By Jeff Vedders
Interested in web-conferencing services, but concerned that the technology is too costly, or that it’s too complicated to use? You might want to consider the Genesys Meeting Center at www.genesys.com. The Genesys Meeting Center is an ASP (application service provider) modeled web-conferencing tool. Genesys is a French teleconferencing specialist that provides audio, video and web-conferencing services.
The Genesys Meeting Center is a collaborative tool that gives you the ability to give PowerPoint presentations, demonstrate products, train clients, and collaborate on work. We recently subscribed to the service, which we will be using to train our clients, collaborate with our partners and demonstrate our products.
What we like about the service is that you can create spontaneous meetings. For example, if you are on a conference call with multiple parties working on a proposal, you can have everyone log onto the Genesys web site and enter in a meeting number. As the moderator, you then open the document and share it with the service. Everyone who logs onto the web site will then be able to view the document and revise it together. Additional features of the service include:
- Microsoft Outlook integration
- Audio management controls (as a moderator you can mute participants)
- Application sharing
- No special plug-in requirement (although the site will issue a browser test when you log on – this usually takes about 30 seconds, and it may require you to download applets)
- Interactive chat (you can send comments and notes to participants without interrupting the speaker)
- Desktop video integration
- Archival capabilities
For $39.95 per month, up to 15 participants can use the service without any limits. There are additional audio charges for more than 3 participants. If you use their audio conferencing services, the rate is $.24 per minute per participant. If you use a different audio conferencing company, the rate for more than 3 participants is $.40 per minute, capped at a total of $15 per connection per meeting.
Our experience so far is that the service is fairly simple and straightforward to use; however, as with many other web-based services, to be most effective all participants should have a broadband connection.