We stopped supporting the Vowel service as of December 15, 2023. Stay tuned for what's next in 2024!


How to persuade your company to make the switch to Vowel

Make the switch to Vowel

We face the dilemma all the time: Change requires innovation, but we default to what’s comfortable when we’re given the opportunity to change. 

According to a study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting, while most managers believe that “achieving digital transformation is critical” to their organizations, 63% of those same managers said the pace of that transformation is too slow.

We want to change. But when it comes time to do it, we need to be dragged kicking and screaming — probably by someone like you.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably used Vowel and want your company to adopt it. And to that we say thank you! But now you may be facing an uphill battle to convince your colleagues to switch from Zoom or Google Meet, standard video conferencing tools everyone is used to.

The thing is, Zoom and Google Meet haven’t evolved to help remote teams have better virtual meetings. Instead they just … allow more meetings to happen. Is that really a good thing? 

You know the answer already, but this post is going to help you articulate it as the early adopter who wants better meeting hygiene for your colleagues so you can all avoid burnout. 

Questions about Vowel and how to respond

While we may not be able to predict every question you’ll get about Vowel, we’ve been fighting the good fight against Zoom et al. for some time — and we’re happy to share our answers with you. Here are some of the most common questions we get about why people should consider making the switch:

We already pay for Zoom or Google Workspace. Why would we add another tool? 

Vowel isn't just another video conferencing tool. It's a meeting productivity tool that makes your meetings more useful by turning them into searchable, shareable knowledge.

Like Zoom and Google Meet, Vowel offers all your video conferencing basics: secure video calling, mic and camera settings, screen-sharing, virtual backgrounds, calendar integration, etc. 

But unlike Zoom and Google Meet, you also get: 

  • Live, searchable transcription with bookmarks

  • Collaborative agendas and meeting notes

  • Universal search across all your past meeting content

  • Talk-time tracking and other inclusivity features

  • Meeting recaps with shared links and action items

  • Clip creation and sharing

There's nothing to download and no need to cobble together (and pay for) a bunch of different tools and add-ons.

For more details, learn how Vowel is different from Zoom and different from Google Meet

Our current video conferencing tool is reliable. Is Vowel just as reliable? 

Yes. Vowel offers high-quality video and audio, so it’s just as reliable as any other video conferencing tool. With Vowel you can also expect your basic mic and camera settings without much of a UX departure from similar basic videoconferencing toolbars.

To experience the best Vowel can offer, we recommend all users in the meeting use the Chrome browser. Learn more about why here.

If you’re talking to someone in IT security, you can let them know Vowel is SOC2 Type II certified, which means it uses best practices for encryption, security, and privacy. 

Can people without Vowel accounts join meetings? 

Yes, anyone can join a Vowel meeting as a guest from a meeting link in a Google Calendar invite. They don’t need a Vowel account to join — a host will just need to let them in. 

Can Vowel connect to my calendar? 

Yes, you can connect your Google Calendar using the Vowel Chrome extension. After that you’ll be able to schedule Vowel meetings without leaving your Google Calendar. Here’s a quick video on how to do that:

How many people can join a Vowel meeting?

You can have up to 50 people in one Vowel meeting. We’re working to increase this number, but for now that means Vowel isn’t for:

  • Town halls for companies more than 50 people

  • Webinars

  • Virtual conferences 

Instead Vowel is awesome for:

  • Capturing customer feedback from user interviews

  • Planning your next product sprint with shared notes and action items

  • Keeping on top of action items for one-on-ones and other recurring meetings

  • Remembering who agreed to do what at your last weekly team meeting

  • Creating a meeting culture where it's okay to miss meetings sometimes (and take vacations!) because you can catch up with them later

Can I join meetings on mobile? 

Yes! Vowel has a new mobile app for iOS and Android. We also just launched dial-in, so you can dial into meetings if you’re in the US or Canada. Learn more about that here.

We have recordings through our current Zoom/Google Meet plan. How is Vowel’s recording function better? 

Vowel’s meeting recordings are built for search, bookmarking, and clipping so no one is stuck viewing the entire recording to get what they need from it. All you’re getting from Zoom and Google Meet is a recording that hasn’t been processed and organized for post-meeting ingestion. 

Zoom charges you for meeting recordings after you hit your 1GB cloud recording limit, whereas you get unlimited cloud storage on Vowel’s Business Plan. 

When you’re ready to view a Vowel recording, you can use X-ray view to jump to relevant speakers, watch the meeting in 1.5-2x playback speed, or search a transcript to jump to relevant moments. 

Can I try it out first? 

Yes! We have a “free forever” plan that includes:

  • Video recordings and transcriptions

  • Unlimited meetings for up to 40 minutes

  • Searchable recordings for 7 days after recording

  • Meetings of up to 12 participants

  • Basic integrations (Slack, Google, Calendly)

Compare our paid plans here

Can I download recordings? 

You may find that you don’t need to download your recordings when you share them through Vowel. But if you need to, you can still download your recordings from your Vowel account. 

If you want to download recordings and store them somewhere else, you can do that on Vowel’s Pro or Business plan. Your recordings will still live in your Vowel account for easy search and sharing.

Does Vowel have meeting chat? 

Vowel doesn’t have a chat function like Zoom or Google Meet. Instead, Vowel uses comments to let people express themselves without interrupting conversations. Comments show up on your speaker tile and then save in a comment history that acts sort of like a chat (but better, we think). This is new!

