Video Conferencing & Web Meeting Tools For Businesses
WebEx Meeting Center has been a very popular piece of software and is in fact considered market-leading by numerous groups, and with some of the features it now has, I can understand why. It looks like WebEx was built from the ground up as a small business to enterprise level collaborative meeting application.
One of the most interesting features is its multitasking meeting interface called Power Panels. Power Panels allows hosts, presenters and participants to control the layout of their meeting content. If you are sharing different content, videos, chat, and images to all of the members, each type of content will have a different level of importance and thus required screen real estate for each participant.
The cost of the software is a little more prohibitive though with a five user license starting at $375 per month, and additional users being another $75 per user per month expense on top of that, but if you want the best online meeting possible, it could be very worthwhile to check out WebEx Meeting Center.
One of the most widely promoted web conferencing applications online GoToMeeting is known for its management of web based meetings. It quickly and easily allows the sharing of applications and information.
The interface is easy to use, and allows for a variety of different levels of chat and group management. One feature that is highly touted for business applications is the ability to allow the change of presenters from one person to another.
Also, if you are worried about platform support, GoToMeeting is supports both Mac OS and Windows, so if you have your creative staff on the Apple Mac OS, you’ll still be able to manage a meeting with them as well.
Buying an account at GoToMeeting is $49 per month, but if you buy a year of access, you get twenty percent off, bringing the cost to $468 for the year of unlimited meetings with up to fifteen attendees per meeting. This covers all attendees, and so no other licensing is needed.
Microsoft Live Meeting 2007
Microsoft has always tried to integrate video and web conferencing options into its software, and the latest version of their meeting software, Live Meeting 2007, is better than its previous versions by far.
Live Meeting requires a larger software download than most of the other clients, but this usually means that the application is more responsive and handles like other desktop applications, where some software that is handled through a web interface always feels delayed in performing actions.
The cost, for smaller businesses that only require around five people in the meeting is $4.58 per user per month. Above five users though, it balloons to $15.25 per user per month.
If you are using Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office Communication servers, this is probably the best software you can use as it integrates nicely with these other services.
As part of the growing set of Zoho tools online, Zoho Meeting is their web conferencing and desktop sharing tool.
Zoho Meeting works online, and is platform independent, meaning you can run meetings with Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. It does require the latest Java, ActiveX or Flash software to run the meeting, but this software is installed on almost all computers currently.
Using the Flash version, you can record session which can then be embedded anywhere that accepts such files, creating a video log of the meeting to be reviewed later.
It does seem a little more limited in features compared to some of the others, but it is simple, platform independent and free. For smaller, simple web conference meetings, Zoho might be exactly the type of solution you need.