Web Conferencing: Choosing the Right Solution
Choosing the right web conferencing solution can be difficult and time consuming. After several demonstrations and trial accounts, the features begin to bleed together and the differences are harder for you to recall. You know the service you select for your organization is critical to the adoption of web conferencing and key to delivering the proven productivity enhancements. Whether you are in the thick of the evaluation process or at the very early stages, my high level comparison of Adobe Connect Pro, Cisco WebEx, WebConnect, and Ready Meeting will take you to the next step.
If you are unsure of all the steps you need to take prior to a comparison of web conferencing software and service options, brush up with last week's blog that covers the benefits of web conferencing, the must have features, and the steps to evaluate your online meeting requirements.
For a comprehensive guide for your web conferencing purshase including step by step instructions, Click here to download the Web Conferencing Buyer's Guide!
Adobe Connect Pro
Adobe Connect Pro is a versatile web conferencing solution for online meetings, eLearning, and webinars. It delivers exceptionally rich interactions and enables organizations of all sizes to improve productivity. As one of the most modular web conferencing services, Adobe Connect has been highly successful in three primary applications:
- eLearning – Rapidly create, deliver, and track effective educational experiences for both learners and trainers, even if you are new to eLearning tools
- Webinars – Showcase products, services, and ideas in immersive events that capture measurable results
- Web Meetings – Keep teams moving forward by meeting in the cloud – anytime, anywhere, and from any mobile device
Web Conferencing Pro’s: Adobe Connect is a feature rich service option that can fulfill the needs of the recurring staff meeting, marketing webinar, and corporate announcement. Adobe excels in the areas of eLearning and Higher Education. Adobe also excels in the webinar space when the attendee capacity requirement is below 100.
Web Conferening Con’s: The Seminar Room Seats for Adobe Connect that enables meetings over 100 attendees is expensive.
Cisco WebEx online meeting software provides a high level of performance and security through the Cisco Collaboration Cloud – a highly secure, scalable, and available meeting network. The full Cisco WebEx portfolio, Support Center, Meeting Center, Training Center, and Event Center can take you from an occasional, collaborative one-on-one meeting to a webinar or an online event with 3,000 participants. Cisco WebEx web conferencing services fulfill the needs of the Business Professional and multinational Enterprise business.
- Security – Variety of security options (such as meeting password protection) to control who attends your meetings and ensure all your data is safe, every time
- Cross Platform Functionality – Cisco WebEx works on any platform – PC, Mac, Linux, or Solaris
- Mobile Meetings – Never miss a meeting with WebEx iPhone app, iPad app, Android app, WebEx app for Samsung devices, and Blackberry app
- High Definition Video Conferencing – Turn your online meeting into a virtual video conference with Cisco WebEx’s high-definition video
Cisco WebEx Pro’s: Cisco WebEx excels in the areas of security, custom features for specific meeting types, and administrative control. As one of the original providers of web conferencing, the Cisco WebEx platform is hardened and extremely reliable. Since the acquisition by Cisco, the WebEx web conferencing platform has been expanded to integrate with the Cisco Unified Communications strategy. Cisco WebEx has all of the features required for meetings ranging from basic document sharing to continued education to large public webinars.
Cisco WebEx Con’s: The con’s for Cisco WebEx include several of the positive attributes of the platform. Starting with the multiple centers, a user may need to subscribe to more than one of the centers to conduct all their meetings. Cisco WebEx does provide enterprise edition named host models that provide users with single log-in to access all the centers. The most notable potential downside to Cisco WebEx is the requirement for host/presenter and attendees to download the Cisco WebEx client. For attendees in secure environments with restrictions on downloads, joining a Cisco WebEx session may not be possible without assistance from network administration.
WebConnect offers a simple and affordable option for online meetings and desktop sharing. The service includes all the most commonly used features in addition to the higher level features with a streamlined, user friendly interface and online management portal.
- Integrated Audio – WebConnect is fully integrated with reservationless audio conferencing for full control of your meetings and synchronized recordings
- No Downloads – Guests are not required to download software/client to join a meeting.
- Mobile Apps – Guests are able to join a meeting from iPhones and Android devices
WebConnect Pro’s: Ease of use and features are the areas where WebConnect excels. From a single service, users can host small, collaborative meetings with high quality video and host a large event with full registration integration. Browser based technology makes joining a meeting extremely easy and the re-designed interface is extremely intuitive for the host.
WebConnect Con’s: WebConnect lacks the full online training and eLearning functionalities of Adobe Connect Pro and Cisco WebEx Training Center. Also, WebConnect does not have the ability to scale for large events.
Ready Meeting web conferencing is an entry level online meeting tool designed specifically for ease of use. The interface is extremely intuitive yet encompasses all the standard features.
- Java Based - one of the few service options that runs on Java rather than Flash or Client
Ready Meeting Pros: Ease of use and low cost per minute option. Includes all the standard features plus basic registration pages and reporting.
Ready Meeting Cons: Ready Meeting lacks the higher level features and does not currently support web cameras. Also, the interface was designed for ease of use and lacks the visual impact of WebConnect, Adobe Connect Pro, and Cisco WebEx. (web cam ability is currently in beta)
As you can see there are several features you can take advantage of that would benefit your company. Considering all of these options is crucial and it will help immensely to be well educated when you start shopping around. If you would like some coaching and guidance from one of our account specialists sign up for a FREE consultation here!