At the beginning of this week, we updated our web conferencing software rankings to change the way we calculate the German grades for ranked tools and their criteria. The German grades also have the important role of governing the amount of stars (or "dots" for criteria) a tool receives, and so this change directly influences the visualization of our rankings for all users.
Why did we do this? Continue reading
WebEx Meetings is Cisco’s new online collaboration tool and will eventually come to replace the current WebEx Meeting Center. The introduction to the market happened without great ado which is a bit strange since the software has a lot to offer. So what is new about WebEx Meetings?
Web conferencing has changed noticeably over the last couple of years. Initially participants of an online meeting were satisfied with looking at another person’s screen or collaborating on a virtual whiteboard. With the broad availability of advanced technology – e.g. the ubiquitousness of decent webcams – expectations have risen and we see that this has manifested itself in two specific user requirements:
1) VoIP- and Phone-based audio conferences
2) Video conferencing
Needless to say that users expect both functionalities to be integrated fully into a web conferencing solution. Continue reading
When we last tested Lync Online the tool ranked 15th in our comparison of online meeting solutions. Back then the software had just passed the Beta phase so we wanted to now see how the online collaboration tool had been advanced over time.
Our first finding: Lync Online is not meant to be used as a standalone self-service web conferencing solution and setting it up requires substantial IT expertise. It may sound unproblematic that you need to open and configure your "personal" Office 365 cloud instance to run Lync Online, but we find Office 365 to be a very complex SaaS platform – at least for those of us who are not IT professionals or well-trained Microsoft partners. Continue reading
Normally Blackboard Collaborate wouldn’t have made it into our ranking. The vendor fails to deliver one element we see as crucial: making pricing information openly and easily accessible. Even searching the Blackboard website for quite some time left us none the wiser in that regard. Now there are two reasons we decided to test and rank Blackboard Collaborate after all:
Last weekend, the biggest update in the six-year history of webconferencing-test.com went live. Almost all aspects of our portal have been reworked to enhance the value and the usability of the site:
- Compare Tools Pro now allows visitors to compile a tailored dossier of data from our 30-plus tool tests, offering detailed information on over 80 functions and criteria for all solutions. The service (which is subject to a charge) supports organizations in simplifying and accelerating the expensive and time-consuming process of evaluating web conferencing platforms.
A week ago we became a registered Cisco partner – after unsuccessfully trying back in 2009 – and were quite happy about this. We needed some help for details regarding the creation of WebEx trial account links and were invited to a web conference with Cisco partner support – naturally via WebEx Meeting Center. We had an online meeting from our office in Frankfurt, Germany with a US-based representative and after further evaluation with a Cisco European Partner Advisor professional based in Portugal.
In both cases we were amazed to see that during screen sharing there was a latency of up to 5 seconds at some points! This naturally made communication a bit complicated since we needed to jump between lots of web pages on Cisco's Partner Central extranet and never knew what the Cisco service desk was currently seeing.
In June we included a brief survey on webconferencing-test.com asking for the reasons visitors come to our site, how they got there and if they got what they expected. We have gotten quite a number of responses – thank you all! – and would like to present what our visitors had to say.
Looking at the reasons visitors came to our site revealed the following:
Many companies currently still use NetMeeting. However, the tool’s shortcomings make it very inconvenient for continued usage which is why those companies are now on the lookout for an alternative web conferencing solution.
Incompatibility with Microsoft Office 2010 is only the last of issues that have made usage of NetMeeting quite tedious. If an online collaboration tool does not allow you to demonstrate a simple PowerPoint presentation there is something seriously wrong.
You know this feeling: You are sitting somewhere and your eyes wander back to one and the same person and all of a sudden you realize ‘hey, he looks exactly like …’. Well, we had that exact same feeling when we tested ClickMeeting. We were checking out the new video functionality and all of a sudden we realized ‘hey, this looks exactly like Adobe Connect’!