Taylor Engineering has been using VSee for years to keep its remote team members happy and productive. It’s been a great alternative to WebEx and GoToMeeting. There is just something about the being able to see people’s faces that really “breaks down barriers” and “improves communication compared to the phone” says senior mechanical engineer, Gwelen Paliaga.
Taylor has 20 staff in their main office in Alameda, CA. These occasionally work from home and/or on the road between meetings and at conferences. In addition, it has three remote employees scattered across the US. Typically, staff use VSee for spontaneous collaboration (which VSee was designed to facilitate). This is usually a brief chat where you want to share documents and point at documents or make quick sketches to illustrate a point. In their line of work, the screen sharing and drawing on the screen that VSee makes possible are vital because they use drawings to convey their designs. In fact, Paliaga notes that their VSee use has grown steadily to the point where “many of us use it daily.”
Versatility is Key to Video Chat
In addition to spontaneous collaborations, Paliaga shares that they also set up a conference room for VSee videoconferencing. The room has an HD display and two pan/tilt cameras (in front and back of the room). VSee is set to auto-answer so remote employees can “put themselves” in the conference room with one click. They use separate audio for the conference room.
One interesting use case that has cropped up is using VSee in-office simply because its easier to look at two screens rather than to look over someone’s shoulder when sharing drawings. It also makes it simple for people on the road for business or at home sick to join an important lunch team meeting. For in-house meetings, Taylor finds VSee particularly useful because of its two-way application sharing. VSee allows anyone in the meeting to simultaneously share apps from her screen, a feature that they have not seen anywhere else.
VSee versus GoToMeeting
Interestingly, Taylor also uses Citrix GoToMeeting. But this isn’t necessarily a threat [word] to VSee. GoToMeeting, similar to Cisco WebEx, is designed for formal meetings and one-way presentations rather than the quick back-and-forth sharing that VSee is so good at facilitating. Also, like WebEx, the focus not on seeing faces and the default setting is video off. As this remote working blogpost remarks, even though it makes sense to want all our communications in a single tool, it’s actually more powerful to use more – not fewer – tools when it comes to communications. The point is the more tools we have the more ways we have to get through to people effectively whether it’s through IM, email, social media, phone, video chat, webinar, etc.
For Taylor, GoToMeeting is their preferred app for most client communications. (They also used to use GoToMeeting for in-house meetings, but have completely switched over to VSee because of the aforementioned two-way app sharing.) In this case, GoToMeeting has the advantage of being able to send a meeting link that doesn’t require signing up for the service. Most of their client meetings are unplanned, often starting with a phone conversation that turns into a GoToMeeting when they need to show a drawing or document. They find that the sign-up step in VSee becomes too much of a hassle when they need to switch over to a web meeting.
The VSee sign up is less of a problem for repeat or long-term clients, however. Paliaga says they have started to VSee with a couple clients (architects, scientists at UC Berkeley) and have noticed that VSee really makes for friendlier communications. The visuals of people’s faces with the screen sharing and drawing make communications much smoother than phone calls.
For a more detailed look at how VSee compares to a web meeting and presentation tool, see our VSee vs. WebEx article.
About Taylor Engineering
Founded in 1995, Taylor Engineering has become a nationally recognized engineering firm specializing in mechanical systems design and construction, energy conservation, indoor air quality, controls, and system commissioning. Its cutting edge design is informed by its involvement in energy and indoor air quality codes and standards, building science research and the development of state-of-the-art simulation tools.