “-”.
Auto performance tuning. This is very cool and a result of customer feedback. VSee has always tuned A/V performance based on the network conditions of a group call, but often one more guy is added to an ongoing call who is working in a less-than-optimal environment (hotel room, the middle of nowhere, his uncle’s 8-year old Compaq…), requiring everyone else to decrease their video and audio quality. To handle this automatically, we added a complementary layer of tuning which bumps your video and audio quality up and down whenever people enter or leave a group call.
Larger meetings. We’ve been using it every week for 16-way staff meetings. Just remember: With that many people, someone, somewhere will be operating from one of the “less-than-optimal environments” listed above. Everyone needs sufficient CPU and bandwidth.
Reduced audio bandwidth usage. I just clocked myself at 15-20 kbps at the “high” setting, and only 3-9 kbps at “normal”!!!
Start meetings from address book groups. This is one of my favorite new features. I’ll post some tips on using it later this week.
Use groups as rooms.
Supports multiple instances of IDs for multiple groups.
New ways to leave a meeting or remove a meeting participant.
Remove participants via their video window menu.
You may leave a meeting via your video window’s Collaboration Tools menu.
Remember window layout during a meeting. I’ll admit, it used to drive me nuts that VSee would default to 320×240 and auto-arrange new windows to the upper left corner and tile horizontally because that’s not how I use my desktop when conferencing! Well, no more. VSee now remembers how I like to arrange and size my windows, and I love it.
Caller auto-accept list. Enabled through Address book Preferences menu. I think the functionality speaks for itself here.
Timestamp for local time. Enabled through your video window’s Settings menu.
Scroll bars work with mouse wheel. I didn’t miss it when it wasn’t there, but now that it’s here, I wonder how I survived without it.
Reduced frame transmission overhead. There are other video performance enhancements, but I thought I’d include this one as a fairly concrete explanation for some bandwidth-use improvements.
I’m sure you’ll enjoy the new enhancements. Please let us know what you think over on the forum and on our Facebook page!