So after researching pretty extensively the webconferencing offerings of all of the main providers on the market (webex, webconference.com, webdialogs, elluminate, centra, net meeting, etc), I have come to the conclusion that none of them can provide yet the kind of fidelity of a traditional teleconference. Multi-party, full duplex on all webconferencing services I have tried is sketchy and full of latency issues, even in broadband environments.
VOIP is good and getting better every day for one-to-one uses. But beyond that, the data coordination issues become a problem. Which I guess is why most of the webconference providers offer a traditional teleconference package as a telephony solution.
It’s a bummer because SSRC was really hoping to roll out a web conferencing tool that we could use to facilitate small group meetings more effectively than a teleconference. But we may have to wait until the tech catches up with our needs, at a cost we can afford. If I hear right, Skype may be unveiling something in the next few months that might be very interesting.
Until then, we’re back to Ma Bell.