RingCentral is a publicly traded company that has some pretty nifty feature in their web conferencing software. The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. They are based out of Belmont, CA and have offices all over the world, including Denver; Manila, Philippines; Xiamen, China; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Odessa in the Ukraine. They were founded in 1999. Their big investors include several big players in the finance industry, including Hermes Growth Partners and DAG Ventures. The company became publicly traded in 2013.
RingCentral's awards and recognitions were big in getting company publicly founded. They were a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer in 2010. They also have won two Editor's Choice Awards from PC Magazine, were the 2009 Product of the Year in a major industry magazine, and have been recognized by CNET.
With RingCentral, there are over 350,000 business customers that use their web conferencing services. You can easily manage the system from your smartphone or tablet. This company is very a Bring-Your-Own-Device culture, with iPhone, iPad, and Android capabilities. Finally, there are also cool features in the phone conferencing part of the service.
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.
InterCall is one of the standard conferencing tools in the web conferencing industry. We found that they had been in business since 1991. They claim that more than 2.5 million people in 65,000 organizations use their product for web conferencing. In 2013, the company claimed that 25 billion conference call minutes happened with Intercall technology, creating over $2.6 billion in revenue.
In 2003, a company called West Corporation acquired Intercall. Eventually, West Corporation and Intercall purchased many different companies, including ConferenceCall.com, Sprint Conferencing, and others.
We reviewed TeamViewer and found that they were one of the best solutions for desktop sharing and meeting over the Internet. The company is based out of Germany and was founded in 2005. They were originally focused on developing and distributing high-end solutions for online collaboration and communication. Their extremely robust platform is growing. More than 200,000,000 people have installed the product. The TeamViewer solution is used in more than 200 countries worldwide and supports more than 30 languages.
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.
Blackboard is an education company that provides learning management systems for college and universities. The company is headquartered in Washington DC and has been around since 1997. The company's current leadership, under Jay Bhatt, has been in place since 2012. The company provides education, mobile, communication, and commerce software for educational purposes. The software LMS is used by over 17,000 schools and organizations in over 100 countries. 3/4 of American colleges and universities use Blackboard. About half of K-12 schools use Blackboard as part of its core LMS infrastructure.
Blackboard collaborate is the conferencing tool that colleges and universities use to host MOOCs and online interactions. It is a pretty robust platform that integrates well with most college and universities using some sort of LMS. The service includes Outlook integration, Office integration, and other resources to manage a conference. Additionally, it supports a maximum of 1000 participants.
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.
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.
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.
ElectroMeet is software that you can use for meetings, distance education, remote labs, training, and more. It comes as a software download that is free. There are product licenses to get access to higher-level features. ElectroMeet makes money by selling provider licenses. Anyone who wants to join an ElectroMeet room can download the software for free, but providers must get a license.
Here is the pricing information for the provider licenses:
ElectroMeet is kind of like a less sophisticated version of BlackBoard collaborate, but with added functionality outside of education. This is one of the few web conferencing platforms that we encountered that is good for laboratory testing and scientists. There are proctoring features in this product that are not found anywhere in the web conferencing industry.