Why do our results differ from Gartner’s?

With it’s Magic Quadrant for web conferencing Gartner offers a comprehensive study of the web conferencing market which includes a detailed evaluation of online collaboration tools. Now we have been approached with a justifiable question: Why do their results differ from ours?

The answer lies within another question: What are you looking for in a web conferencing solution? Which brings us to the criteria of evaluation. Gartner takes a very close look not only at the software itself but also includes the vendor in its evaluation. Overall viability of the vendor e.g. has high priority. Here 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.
This prioritization naturally favors the big players who have the high marketing budgets and are financially better situated than a small vendor who just introduced his 1.0 version to the market.

We have a different focus when analyzing and evaluating web conferencing solutions. The web conferencing solutions we evaluate should e.g. offer an approach different or complementary to what Gartner calls the on-premises-model. Users should not be required to install additional hardware or software to their IT-infrastructure to run an online collaboration solution. We give vendors a higher ranking if they enable you to run the software without great preparatory effort (SaaS – Software as a Service). This is important to us since we test with small to medium businesses in mind, who often cannot afford the costly and time consuming installation. You can find a detailed description of our testing approach and evaluation criteria here.

Gartner also features tools that are not included in our ranking. Most of these tools have been rejected by us previously because they did not comply with our basic requirements, e.g. offering a free test version and pricing information. We will definitely take another look at AT&T Connect, Intercall Unified Meeting, and PGi Netspoke to see if they can be included in our ranking now.

If you know of other tools that we have not tested so far and you feel fit all our criteria for evaluation please let us know. We will definitely have a look at the suggestions.

With sococo you can build an entire virtual office

The web conferencing solution sococo is still being completed and has yet to be released as version 1.0. However, it can already be downloaded free of charge.

So, what does this software do? Well, not quite what we are looking for in an online collaboration tool, the main restriction being that it can only be used for collaboration within an organization.

Still it has some very neat features and we like the approach. You can create virtual offices and meeting rooms and see on a map of that virtual office who is currently in a meeting with whom. There is a chat functionality and screen sharing is also possible. The user interface is very straight forward, which means great ease of use.

Because of the exclusively internal usage scenario we will not evaluate the software in detail. If you want to find out more you can go to the vendor’s website and have a look at the how-to videos or download the free version and just try it out yourself.