A couple of weeks ago we mentioned in a post that we would have a look at some tools that are featured in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant but not in our ranking, since those specific web conferencing solutions did not comply with our basic criteria of evaluation.
Gartner and also Forrester apply their own criteria when testing online conferencing solutions. But are they really valid? Take one of Forrester’s vendor select criteria: To be eligible for testing, a vendor must have an annual revenue of over $500 million. Now really, does it matter to a user of an online conferencing tool what kind of revenue the vendor makes? We don’t think so. The most important factor is that the solution performs well. Some small vendors outperform the big players on the market and a comprehensive study of web conferencing solutions has to acknowledge this.
Gartner approaches the web conferencing market in a way similar to Forrester. Gartner assesses the financial health of the provider and the placement of the web conferencing tool in question within the organization’s product portfolio. The marketing strategy of the vendor is also ranked high priority. These criteria lead to the result that AT&T Connect is ranked better than Intercall Unified Meeting. In our tests we have found that the latter easily outperforms AT&T’s online conferencing solution.
Performance is key. If a tool is user-friendly and offers all necessary functionalities, it doesn’t matter what kind of market power is behind it, as long as the vendor is able to provide customers with reliable service. And there is absolutely no reason to assume that a small vendor cannot do this just as well or even better than one of the big players.
You can check out our comprehensive study of the web conferencing market here.