By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2004-11-15 Print this article Print

Interwise ECP Connect has all the bells and whistles that competing Web conferencing services offer, but the capabilities arent available for every Web conference. However, Interwises ability to integrate voice over Internet with telephony-based voice conferencing gives companies an easy way to cut conferencing costs. The iMeeting participant application does a good job of integrating voice in a simple, effective manner. However, we found the organization of meeting types and interactive Web conferencing tools within the specific iMeeting, iSeminar and iClass applications inconvenient relative to the approach of competing products, which use a single Web conference application.
ECP Connects audio conferencing features give users good options for connecting to conferences and work surprisingly well, even in situations when attendees may need to switch phones at midmeeting.
ECP Connect supports full-duplex audio between phones and PC microphones, so, during tests, we could converse with a minimal amount of choppiness when participants spoke over one another. It was also relatively easy to switch between two audio devices when on a call, although the system supports only one audio connection per participant. When scheduling an event, we could specify what kind of audio connection participants could—or must—use. When combined with audio controls in the application, this gives companies the ability to easily stream the audio portion of a call when participants are in a listen-only mode. ECP Connects Communications Center management tool is more bare-bones than the corresponding elements in Genesys and Netspokes services, although it does have a good interface for quickly discerning the types of scheduled and in-progress events. We also liked that Communications Center allowed us to create a portal template for participants to view upcoming meetings, something the other services dont offer. In addition, we could use the tool to set up our own users. Communications Center lacks the kind of document management features found in Genesys Meeting Center or Netspoke Conferencing Hub and can import documents only through the process of creating a meeting. Those documents can then be deleted from within Communications Center. The Interwise service also lacks tools for building polls, surveys and quizzes in advance of a meeting. Polling is handled through a simple yes/no response button in the application. Interwise sells ECP Connect as a hosted service, with prices starting at $290 per seat per year, including audio toll conferencing. ECP Connect is also available as a perpetually licensed product priced starting at $495 per seat, including one year of maintenance. Click here to read a review of Genesys Meeting Center.
Click here to read a review of Netspoke Conferencing Hub.
Click here to read a review of Raindance Meeting Edition. Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.


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