Alternative web conferencing solutions to Dimdim

With the acquisition of Dimdim and the termination of services by March 15, Salesforce.com pushes users to make a quick decision about which tool to select as a replacement for future web conferences.

When looking for a substitution you have to ask yourself which features of an online meeting solution are most important to you. We compared Dimdim to all its competitors we listed in our ranking taking into account the following three criteria users might look for:

- range of functionalities,
- similar user interface,
- browser based vs. desktop based.

Especially the last criterion is interesting in this case. Dimdim allowed you to access your meeting through your browser and upload data into a virtual room to share it with others. But sharing your entire desktop was also possible and only required the download and installation of an additional app.

So if you prefer the browser-based approach, the tools that are the closest to what Dimdim offered are Adobe Connect 8, Fuze Meeting, or spreed.com. If you prefer the desktop-based model, which we personally do, we suggest you have a look at the top 5 tools in our comparison.

Of course, users will not be able to get an identical tool and take over where they left off. So why not use this as an opportunity to perhaps select a completely different service.

And we’re not necessarily talking about higher cost as a given, although quality does have its price and free solutions seem to be struggling on the market as Dimdim and Yugma have impressively demonstrated. All pros and cons of the different online collaboration solutions available are included on our site.

Fuze Meeting for iPad

Fuze Meeting is an average online meeting solution. But it runs on iPad, and there the performance isn’t half bad.

You can host and participate in a meeting, which is a neat thing. Fuze Meeting offers you to enter a virtual room rather than share your desktop. So you can upload and look at files.

Fuze Meeting intro screen on the iPad

Fuze Meeting intro screen on the iPad

You can do a lot from your iPad. You can schedule and initiate meetings, you can invite someone while a meeting is running, and you can chat with the other attendees.

What is really neat is the chance to leave the Fuze app for a while if you need to. Returning to an already running meeting is no problem.

Find out more about Fuze Meeting for iPad on the vendor’s website.

Online meetings and smart phones – iPhone currently leads the field in the race to compatibility

A couple of week ago we stated that we weren’t all that convinced of the mix of online meetings and smart phones. Our main objection was the small size of the devices’ displays. Nevertheless, we have to keep an open mind and objectively evaluate the current solutions. So we checked out the compatibility of all the web conferencing solutions on our list with iPhone / iPod touch, Blackberry, and Android.

A lot of vendors have already released smart-phone-friendly versions of their software. Astonishingly, the leaders as far as compatibility is concerned are the solutions below the top 5! Among the top 5 only WebEx and RHUB can be used on an iPhone. RHUB as a browser based solution, WebEx with its own app.

The combination of “runs on iPhone and Blackberry” is most common and currently Intercall Unified Meeting, IBM Lotus Live Meeting, Fuze Meeting, PGi Netspoke, and AT&T Connect are able to deliver.

Next to compatibility of online meeting solutions with smart phones we checked the compatibility with Apple’s iPad. Taken together, 30 per cent of our tested solutions offer web conferencing on either smart phone or iPad, which is ok for starters. Developers are working on the issue around the clock and we will keep you updated on the latest news.

We will now take our iPad and scrutinize the performance of single solutions. Oh, and naturally we inserted the info on which tool is compatible with which device into our overall ranking.

Microsoft looses ground while GoMeetNow leaps into our top 5

We have done a lot of testing in the last couple of weeks including one of our top-5 old timers.

Every tool in our top 5 undergoes close scrutiny at regular intervals. They really have to earn it! Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007 couldn’t cut it any more and has lost its top 5 ranking. The solution is still one of the better ones on the market, but the other vendors are not keeping idle and have made greater improvements to their software than Microsoft.

Fuze Meeting has improved its ranking. The new version 3.1 includes significant enhancements. A “remote desktop control” functionality has been added and the invitation process is a breeze.

RHUBS’s solution GoMeetNow has made the biggest jump in our ranking: From number 11 to number 4! This online collaboration tool offers a load of functionalities without cluttering the interface, and keeps usage easy and intuitive. And it runs on Windows and Mac. Really an impressive job by the developers.

Just as an aside: RHUB has developed the appliance TurboMeeting which is the base for its hosted web conferencing service RHUB GoMeetNow 4.2.

You can have a look at our ranking and detailed evaluations of the online conferencing tools here.