PGi Meeting Expert's Tips for Finding the Best Online Meetings Solution

PGi Account Executive Tony Wrubel is a certified Meeting Expert.

No, really – in addition to spending his days creating custom video, web and audio communication solutions for his clients, Tony has also gone through Meeting Expert training, which means he’s familiar with all the features, functions and benefits of PGi’s signature and partner products. His picks? GlobalMeet for web conferencing and iMeet for video conferencing.

“Something that’s really coming up a lot and what’s going to drive things towards GlobalMeet in particular is the ability to meet anytime, anywhere,” Tony explains. “A lot of people want to share peer-to-peer video in some form or fashion, whether it’s a marketing agency or a company that wants to have a training session.” GlobalMeet is a virtual meeting tool that lets users share their desktops, applications, documents, whiteboard and more all from one web based, fixed URL.

Ease of access is also an important concern for the meeters Tony speaks with. “We’ve tried out a couple of web conferencing solutions with [a hotel chain],” he said, “but what we run into is the barrier of entry; all of these solutions require a download or plug-in, and some clients’ firewalls are set up to prevent this. Well, GlobalMeet and iMeet are flash-based, so no downloads required. That, along with the use of persistent URLs and conference numbers, are the reasons why so many new businesses choose those tools. The anxiousness about getting into these meetings on time is eliminated.”

A meeting tool should do more than be easy to access. Tony explains that PGi’s audio conferencing solutions offer benefits that make your conference calls more effective.

“For audio, there are still companies that just aren’t aware that you can have both operator-assisted and automated-entry calls. For the users, it’s all automated, you don’t have to wait and you’re not going to have 75 people in the queue at the beginning of a call, waiting to get in – they’ll already be in there.” Throw in comprehensive reporting, including transcripts, statistics and interactive polling, and you’ve got a call that works for you.

Why does Tony place so much value in ease of use and automated features? Simple: because he knows that a hard-to-learn meeting tool is often unused.

“One term that’s coming up a lot is ‘web abandonment,’” says Tony. “These solutions that are difficult to use, that have downloads and plug-ins, and aren’t user-friendly, are creating more web abandonment within organizations. If someone goes on the first time and they try to start a meeting and they set it up wrong, how often do you think they’re going to try to continue to use those products? Web abandonment is being driven by difficulty in access, and web abandonment in organizations is huge right now – the easier an application is to use, the better and more widely-used it’s going to be.“

Tony’s Top Five Meeting Tool Features:

  1. iMeet Flash-based and persistent URL Audio, video and presentations
  2. Webcam for up to 15 people
  3. Unique experience and landscape for collaboration
  4. GlobalMeet Flash-based and persistent URL Audio and web integrated into one tool
  5. Simple interface and log-in Crystal-clear screen share, presentations and white boarding.