Adobe is offering the newly-released “Forrester Wave(TM): Web Conferencing, Q2 2010” for free download from their website. In a shocking and welcome departure from standard marketing practices, you don’t even need to fill in any personal information. Just click and download.
Adobe is obviously happy about Adobe Connect’s identification as a Leader in Forrester’s grid. To be perfectly fair, reading the report closely indicates the difficulties that Forrester had in coming up with significant product superiority in the field of small-group web collaboration. They state in the summary that “every product in our evaluation did well with meeting features. It was only in the strategy for collaboration and for Web meetings that vendors showed significant differences.” I would caution against making significant purchase decisions based on a vendor’s stated “strategy for collaboration.” Strategies in this field get changed rather quickly as companies get bought and sold, go public and private, and as products get offered and retired based on competitive and positioning factors. You can’t even count on pricing to stay the same for very long at a time (see recent pricing changes by Citrix and WebEx as examples).
I am pleased that Forrester made such a clear distinction between products and evaluation criteria targeted at small-group / ad hoc web meetings and larger, more formal web events. The latter types of applications can incorporate more features and more differences in implementation approaches. Too many evaluations lump both types of collaborative applications together.
The Forrester paper is an excellent research tool for companies evaluating web meeting solutions. Big thanks to Adobe for purchasing distribution rights and putting it out there for public consumption.
If your feed reader does not allow hyperlinks, here is the URL to access the white paper. Copy and paste it into your web browser: http://www.adobe.com/enterprise/analysts.html