7 low-cost videoconferencing services: Which is best for your meeting?
A product of Brother, the company best known for its printers and multifunction devices, OmniJoin comes billed as "online meetings that don't feel like online meetings." OmniJoin isn't that radical a reinvention of online conferencing, but it works pretty well, barring a couple of hassles.
There is no free tier; the basic version is $49 per month per host, but that edition is pretty well equipped. Up to 30 attendees can join, with up to 12 of them sharing 720p camera video streams. There is no limit on the length or frequency of meetings, either. Higher tiers raise the number of allowed attendees, the number of video streams and video quality (up to 1080p).
OmniJoin currently offers Windows and OS X clients; there are, as yet, no mobile clients. OmniJoin claims to support high-end videoconferencing hardware (e.g., Sony PTZ cameras, ClearOne audio systems) for those who have access to this equipment.
The Windows client uses Office 2010's visual styles (ribbon menus, etc.). I found a number of useful features. Most prominent is the built-in ability to record meetings -- actually, the ability to record all client screen activity -- and save them to an MP4 file. Another handy feature: The ability to import a Microsoft PowerPoint document directly into the chat client and share it with the other attendees.
Other tools include a whole mini-suite of bandwidth- and network-assessment tools, which can be used to figure out if a balky chat is because of your computer, your connection or some other issue. Screen and application sharing is also available, and a shared application (or screen) is distinguished by a bright green border and a dedicated palette of tools for annotation. The quality of the visuals for the shared application can also be ramped up or down for people on faster or slower connections.
The biggest gotcha with using OmniJoin, at least in this version, is the way meetings are configured by default to use a dial-in phone bridge, not VoIP, for audio. This isn't hard to address -- you just need to edit the default settings for your meetings on OmniJoin's website -- but it was a bit perplexing, and it would have been nice to have control over such things from within the client app itself.
OmniJoin's a solid product if you're willing to live with a couple of host configuration quirks. Especially useful are the ability to record conferences locally and to share PowerPoint files without additional tools.
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Client Management Tools The client management tool market is maturing and evolving to adapt to consumerization, desktop virtualization, and an ongoing need to improve efficiency.
- Why Projects Fail CIOs are expected to deliver more projects that transform business, and do so on time, on budget and with limited resources.
- The New Business Case for Video Conferencing: 7 Real-World Benefits Beyond Cost-Savings This whitepaper provides insight into the value of video conferencing in today's business environment, and how organizations are using visual collaboration to find...
- Audit Ready and Asset Optimized: The Solid Promise of an Intelligent Software Asset Management Solution In this paper Frost & Sullivan examines the benefits of enterprise-grade Software Asset Management solutions, and how these solutions serve as the convergence...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Desktop Apps White Papers | Webcasts