Adobe and omNovia both announced enhancements to their webinar/webcast/web conference products this week. Let's review…
Adobe Connect is now in production with release 9.2. This release features a few productivity upgrades rather than big new capabilities. There are three key improvements:
- Presenter-Focused Video. Previous versions of the product gave all video feeds equal prominence in a grid layout. This was most appropriate for peer-level web meetings. The new release is more appropriate for one-to-many webcasts with a featured presenter or two. The host can expand the speaker's video feed and either shrink or hide other feeds.
- New User Setup. Adobe Connect has always featured a significant learning curve for new users. Release 9.2 creates a default web meeting room "out of the box" so that a new user can get in and start using it or experimenting with it right away. There is no longer a need to schedule a meeting and define the layout and contents before first use. Of course the more extensive features are still there for complete control of the layout.
- Social Media Login. Event attendees can now choose to login by using their Facebook or Google+ profile. The system will fill in their name and email automatically to reduce the number of steps they need to go through. You can still add additional registration fields if you want to capture more information. (I would expect LinkedIn and Twitter to be the next likely candidates for Single Sign On integration.)
omNovia doesn't use formal release numbers… They just shove new functionality into the product when they feel like it. The latest feature addition gives hosts the ability to create and present attendee surveys in a web event.
Survey results are not available immediately while inside the meeting… that is what interactive polls are for. Survey results are collected and reported after the event. Questions can be formatted as radio buttons, multiple-selection checkboxes, drop-down fields, text fields, and multi-line text boxes.
A host can create standard reusable surveys that can be selected and used inside any web event or you can create specialized surveys for single use. The host can display a survey inside an active webinar/webcast at any time. Because of the flexible layout nature of omNovia, it can replace other content on screen or show up next to other content.
Hosts can also select a survey for automatic display when an attendee leaves an event or when the event is ended by the host.
I love seeing new features and ongoing product development in web collaboration products. That's what keeps our industry alive. If you are a vendor and want me to help spread the word about your product enhancements, drop me a line or give me a call!