Speek is a company that provides services for hosting online meetings. They claim to be simpler and smarter when it comes to the competition--we weren't so sure about that as you’ll see later in the interview. Users can have unlimited conference calling with an individualized interface. You can see who has joined, so you can screen your entrants. You can talk, share files, record your calls for future archival, share your screen, and more. The company has won some awards. They are a venture-backed company that has the following accolades and recognition:
Google is known for their robust search engine, but in recent years, Google has expanded its user experience to include Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, and Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts replaced Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, and other tools.
Google Hangouts, used in tandem with Google's other technologies, lets businesses transform their back end business processes and integrate some of these tools into an online conferencing situation. Perhaps the biggest benefit of Google Hangouts is that it's free and included with a standard Google account.
Global Meet is manufactured by PGi, Premiere Global Services, Inc. The company is a worldwide provider of web conferencing and collaboration products for businesses. They offer audio and web conferencing, web casting, and video conferencing. Their virtual meeting products include iMeet and Global Meet.
PGi has its corporate headquarters in Atlanta, GA. Over 2,100 employees staff offices in London, Tokyo, Sydney, Hong Kong, Auckland, New York, and other major cities throughout the world. As of 2013, the company posted just over $520 million in revenue.
Microsoft Office is a company that has been trying to catch up in recent years to Google, Apple, and other companies that tend to foray into the web conferencing area. When we sat down to review Microsoft’s conferencing platform, we wondered exactly what it was. Essentially, Microsoft Office is fully online, and Skype is now driving the conferencing component of Microsoft Office. Frankly, we wondered why one might pay for a subscription to Skype as part of Microsoft Office. However, there were some things that we did like.
Microsoft 365 rolled out in 2013. It allowed businesses to get Skype credit every month, get access to storage and Office applications in the cloud, and let the business use Microsoft product on up to 5 computers with the business.
Dead Simple Screen Sharing was founded by Ali and Mohammed Lakkadshaw in 2013. When they discovered that screen sharing platforms were difficult to use, they decided to do something about it. They didn’t want anything about their screen sharing system to be complicated, so Dead Simple Screen Sharing was created to make screen sharing more user friendly.
Switch Communications, Inc. is a communications company in San Francisco, CA. Known for their Google Business Phone app, they also make and maintain the UberConference platform. The company was formerly known as Firespotter Labs. Craig Walker, the company's figurehead, was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Google Ventures.
Firespotter Labs, now Switch Communications, was founded when Walker was in residence at Google Ventures. Walker has been CEO of several successful companies. Firespotter Labs is also known for developing several popular products.
Firespotter Labs rebranded as Switch Communications in 2011. Their product platform now includes a Google Business Phone app and UberConference.
One of the things to know is that UberConference is a conference-calling tool, not a video conference tool. With this in mind, there are some ways that you can make video sharing work with some of UberConference. We'll discuss this possibility later in the review.
Zoom likes to call themselves the “cloud meeting company.” They make a product that combines video conferencing, simple online meetings, and group messaging into one straightforward platform. Their solution offers high-quality video, audio, and screen sharing. They offer rich experiences across Zoom Rooms, Windows, Mac, Mobile, and certain room systems. The company was founded in 2010. A team of big influencers from Cisco and WebEx walked away from their companies and decided to make something better. The company’s senior team has over a decade of experience making real-time collaboration software. They’ve done a good job in delivering the company’s core deliverable--building a people-centric cloud service that is fast, simple, and easy to use.
Highfive Technologies, Inc. is a video conferencing company that is based out of Redwood City, CA. They have streamlined how businesses do video conferencing. Instead of paying a monthly fee for services, High Five lets companies turn offices and rooms into virtual conferences. They offer a proprietary piece of technology that contains a web camera and speakers, easily integrating free software with LCD screens, laptop computers, and mobile devices.
High Five is a very new product. Their parent company, Highfive Technologies, Inc., got its start when Shan Sinha and Jeremy Roy, the guys behind Docverse, sold their company to Google. The team at High Five wanted to develop a product that lets users easily create or join a videoconference.
High Five works a little bit differently than other video conferencing companies in the industry. Typically, one user is the conference manager and controls the flow of the presentation. With other companies, it is possible to pass on leadership to another user, but High Five is the only device we reviewed that treats all users as peers.
Mikogo is an online application that is dedicated towards desktop sharing and web conferencing. Beam Your Screen, a company that is based out of Mannheim, Germany, developed the product. We found that they were founded in 2004. The company was aimed at developing high-end chat tools for corporate customers. Several customers approached them over the years asking for a smaller scale, robust sharing platform. The company has solutions available for iOS and Android, as well as Apple, Linux, and Windows computers.
Mikogo first entered the world of Apple in 2009. On March 11, the company made a free software platform for the Mac. This was the first time Mikogo had made the foray into cross platform screen sharing. The solution was so popular that Macworld posted a review on their website and gave Mikogo the Editor's Choice 4-Star Award. Mikogo is popular for its cross-platform screen sharing, high-end features, and security. Recently, Mikgo has released another version with cross-platform VoIP.
Mikogo is small and scalable. While it lacks video features at this time, it does offer one of the best screen sharing and web conferencing solutions in the web conferencing industry.
AnyMeeting is a company that used to be known as Freebinar. They originally pioneered a product that was free, powered by ads. They enable users to host and attend conferences, do screen sharing, and meet over the web. The power of this device is found through its web-based approach. This software-as-a-service method (SaaS) makes AnyMeeting a powerful tool over its competitors.
AnyMeeting was originally launched in 2009 as “Freebinar.” Colin Tuculescu, a 12-year veteran of the industry, was the first person to realize that the web conference industry was not using ads to provide a free conferencing platform. The idea took off, and as of 2012, AnyMeeting reported that over 200,000 registered users were conducting several thousand meetings a month.