Meetings in the cloud are easier than ever. Seeing the furrows in someone\’s eyes or the expression after a comment or question carries tremendous value, especially when comparing it to the difficult task of deciphering a message strictly on tone of voice and choice of words. In fact, James Borg states that human communication consists of 93 percent body language and paralinguistic cues.
For years, there have been industry giants in the web-based meeting space such as Webex who has enjoyed the major market share in the Enterprise. In the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) market segment, Citrix\’s GoToMeeting has been offered a strong product, and it\’s one that Nerds On Site has been using for some time.
Over the past year we have also begun to enjoy the free product from zoom.us, and for anyone who is a regular in video conference meetings, you may appreciate this comparative. If we have missed anything, please add it to the comments.
|Price||$50/mo/user (unlimited meetings)||Free (for personal use), $9.99/mo/user for business|
|Maximum Number of Video Participants||6||25|
|Maximum Number of Meeting Participants||25||25|
|Video presence||All on-screen||HD of active speaker, thumbnail of others|
|Application-sharing (partial screen)||Yes||Yes|
|Audio participation via telephone||Yes (41 countries toll-free)||Yes|
|Host mute controls (of participants)||Yes||Yes|
|Host ends meeting for all||Yes||Yes|
|Outbound Bandwidth consumption||550Kbps for HD video||550Kbps for HD video|
|Outbound (firewall) requirements||~80, 443||~80, 443|
|Remote Control (for other participants to control screen)||Yes (Mac & Windows only, not iPad, iPhone)||Yes (Mac, Windows and iPad control)|
To expand on some of the above comparative elements, here are some additional comments:
- The all-present on video makes for a static, possibly less-engaging meeting, whereas the zoom.us approach of enlarging the speaker to High Definition (HD) allows for a more natural attention direction to the speaker.
- The scheduling, start and end of a meeting within GoToMeeting clearly is ideal for scenarios where control is important. When meetings are amongst peers who may wish to continue to meet after the organizer has left, zoom.us\’s approach is preferred although with recent updates you\’re able to have the best of both worlds using zoom.us.
An honourable mention as well is join.me which is fantastic: quick, easy, but designed for screen-sharing and voice only (no webcam participation) but has come a long way to accommodate users who require more features.
Conclusion: If you have traditionally used GoToMeeting and it provides all of the features you need, there may be value in continuation of the Citrix subscription however with the added features and a more affordable price point zoom.us would likely help reduce costs without sacrificing functionality.
Update #1 (2012-09-17): Added two additional comparative elements: outgoing access requirements, remote control
Update #2 (2013-03-18): zoom.us has released many new features, including participant count increase from 16 to 25, added recording, Android app, Meetings can be scheduled, etc
Update #3 (2014-08-25): zoom.us has released many features for participant control and participation and GoToMeeting has added individual application sharing.