BeamYourScreen leaps to number three

Cisco, RHUB and Microsoft – the web conferencing vendors ranked numbers three through five – will have to each step down a rank. BeamYourScreen, formerly ranked number seven, is now available for download in version 4 and brings many enhancements. Just as with the release of version 3 last year, when the tool climbed from rank 18 to 6, the developers once again have done a great job in actually improving the software.
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RHUB extends services to UK and Europe

RHUB issued a statement the other day that the company plans to extend its reach to the UK and Europe by forming a partnership with Collaboration Technologies Ltd in London. For users this means that sales and support for GoMeetNow will be available in the old world now, too.

Just as Citrix intended with the acquisition of Netviewer, RHUB will be very keen on increasing their share of the European web conferencing market. Read the entire statement here.

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.

Web conferencing appliances

Testing appliances is currently not on our to-do list. And here’s why: To thoroughly test an appliance for online conferencing a complete in-house test environment needs to be set up. That is a very time consuming procedure, which directly leads to the fact that our focus is on easy to install SaaS (Software-as-a-service) solutions, since small to medium sized businesses hardly have the need for any online conferencing tool that requires the installation of hardware within the company’s infrastructure.

So we have to turn down the request for evaluation of the RHUB web conference appliance for now. However GoMeetNow, the SaaS offering from RHUB, is on our backlist of online conferencing tools to be tested.

Enterprise Solution: RHUB TurboMeeting

We have made it our rule to not evaluate enterprise online meeting tools but we would nevertheless like to make you aware of RHUB, which we find to be an interesting web conferencing solution.

TurboMeeting exists in various versions. In the smallest version two web conferences can take place in parallel with a total of 10 participants. On the upside, TurboMeeting supports a broad range of platforms, e.g. Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris/Unix, iPhone. On the downside, neither VoIP nor a telephone conferencing service is integrated.

As an enterprise solution RHUB is definitely interesting. Yet, with our focus on SMBs we will not evalutate the tool in detail.