Need web conferencing?
There are two online services that can prove very useful for cutting down on travel costs for a company. One is webinar services and the other is web conferencing services. At first glance they would seem to be the same thing, but the main difference is that webinars are typically run by one or more speakers with attendees that provide very little input. There could be some participation in the form of polls and a Q&A period, but they are mostly used to teach or disseminate information. With web conferencing there is more of a collaborative aspect and thus it is more like having a meeting would be if everyone was together in one room. The following ten web conferencing services are among the most popular. They are listed in order of their Alexa traffic count rating. Any pricing shown may have changed from the time of this review.
Global Alexa Rating: 62
Adobe Connect is a web conferencing platform that is perfect for any size business. They have both a web meeting solution for individuals and a full package of services for enterprises. Enterprises can try it for 30 days with up to 25 attendees for no charge. Adobe Connect enables instant access and cross-firewall collaboration from virtually any mobile device or desktop making it ideal for including even those attendees that are out on the road. It enables participants to share unlimited webcam video streams into meetings at DVD quality with active speaker indication, to truly collaborate face-to=face with all participants. The grid mode enables viewing all streams at the same time. Within meetings users can create breakout rooms to discuss separate tasks. Rooms can be customized or simply use the default templates provided. Moving between rooms and broadcasting messages across room boundaries keeps everyone in contact. Record the meetings, edit them and republish as needed so that even those that miss the meeting can stay in the loop.
Global Alexa Rating: 583
Online meetings with GoToMeeting are simple to start and then share your screen with just a click. It can be launched from your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android device. Attendees can join with any device as well. One a meeting is started, invite others via phone, email or instant message or just click Invite Others in the control panel. You can turn on your webcam to collaborate face to face. Users can try GoToMeeting for free for 30 days. Video conferencing is all in high-definition and the entire meeting including both phone and microphone audio can be recorded. Furthermore, you can share your keyboard and mouse controls to allow for cooperative editing of files on the screen. The website includes a number of video demonstrations of the various features. Pricing is dependent on the number of attendees and organizers involved and there is a discount for annual subscriptions. One flat fee covers unlimited usage for the time period purchased.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,948
Cisco WebEx offers unlimited meetings in HD video to allow working together in shared meeting spaces. Schedule, host and attend meetings from your computer or mobile device. Plans are offered for any need from a free plan for up to 3 people in meetings to the large enterprise plan so that hundreds can attend. All but the free plan use HD video. The free basic plan is somewhat limited both in storage capacity and types of files that can be shared, but it is a great way to test the service before getting one of the paid premium accounts. The program goes beyond the meeting in that you can assign next steps and follow up in the Meeting Space and use chat to stay in touch and discuss further as well as continue to share new files and comments, review recordings and make notes.
Global Alexa Rating: 15,703
Although most people know about ooVoo’s personal use video chat program, they also have a business version that offers video conferencing with innovative pricing models designed for every size business. Everything is included – video, voice, presence, chat and screen sharing – all from a single service with no expensive hardware to purchase. There are a number of features including spontaneous video chat, immersive room-based video conferencing, record and send video messages and group collaboration. It is cloud driven with HD multi-point video and audio using less than half the bandwidth of many peer-to-peer video technologies. Price per license depends on the number of licenses purchased. They also offer their business premium features for free for 14 days with no credit card required. At the end of the 14 days you can purchase one of the licenses or continue using it free as just 6-way video conferencing instead of 12-way. Besides the multi-license plans they also have the ooVoo Plus Plan.
Global Alexa Rating: 22,807
ReadyTak offers web conferencing, audio conferencing, video conferencing, mobile conferencing, webinars & events, recording & archiving and integrations. One single product that includes everything! Simply choose either a meeting plan or a webinar plan and then select the usage needed for your company. Meeting Pro 25 is $49/month for up to 25 web participants, unlimited VoIP, video conferencing and 1,000 toll & toll free minutes. Meeting Pro 150 is $99/month for up to 100 web participants, unlimited VoIP, video conferencing and 2,500 toll & toll free minutes. They offer 30-minute live demos at 3 pm ET on Mondays and Thursdays and at 1 pm ET on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Simply register for an upcoming demo on the website. You can also schedule a private demo by emailing them. They also offer live training for their customers.
