Recent updates to services from Genesys Conferencing Inc., Interwise Inc., Netspoke Inc. and Raindance Communications Inc. provide companies with more-sophisticated Web-based conferencing and collaboration options.
For this review, eWEEK Labs tested products that offer fully integrated audio conferencing in their Web conferencing application and have been updated recently. Our tests show that all four services—Genesys Meeting Center, Interwise ECP Connect, Netspoke Conferencing Hub and Raindance Meeting Edition—share core capabilities and generally deliver a good set of collaboration tools. Netspoke Conferencing Hub stood out in tests as being both easy to manage and use and earned an eWEEK Labs Analysts Choice award.
This market has changed dramatically in the past six months, as more Web conferencing services have been introduced from vendors new to the market, such as Citrix Systems Inc., and from vendors of other kinds of collaborative services, such as Intranets.com Inc.
Ultimately, the biggest opportunity for both newcomers and the providers of the services reviewed here is to distinguish themselves based on price. While usability and administration can make a difference, theres not a huge delta in these areas from product to product. However, cost—and pricing flexibility—can differ substantially.
For example, Genesys and Interwise have limited pricing options for their Web conferencing services, although Interwise offers the most compelling and predictable basic price. Netspoke and Raindance offer both per-minute and per-seat pricing options, which will give companies a way to balance use and cost.
All the services we reviewed support Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator on Windows. Attendees of Netspoke conferences can also participate from Linux-, Unix- and Macintosh OS-based systems.
Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at [email protected].