By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-08-21 Print this article Print

For companies that want a fully integrated Web and voice conferencing solution—one that handles everything from conference landing pages to voice-only conferences—Interwise Connect 7.0 is a great choice.

The product is available as an on-premises licensed application and as a service, or companies can purchase it as a blended solution. The latter option, and the one that eWeek Labs tested, allows organizations to run voice services internally but to purchase Web conferencing as a hosted service.

Interwise Connect 7.0, which is priced at a flat $100 per user, implements the room metaphor for managing meetings: Each user has a dedicated meeting room that he or she can use to manage meetings, training sessions, seminars or large-scale events.

We liked Interwise Connect 7.0s content management methodology. The software converts Microsoft PowerPoint presentations in a way that preserves slide transitions and effects rather than using a print driver to bring static content to the whiteboard. Other nice content-management-type touches are the ability to preload content for a meeting and to drag and drop the content from the desktop. Interwise Connect 7.0 also can integrate with document and learning management systems such as EMCs Documentum and Sabas Saba.

Landing pages can be defined from within Interwise Connect 7.0 and can be used to promote events such as seminars. The landing pages use a standard template that can be edited within the Web browser to provide event details and elements such as speaker photos.

We really liked that users have a choice when it comes to voice conferencing—participating either via VOIP or telephone. From a practical perspective, this allows users who dont have access to an Internet connection to participate in a meeting, even if it means they dont see any content at all or work with an offline version of a presentation in PowerPoint.

From an attendee management perspective, Interwise Connect 7.0 has the features wed expect, such as the ability to mute or kick out attendees.

There are also some nice features available for attendees, including the ability to switch from telephone to VOIP at any time. This means an attendee who joins a meeting from his or her cell phone while stuck in traffic can switch to another phone or VOIP once at the office. When participants log on, they get a choice of phone or VOIP, and the participant list indicates the type of audio connection each participant is using.

Administrators can give moderators a good deal of discretion when it comes to managing the voice side of Interwise Connect 7.0. For example, as moderator, we could limit attendees to just phone access and allow non-Interwise Connect 7.0 conferencing. Interwise Connect 7.0 supports user policies, so many of these settings can be managed at a group level through existing directories.

Next Page: Evaluation Shortlist


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