Saturday, November 26, 2005

Online Meeting Tools

The cost of online meeting tools has come down significantly since 2000. and several other meeting services are competing with WebEx and LiveMeeting. WebEx's new service looks like an interesting new product which is priced at $49 per month. This kind of pricing makes it affordable for student groups distributed across cities. My MBA class struggled a lot with this until a classmate from Microsoft offered to provide LiveMeeting for some review sessions. The marketing managers of WebEx and LiveMeeting could target all business schools with MBA programs for working professionals. It is a good market.

One of the new features is integrated VOIP calling in these services. The significance of this feature is that it enables you to record the meeting along with the voice without any external adaptors. In other words you just hit the record button and the desktop along with the voice is recorded.

I use a DELL laptop with a built in microphone to record ambient sounds into WebEx meetings. It works out very well. Most of my colleagues use it to record training workshops and important presentations. We instantly turn the recordings into very compelling training resources.

The online meetings area is becoming a commodity and I believe it is a matter of time before we see such products integrated into regular office software.

In December 2005, Live Meeting from Microsoft came up with a service for $20 a month.
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