ReadyTalk was developed just a little over a decade ago, in 2000. They offer several web-based solutions for businesses such as web conferencing. audio conferencing, video conferencing, recording and playback, and event management. ReadyTalk started as a fearless team of entrepreneurs that wanted to develop powerful and great audio and web conferencing for business holders.
We felt that ReadyTalk was one of the best platforms in the industry for businesses that wanted something that easily integrates with their CRM and marketing campaigns. We liked that it had reasonable prices while supporting multiple streams of videos for conference attendees, a trait not common to some other conferencing platforms. Here is what we liked about ReadyTalk:
- The ability to prepare your meeting and presentations in advance.
- Annotation tools to help drive the meeting focus.
- Great resources for recording and saving your meetings for future reference.
We found that ReadyTalk integrated really easily into a business's CRM platform. We found robust automated reminder emails, Chat/Q&A sessions, email marketing, LinkedIn promotion, polling, and other great features.
In the industry, we found very few platforms that could also help run your marketing campaigns. There are tailored registration forms for your customers after running a webinar. We also found integration with CRM platforms such as Sales Force CRM.
We felt that the user chat experience was also ideal. We liked the robust VoIP audio quality. There are extensive reporting options that gauge participation and attendance in a larger meeting. The platform makes it very easy to invite meeting participants instantly. There is also robust follow-up, in the form of after-meeting emails and surveys.
The most attractive solution for your business needs might be the ReadyTalk Scheduler for Microsoft Outlook. Here is what we liked about the Outlook Scheduler:
- The ability to create on-the-fly web and audio meeting invites directly from a plug-in that appears in your Outlook toolbar.
- You can schedule everything without closing Outlook or logging into the ReadyTalk web browser.
- Collaboration lets you get fully started from Outlook. Application and desktop sharing make this a really unique function of the Outlook Scheduler.
We also found an optional download, which reduces your ReadyTalk meeting's reliability upon Java. Sometimes, web conferencing's heavy dependence upon Java can make your platform run slower. Here are the benefits of the Web Meeting Plugin:
- It's easy to start ReadyTalk meetings while using Windows or a Mac.
- Reduces your need to run Java in your browser.
- Speed up your meetings.
- Supports for all major browsers (IE 8+, Firefox, Chrome, Safari).
Also, the pricing isn't bad. For web conferencing, you can meet with up to 25 people in a room for $24 to $59 per month. We found that some web conferencing solutions were not as affordable and lacked the features found in ReadyTalk.
The ReadyTalk solution spans the globe. If you are in business internationally, there are toll-free numbers in more than 100 countries. VoIP is also an option for if you want to make a phone conference over the computer. Presenters can customize their meeting well beforehand, and the higher-end subscriptions let you tweak and market your interface so that it meets your business brand needs. The mobile solutions of ReadyTalk are also outstanding. We found that a presenter can initiate a conference from their mobile device. At this time, however, ReadyTalk only has apps for the iPad, iPhone, and Android smartphone (no tablet for Google Android yet).
Finally, a web conferencing tool is only as good as its support. We found a robust set of videos for using this great product, as well as an extensive FAQ that answered most of our questions.
- Cloud support
- Movie sharing
There were a few things that we didn't like about ReadyTalk. There was just no cloud support for this robust app. We felt like ReadyTalk users would benefit greatly if there were a remote cloud for sharing files. As of right now, there is just a media manager that "pushes" your documents and presentation materials to other users. A cloud solution would be great for companies that do a lot of document sharing.
Another problem we had was with the movie sharing. You can't share videos in real time with your meeting participants. You have to use the ReadyTalk Media Manager to make sure that your videos are ready for your clients. You can only push up to ten files at any given time, including Power Points, videos, and images.
We also thought that the UI was a bit complicated. When you load Power Point presentations, this makes the web presentation a little bit more complicated, as the slides all load as a series of thumbnails at the bottom of the UI. We found that to get a meeting started, your best bet is to use the Outlook Meeting Scheduler.
The Bottom Line
Overall, this is a great setup for a small to medium-sized business. The pricing is fair and lets you share up to 4 channels of video with your viewers. It is also very easy to upload presentations. However, there is not a cloud platform to share documents. This was the biggest flaw with ReadyTalk. We felt that ReadyTalk has some great features, but doesn't meet the needs of an enterprise-level business. We did like the CRM capabilities of ReadyTalk. ReadyTalk will integrate with Sales Force CRM, as well as other marketing tools. For the CRM-driven business, ReadyTalk is probably the best platform for meeting clients, team members, and vendors. Lastly, we liked that there are plugins for your computer that will decrease its need for Java operability when using ReadyTalk.