iLinc is a company that provides web conferencing solutions for different industries. They have been in business since 2000 and are "politely obsessed" with their customers. The service is a cloud-based subscription, meaning that it is a software-as-a-service platform. There is not a complete listing of compatible apps and integrations, but we did find resources for Moodle and SalesForce, meaning that it is a robust tool for the different industries. We really liked the different features and felt that it was scalable. It can serve anywhere from 25 to 1000 different participants at any given time.
The company has a good standing in the web conferencing industry. There is also a 15-day free trial. This was on the light end for free trials in the industry, with some conferencing platforms offering a 30-day trial or a freemium version to "try" the product out, risk free. We were a little bit disappointed that the service didn't have any iOS or Android apps available in the Google Play or iTunes store, but we could probably expect to see a rollout of this in the near future. There are browser options for Android and iTunes available, but these have to be distributed via a system administrator.
- Metrics and tools
We liked that iLinc works really hard to make its services available for different industries. The conferencing tool is pretty neat for education. There is some functionality for Moodle. There are also solutions for IT, training, HR, and other industries that need a good web conferencing program.
There are also metrics and other tools that help you keep track of audience engagement during a meeting. We felt that this was a great way to keep track of your reach and impact during a conference. There are also branding options available for iLinc, including a branded welcome screen. In addition, there is also entrant functionality, so you can keep track of who is included in your meetings.
There are also definitely some good features for the hearing impaired. We found that all the iLinc packages come with closed captioning. While other products have this functionality built in, it was good to read about it on the features list with iLinc. This makes it a great product for education, where hard-of-hearing students can also participate easily.
iLinc has done a lot, in terms of sustainability. Their product includes a green meter, which calculates savings by having someone participate in an online meeting, rather than get on a plane to go to a meeting or conference. The green meter is a neat feature because this sustainability tool was not something we saw with other web conferencing providers.
iLinc for Learning and the iLinc suite also have a "test tool." You can easily test a session before an actual meeting to make sure that all the needed resources are in place. We didn't find this a lot in other web conferencing products. This is a necessary function, as we've all probably been in a conference where things weren't ready from the get go.
- Lack of mobile apps
- Pricing structure
The lack of mobile apps was a really big detriment for us. It's 2015 and if your web conferencing doesn't work on a mobile device, you're out of luck. We were looking hard to research how mobile users could access iLinc and could only find a 2013 press release describing how mobile access is an option through a mobile web browser. We were unsure of whether or not this option was fast on a mobile device. Ideally, you can probably use this on a tablet pretty easily but the browser option might be pretty slow on a 4G LTE connection.
Another feature that was a big problem for us was the lack of an app/integration listing. We found press releases and blog entries on their website about how the product works with SalesForce and Moodle. In all, we found about 5 app integrations on iLinc's website (though there are probably more).
We found a "web services" pdf that explained the API functionality with iLinc, but we couldn't find a developer's center. It seems to us that iLinc is pretty closed towards developers, which might be problematic for some of the industries that need a lot of "on-the-fly" programming flexibility. This was kind of a red flag for us. It got us pretty concerned when we looked at the features comparison list. You actually have to buy the iLinc suite in order to get API integrations. So if you're in education for example, this product is not going to be a very good fit for you (if you need a lot of API integration).
Finally, there isn't a clear pricing structure available on the website. When we called in, we didn't get a good chance to have a conversation about pricing. From what we read in other reviews online, the pricing structure is pretty confusing, as there are multiple pricing options for the different service levels that are offered. Putting pricing on your website is a must to make sure that the pricing transparency is clear for customers.
The Bottom Line
We had some issues with the lack of a clear pricing structure with iLinc. The product subscriptions on the site are not listed with a price. We imagine that the pricing depends upon number of users and could become a little bit steep for companies that use a lot of agents/presenters. We do like the fact that there is a lot of multi-user video streaming built in. We would recommend iLinc as an enterprise-level chat platform for schools, companies, and other types of businesses. iLinc has some great integrations, including Outlook, to enable scheduling.
We do have a concern about the lack of mobile apps available for this platform. Even though it works on mobile browsers, an in-app experience might be beneficial for a future rollout with iLinc.