Global Alexa Rating: 36,517
ClickMeeting’s plans start at just $30 per month, making them one of the lowest priced options for video meetings. The $30 level allows for up to 2 presenters, up to 2 hours of video recording and up to 25 attendees. They offer a 30 day free trial and have special non-profit pricing. They have a number of plan levels, but will also put together a custom solution. Paying for an annual subscription saves 25% off the cost. They have a great feature for those with global needs – instant Google translation of your chat conversations! All the available features are fully explained on the website. They also offer ClickWebinar for those that do not need online collaboration tools.
Global Alexa Rating: 99,258
InterCall has solutions for both small businesses and enterprises. This includes audio conferencing, web conferencing and video conferencing. For small businesses they offer a 30-day free trial and then online meetings starting at just $19/month for an annual plan ($25/month for monthly plan) which includes 10 participants. They also offer a pay-as-you-go option that allows for up to 125 participants in which you pay $.17 per minute/per attendee. For enterprise businesses they have Unified Meeting 5 which is a web based tool. It is also offered as a 30 day free trial. Very simple to use with just a few clicks to schedule a meeting, start a meeting, join a meeting, control a meeting and share content.
Global Alexa Rating: 170,070
MegaMeeting offers video conferencing, web conferencing and webinar solutions with no software to download. It is a web-based product perfect for hosting Internet meetings, conducting staff training and eLearning, demonstrating products and services to potential customers and performing after sales technical support just to name a few ways to use it. Video conferencing packages automatically include all the webinar features as well. There is no long term commitment. They are more than happy to put together a business bundle that is perfect for your business, having all the products and capabilities that fits your specific needs. They also offer a flexible web-based video conferencing on dedicated servers option for enterprises, or they can be hosted on the company’s servers. The enterprise package includes custom meeting rooms with company logo and colours.
Global Alexa Rating: 259,297
One of the problems with web conferencing is that often attendees have difficulty with getting into the meeting until they become familiar with the process. With GlobalMeet that is never a concern since the meeting calls the attendees – they do not need a dial-in number or password. They also do not need to download anything as everything they need is right online. With the new cloud-based content library, you can drag-and-drop files straight into GlobalMeet so you can access them anywhere. With unlimited cloud storage it is the perfect way to keep a secured copy of your important documents. With GlobalMeet you get a personal, permanent web address with your name on it and all meetings are recorded, both audio and video, with just one click. You can try it free for 30 days with no credit card required. For that 30 days experience unlimited web conferencing for up to 125 people, 10,000 audio minutes and free meeting recordings.
Global Alexa Rating: 623,545
OmniJoin offers multi-party HD video, seamlessly synched audio, advanced collaboration tools, secure & encrypted connections and a customized user interface. Their basic plan is $49/month with a discount for annual. It features up to 30 attendees, 12 video attendees, 1 GB of cloud storage, unlimited meetings, collaboration tools, customizable email templates, video capture card support and free customer support. The Pro plan is $79/month with the same features plus up to 50 attendees, 20 video attendees, 3 GB of cloud storage, online meeting registration and support for professional pan-tilt-zoom cameras. They also offer unlimited accounts through corporate license plans. They use dynamic HD technology.
Thanks to tremendous growth in technology, businesses have been able to reduce travel costs immensely and can hold more meetings than they could before which means growth for the company. Virtual meetings are also a great way to enable companies to have home employees, which can further cut down on labor costs. Being able to stay in touch with global offices is yet another benefit to web conferencing. Since most of the above services offer a free trial, take the time to analyse each one to see which works best for your company.