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Three Virtual Meeting Providers for Real-Time Collaboration

Three Virtual Meeting Providers for Real-Time Collaboration
By
Frank J. Ohlhorst

Frank J. Ohlhorst is an award-winning technology journalist, professional speaker and IT business consultant with more than 25 years of experience in the technology market. He has written articles for a variety of technology and business publications, and he worked previously as executive technology editor at eWeek and director of the CRN Test Center.

The Cloud has brought an abundance of solutions and capabilities to IT pros looking to enhance communications and increase productivity. Nowhere is this truer than with the virtual meeting space concept. We compare and contrast three of these platforms: Anymeeting, Citrix GoToMeeting and Cisco WebEx.

Virtual meeting technology has saved countless hours of travel and has helped tame wild travel budgets, making the technology a must have for large enterprises and even some medium-sized businesses. However, traditionally, the hardware and software needed to make virtual meetings a reality have been prohibitively expensive for smaller organizations.

Thanks to the Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, new technologies have come to market that eliminate the high costs of dedicated conferencing and meeting solutions, while expanding the capabilities associated with a virtual meeting. Nevertheless, there are certain features and capabilities required to make a SaaS meeting platform useful for business (and personal) use.

Virtual meeting technology has saved countless hours of travel and has helped tame wild travel budgets, making the technology a must have for large enterprises and even some medium-sized businesses. However, traditionally, the hardware and software needed to make virtual meetings a reality have been prohibitively expensive for smaller organizations.

Thanks to the Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, new technologies have come to market that eliminate the high costs of dedicated conferencing and meeting solutions, while expanding the capabilities associated with a virtual meeting. Nevertheless, there are certain features and capabilities required to make a SaaS meeting platform useful for business (and personal) use.

Key capabilities include:

- Hold large or small meetings, webinars, broadcasts and collaborative conferences

- Create invitations, schedules and registration forms

- Broadcast presenter’s screen or web cam

- Share your screen, keyboard and mouse

- Control audio (mute and unmute participants)

- Record Meetings

- Collect information, post surveys and create follow up events

-Connect across multiple platforms (PC, Mac, iPad, etc.)

While the above is not the end-all, be-all list of must have features, it is a pretty good start for IT pros looking to pick the best method to bring real time collaboration, meetings and conferences into the digital realm of the web.

Let’s take a look at the two top services and a free (that’s right, free) alternative for making meetings happen in the ether. First up is AnyMeeting, a free SaaS solution that promises to make digital meetings a thing of ease and simplicity for all concerned.