During your Vowel meeting, you’ll also see your agenda pop up on your notes panel, which is where anyone in the meeting can write questions, action items, or other thoughts. These notes are all time-stamped to the transcript and video for instant context. Links that are shared in your notes panel are saved in the post-meeting summary.

Does Vowel have breakout rooms?

Nope, not at this time! Vowel is great for most meetings, but if you need breakout rooms for webinars or workshops, Zoom is your best bet.

How Vowel solves problems other meetings solutions don’t

Zoom didn’t create meeting fatigue … but it did create Zoom fatigue. There’s a reason people who work remotely are exhausted by meetings, and it’s because a lot of them are a waste of time. 

Zoom and Google Meet create more meetings, but they don’t help people manage the work that comes out of those meetings. This is where Vowel is different. If you want to chat with your colleagues about how Vowel can help with meeting productivity, here’s what you can bring up:

✅ You should be able to skip meetings without feeling like you’ve missed something.

You won’t be able to attend every meeting you’re invited to, and Vowel makes that okay. Post-meeting catch up through Vowel looks something like this: 

1. Access your meeting recording through a Vowel shared folder. Your colleague who attended can share the whole recording, relevant clips, notes, action items, and a summary in one place. 

2. Search the transcript. If you know what you want to learn from the meeting, search keywords relevant to your work and watch corresponding clips. 

3. View bookmarked moments as clips. Skip to highlighted moments your colleagues marked as important. 

4. Note tagged action items. If your colleagues tagged you in an action item, skip to the moment they did and view context. 

Asynchronous catch-up is especially great for teams who operate in multiple time zones. You’ll still want to find time to meet synchronously, but the option for efficient catch-up is a great fallback when you need it.  See how the Every.org team uses Vowel to create a better meeting culture >

✅ Your team meetings shouldn’t feel so unfocused.

We’ve entered the burnout era — meaning we don’t have time for meetings that waste time. Vowel promotes good habits to keep your meetings productive. Here’s what this looks like:

1. Send a shared agenda as part of your meeting invite. Vowel takes the “no agenda, no attend-a” philosophy to heart through its UX. When you send a meeting invite, the agenda is assumed.

2. Use your shared agenda as a collaborative notepad. During your meeting, your agenda becomes your real-time, collaborative notepad so you’re taking notes on planned discussion items. 

3. Tag people in action items. Get clear on who will do what after the meeting by tagging someone in an action item, just like you would in a project management tool like Asana. 

✅ Remote onboarding shouldn’t need a ton of meetings.

You’ll want to make sure parts of your staff onboarding are interactive, but you should be able to identify components that can live as recorded training sessions — especially when most of your staff are remote. 

Vowel lets you record an onboarding training program that scales. Admin procedures, company best practices, and even your latest news reel can all exist as recorded sessions that are updated rather than repeated for every new hire. Here’s where Vowel can help:

1. Recycle past meeting recordings for training. To cut down on time when creating your onboarding series, clip past training sessions that are relevant for new hires.   

2. Record re-usable onboarding videos. Identify any gaps left and record new sessions that can live in one folder.  

3. Ask new team members to share intro videos. Add a personal touch to your onboarding experience by sharing a meeting folder with intro videos, so new hires are meeting people with a little bit of personal knowledge. 

✅ You should be able to transcribe or record a meeting without an add-on.

If you’re using Google Meet, you can get transcriptions — if you use an add-on like Tactiq for $8. Vowel, on the other hand, doesn’t make you pay for transcription, ever. It’s part of the free plan. 

How to trial Vowel for your company

If your colleagues are willing to give Vowel a try, a slow, methodical rollout can be your best bet for long-term adoption. Don’t try to get the whole company on board in one shot. Instead let people fall in love with Vowel, just like you did. 

You’ll know what’s best based on your company, but here are some adoption scenarios to try at your workplace:

💡 The team approach 

Product, design, and engineering teams usually love us! If you work for any of these teams, introduce Vowel at your next team meeting with a shared agenda everyone can interact with. 

Tip: Plan your next sprint with collaborative notes and tagged action items. 

💡 The 1:1 meet-cute 

If you’re shy about asking your whole team to try Vowel, test it on one person during a one-on-one. Ask for feedback on which features your team might like right away, and which ones need more explanation.

Tip: Use Vowel’s shared agendas for recurring 1:1s, so you’re always following up on the previous week’s action items. 

💡 The large meeting splash

Use Vowel to capture an important engineering showcase, product demo, or other meeting of value — then share the highlights with the whole company. This is a great way to show how Vowel can help with post-meeting catch-up without taking up a ton of people’s time. 

Tip: Create a product demo highlights reel by sharing a folder of important clips with teams outside of product. 

💡 The Loom replacement

Did you know you likely won’t need Loom anymore if you use Vowel? Vowel gives you the ability to record video in your personal room and send a link to others for viewing. 

So if you’re really not sure about testing Vowel on someone else, sneak in a link to a Vowel video the next time you need to send a video for asynchronous viewing. 

A screenshot that shows Vowel's personal meeting rooms

💡 The external contractor test 

If you’re not sure how you might use Vowel internally, test it on an external contractor. This is a great way to test whether Vowel does what you need it to do for yourself when you’re meeting with another person, but you’re not sure whether your colleagues will like it yet.   

Tip: Highlight moments when the contractor promised a certain cost or deliverable, and refer back to them when you receive their quote. 

Get more from your meetings with Vowel 

The video conferencing space is full of solutions that make it easy to have a meeting where you can see and hear each other. In other words, there are plenty of tools for simple video calls.

But if you want to have more productive meetings — and turn them into searchable, shareable knowledge — sign up for Vowel.