The Web Conferencing Council has posted a white paper listing their ranked picks for the top ten web conferencing products in 2009. Visit their web site and click the link at the top of the left-hand column under WCC Whitepapers.
They are good about describing their testing, criteria, and objectivity concerns in the paper. This certainly doesn’t have any whiff of sponsored marketing hype or vendor-supported fake white paper creation.
The results seem to indicate that the most important applications for the council were controlled participant list group meetings, rather than scheduled public webinars. Although they mention requests and requirements for scheduling, the top products are not appropriate for this use.
The number one winner is VIA3 from Viack. Honestly, I have never used that product so I won’t support or refute their decision. But I read through the VIA3 technical information posted on its web site and found that it is a Windows-only application and that they caution users to be tolerant of potentially very long download and install times on first usage. The Support FAQ has the following entry:
When trying to log into VIA3, my computer seems to be stuck.
- We request that you simply give the software time to complete the installation. We have seen the initial download and installation take five to seven minutes on slower computers or on computers running Microsoft Vista. If the installation does not complete after ten minutes please call Client Services.
That kind of load requirement along with the restriction on operating systems makes VIA3 something that would be inappropriate for my primary uses in public webinars. But it might fit the bill as an internal collaboration standard for a company that has standardized on Windows-only and can afford the one-time installation overhead on employee computers.
In a similar vein, the Council’s number two pick is Citrix GoToMeeting. The fact that they selected GoToMeeting rather than GoToWebinar indicates that the additional features of preregistration, reporting, and other public webinar functionality did not have much weight in this evaluation.
The paper is an interesting read, and recommended as background material to help with your vendor selection process. Especially if you are looking for conferencing software supporting secure, small group collaborative sessions.