The simplicity of collaboration with Zoom

We have added Zoom into our overall ranking and it secured rank number 2 with 95.4%. Zoom offers a broad range of advanced functionality that allows it to compete directly with our highest ranked tool, Citrix GoToMeeting. Continue reading

Adobe Connect 9.2 – continuing to improve the meeting experience

With a heavy emphasis on creating a better web conferencing experience for participants, Adobe Connect 9.2 introduces a new mode to display video conferencing.

The new “Filmstrip” mode allows individual users to focus on the main speaker of the session while still being able to see everyone else who is sharing their webcam feeds – consisting of a main video and strip video. A big benefit for this new mode is it reduces bandwidth and computing requirements for participants. Continue reading

Online Meeting Tools Review updates its scoring

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

Why use web conferencing #1: The additional value of online collaboration

How can you best substitute face-to-face meetings if you need to save on travel cost? And is there a way to enable day-to-day, spontaneous and straightforward collaboration on projects or documents over the Internet? When faced with these questions a lot of companies immediately think of video conferences, which is a bit short sighted. True, you can see whom you are talking to. But how do you hold a presentation or work on a document with the other participants?

Sending documents back and forth via email also is not really a solution. And even instant messaging services such as Jabber, IRC, or AIM cannot truly compete with web conferencing. Those services simply impose too many restrictions, with demanding every participant have an account with the respective service as the top hindrance of easy meeting setup.

A good web conferencing solution only requires the host to download a small piece of software. He can then invite participants by sending them a link to the virtual meeting place, which means that all you need as a participant is a functioning Internet connection. What’s more, nearly all web conferencing solutions include a messaging functionality that allow two or more participants to communicate via text chat, without interrupting or stalling the meeting. Participants can share and work on documents, hold presentations, and much more.

So really the question shouldn’t be IF you should use a web conferencing solution for virtual meetings but rather what other functionalities online collaboration services offer you for your specific usage scenario.

You can check out our test approach here to learn more about the functionalities offered by web conferencing solutions and how they weigh into our evaluation.

Video conference or web conferencing?

Due to Eyjafallajökull’s activity, air traffic throughout Europe will continue to face restrictions. And even if planes are allowed to fly again throughout Europe by tomorrow, there will very likely be delays for the rest of the week.

In various media it has been stated that business travelers, companies, and even governments are looking into video conferencing technologies to keep things running. While video conferencing certainly is an option to create a meeting-like situation – in that you can see whom you are talking to – web conferencing gives business travelers additional options to successfully conduct business meetings when on the road.

Web conferencing tools allow participants to quickly set up meetings and then share documents, show presentations, chat and have an audio conference at the same time.

In our evaluation of online meeting solutions we present a number of tools and give you information on functionalities, user friendliness, and cost. So if you are looking for a way to have a meeting while you are waiting at the airport – or to prevent you from having to fly altogether – and feel you need a different set of functionalities than provided by video conferencing, you will very likely find a fitting tool in our evaluation of online collaboration software.