Elluminate Live Sheds Light on Web Conferencing

 
 
By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-08-21
 
 
 

Elluminate Live Sheds Light on Web Conferencing


Elluminate Live 7.0 differs from the other two products we reviewed in two main ways: It only supports voice communications directly through the Web conferencing client using VOIP, and it is the only product reviewed here that offers features designed to meet Section 508 accessibility requirements of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act.



Click here to read the full review of Elluminate Live 7.0.

2


Elluminate Live 7.0 differs from the other two products we reviewed in two main ways: It only supports voice communications directly through the Web conferencing client using VOIP, and it is the only product reviewed here that offers features designed to meet Section 508 accessibility requirements of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act.

An on-premises license for the Lite Office version of Elluminate costs $50 per month for 10 seats; the Enterprise version costs $67 per user per month. Pricing for the hosted version of Elluminate is 15 percent above these prices.

During eWeek Labs testing, Elluminate Live 7.0 provided an excellent Web conferencing experience, and the voice integration generally worked well. However, we would have liked the flexibility to choose dynamically between VOIP and traditional telephony, as we could with Interwise Connect 7.0, because sometimes a phone is the only option for voice connectivity.

Elluminate Live 7.0 puts a broad range of collaborative tools in front of Web conferencing moderators for both presenting content and training.

The Java-based Elluminate Live 7.0 has several features that set it apart from most of the Web conferencing applications weve tested over time. In addition to broad client operating system support (Microsoft Windows, Apple Computers Mac OS X, Linux and Sun Microsystems Solaris), the client has closed captioning and screen reader capabilities in support of Section 508. During testing, we also could make adjustments to font size to improve readability.

Another feature that sets Elluminate Live 7.0 apart from other Web conferencing products of its kind is the ability to create virtual breakout rooms during a session. These breakout rooms are separate meeting rooms that include audio and Web conferencing, and they likely will have the most appeal in training and education applications. As moderator, we could create these rooms during the course of a presentation and send groups of attendees off for smaller group discussions. While in these rooms, attendees have access to all the Web conferencing tools Elluminate Live 7.0 offers.

The Elluminate Live 7.0 attendee list includes indicators that show audio status, such as who has an audio connection and who is currently speaking. Users also can adjust their speaker and microphone settings directly in the application to easily rectify any audio issues in a meeting. Elluminate Live 7.0 gives audio priority over other features in the data stream, such as the whiteboard and application sharing. (Since most of the graphic content is relatively static, Elluminate Live 7.0 can accommodate low-bandwidth connections.)

Click here to read a review of Microsoft Live Meeting 2005.

Further, Elluminate Live 7.0 addresses the problem of momentary bandwidth interruptions by caching the audio stream. If users lose a portion of bandwidth during a call or are momentarily disconnected, Elluminate Live 7.0 reconnects the client automatically. In addition, rather than simply dismissing the missed audio, Elluminate Live 7.0 replays it for the user at a noticeably higher speed.

As good as the product is at delivering content and providing an interactive Web conferencing experience, though, Elluminate Live 7.0 has a 1990s look and feel that may cause users to dismiss it. Practically speaking, the user interface isnt taking advantage of the growing screen resolution on PCs and notebooks by using larger default icons and eliminating much of the white space.

Next Page: Evaluation Shortlist

Evaluation Shortlist


Evaluation Shortlist

Citrix Onlines GoToMeeting

A basic way to present and share applications; has a single-pricing structure and limited voice conferencing capabilities (www.gotomeeting.com)

Interwises Interwise Connect 7.0

Ably integrates teleconferencing services with a suite of Web conferencing-based collaboration apps (www.interwise.com)

Microsofts Office Live Meeting 2005

Presents a single application as catchall for Web conferencing; strong focus on collaboration (www.microsoft.com/livemeeting)

Sonexis ConferenceManager

Voice conferencing bridge with an integrated Web conferencing application (www.sonexis.com)

WebEx Communications WebEx Meeting Center

Uses a suite-based approach, with good telephony options for applications ranging from seminars to training (www.webex.com)

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in Web services.

Rocket Fuel