I hate the word 'webinar'
June 7, 2010 4:18 PM   Subscribe

What's the best enterprise webinar/online meeting hosted system? I've scouted Citrix GoToMeeting, Microsoft Office Live, Adobe Connect, Cisco WebEx and was wondering if I'm missing one?

From my pricing and scouting I've come down to these products for my non-profit. We have around 2-5 webinars a week with an average of 40-80 participants but we've peaked at 350 with a trajectory to ~500 as our max.

Our current setup is conference call + GoToWebinar but we'd like much more flexibility.
  • Cisco WebEx -=-=- 10 User Accounts = $855 a month ; $199 set-up fee. Audio is free up to 25 attendees and from there is a sliding scale. for 26-99 attendees its $40 flat fee, for 250-499 it's $144.
  • MS Office Live -=-=- 5 users, 1250 participants, $80 a month. Audio is free, however web client users can't receive audio. Most features require client install. Records in kind of a wonkey MS Active-X wrapped video. Really cheap compared to the other enterprise solutions.
  • Citrix GoToWebinar -=-=- Our current solution, we are grandfathered into a 1000 participant plan for $99 but have a back-up 100 participant plan for another $99. No video and the recording feature sucks.
  • Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro Hosted -=-=- $425 a month per user for up to 100 participants and over 100 is charged per-minute, per participant. Runs at 25 cents a minute. Best interface I've seen out of all of them, runs on Flash, records FLV videos (easy to put up on web right after confrence), multiple workspaces.
posted by wcfields to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Just found these three:



posted by wcfields at 4:22 PM on June 7, 2010

We use Microsoft LiveMeeting, which is OK but too dependent on MS technology IMO. However, we outsourced our Exchange Server to MS and LiveMeeting came with the service, so in our case, we can't beat the price. Not sure what it would cost to purchase, and not sure if its the same thing as Live Office.
posted by COD at 6:19 PM on June 7, 2010

I use Zoho for small meetings and rather like it. However, I have never used it for large presentations, so your milage may vary.

I have used Webex for large meetings, and it is nowhere near optimal. The recording feature is terrible (it literally takes a recording of the window).
posted by thebestsophist at 7:18 PM on June 7, 2010

Response by poster: COD, sorry, I think LiveMeeting is Live Office. I just didn't remember the name correctly.

The purchase price is really cheap for it too, its $15 a user and there's a 5 user minimum so it's $80 a month minimum which is pennies compared to the other solutions. The huge downside is the fact it sucks dick if you don't have the client installed (a 17 meg download) and the recording is in ActiveX.

That being said, they all suck dick in their own separate ways either in price, features, or usability.
posted by wcfields at 8:46 AM on June 8, 2010

We use Adobe Connect, and it seems to work quite well.
posted by lukemeister at 8:57 AM on June 8, 2010

We use Adobe Connect too and have been pleased with it. You listed some of the pros above, but having done tons of technical support for Adobe Connect webmeetings, I'd say its user-friendliness is a big plus too. Even people who aren't very computer savvy catch on quickly to the software.
posted by spinto at 9:35 AM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, lukemeister & spinto.

I found Adobe Connect to be the best and slickest of the bunch in terms of capabilities, universal platform, workspaces, and especially recording into a FLV file that I can throw up on the website. The rub, though, is the price, $425 per seat, per month.
posted by wcfields at 12:09 PM on June 8, 2010

Response by poster: Wow, Elluminate is a giant pile of cluttered garbage!

First flaw, it uses some wierdo java file to start which you must have a Java VM installed, and then the software itself looks like something from Win 3.11 run in Windows 95. PASS
posted by wcfields at 4:15 PM on June 8, 2010

Thank you for the info. Still needs to be easier in my book and should be! I look for Apple to come with something spectacular in this area for sometime, but they have failed to surprise me as of yet... Adobe Connect is decent, but it should be as easy as a click or two and you are in business.
posted by Markzware at 12:29 AM on June 17, 2010

Response by poster: Adobe Connect is decent

It seems like the most full featured, but jesus christ, its $425 for 100 participants, and over 100 costs you "overage minutes" at 5,000 pre-paid overage minutes for $1275. And this is non-profit pricing too!
posted by wcfields at 12:33 PM on June 30, 2010

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