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:
- Wall Street Journal’s 2013 “Top 20 Startups of the Year.
- Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Most Brilliant Companies.”
- PCMag’s “Top 100 Websites.”
- User interface
- Pinless calling
While we weren't convinced to recommend Speek, we do feel compelled to talk about the good features of their service, which may be a good fit for some small businesses. Overall, we really liked the user interface. The user interfaced seems to be centered on the product's "screen entrants" feature. While the presenter or facilitator can mute, invite, and boot people from the conference, each participant also sees a profile of other users. The profile shows the person's place in the company, some basic contact information, and a photo.
We also like the "Pinless Calling" feature of Speek. Your users do not need a pin number to join a conference.
There were a few basic integrations with Speek. While some web conferencing products have limited storage space, you can easily share files with your users from DropBox, Google Drive, Box, and EverNote. The other integration is Flickr, for the social sharing of images within the service.
We also felt that the call quality with this product was pretty good. Each user gets their own dedicated number. You just type in speek.com/yournamehere. This makes sure that your users can get into the conference easily. With the competition, pin numbers often result in a dropped conference call...a frustrating experience for the user.
We also liked the high number of sponsorships that were associated with Speek. If your business chooses to use Speek, including Dell, there are discounts that are available to your business.
We also liked that Speek let users dial in from over 25 different countries. This was a cool feature that doesn't cost your business extra.
- Mobile app
- Automation tools
There were a number of things that were disconcerting to us about Speek. For example, we couldn't find the mobile app in the Android store, even though it was advertised on their website. Also, the monthly price per user was pretty steep for the limitations in features and integrations, which we'll talk about a little bit later.
The lack of the app in the Google Play store really concerned us. In the iTunes store, we were able to find the app and see screenshots. We would like to see how this app works on mobile devices. In fact, with most of the Speek competition, we were able to see apps in both the Android and iTunes store.
The monthly price per user was also pretty steep, in comparison to what we got. With RingCentral, for example, you get HD video conferencing as an option. Speek, at this time, does not support video and the subscription costs $19.99 per month, which is just a few dollars less than RingCentral.
Speek is not going to be the tool for you if you want to do webinars. With Speek, you only can expand to 100 users. With other products, you can have webinars with up to 1000 participants. Speek is targeted towards the small- to enterprise-sized business.
We also had a major problem with the lack of expandability. There is no way to scale up or scale down based upon your business's needs--and growth.
We weren't impressed by the lack of integrations with Speek. You only get access to five. There is no integration available for CRM and, overall, this severely limits the functionality of this product. Also, there is no video. This can severely limit the functionality of the service for businesses that need videos. We also questioned the Flickr integration with Speek--which would be great if you are sharing your presentation one photo at a time. We would love to see Microsoft Office integration, and so much more.
We also didn't see any annotation tools on the website. There is screen sharing, but you're going to have to use the annotation tools that are contained within the tools that you are using to author your presentation. This is a severe limitation of the platform altogether.
The Bottom Line
We definitely have some reservations about recommending Speek--don't use Speek unless your business only needs basic voice web conferencing. For us, there were way too many features missing, including video, integrations, and other needed essentials.
Speek is pretty affordable for the small business, but their monthly subscription price is not much less than RingCentral and other competitors. We wanted to see better functionality built into Speek.
Additionally, it appears to us that Speek has spent a considerable amount of time getting sponsorships instead of integrations. Many of the competitors that we reviewed had integrations that were based upon sponsorships...meaning that a sponsorship included that company's software working with the web conferencing platform. Simply put, Speek is just too basic for the high-powered business that needs an infinity-level web conferencing platform.