Zoom past the competition with Zoom Meeting
January 28, 2019

Zoom past the competition with Zoom Meeting

Mark Nowowiejski | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Zoom Video Webinar

Originally we bought the Zoom Webinar tool as a backup system to our usual webinar platform, Adobe Connect which often experienced bandwidth issues, especially during inclement weather when the demand was high. However, Zoom quickly gained popularity among our students, faculty, and staff due to its ease of use and high-quality recording features and we began expanding our license to include more 'PRO' accounts. Presently the institution has completely moved away from Adobe and fully adopted Zoom for all of its online courses. We have additionally used Zoom to conduct staff meetings, 1-on-1 tutoring sessions and to troubleshoot technical issues for remote users.

The tool has also been beneficial for online students in working on group projects and recording asynchronous presentations.

Pros

  • It records to MP4 format which can be easily saved to a local machine and edited with even basic software such as iMovie or Windows Media Maker
  • The desktop application makes creating and scheduling meetings very simple and it always supplies a conference line with no need for cumbersome integrations
  • The mobile app is fantastic and works very well for our students who are on the go
  • Zoom training and tutorial catalog is very well done, even our technically challenged users have little issue getting comfortable with the tool
  • It handle multiple cameras (up to 50!), with high quality video very smoothly and is 'smart' in term of eliminating echo and muting noisy users.

Cons

  • The chat feature is by far the worst part of Zoom, you can't adjust text size or color or allow for multiple chat room within the same meeting (for groups or breakouts )
  • The Polling Feature could probably use more variety at this time. It def lags behind tools like Adobe Connect there. Also, the creation of Polls during a live session can generally be fairly cumbersome.
  • The 40 minute time limit for the basic account can be a pain point and it seems fairly pointless as a user can just restart the meeting immediately once the time expires. There is probably a more effective way to limit the Basic account for the PRO
  • Since the adoption of Zoom meeting our webinar attendance and recording views have increased significantly.
  • We have been able to seamlessly bring guest speakers and presenters to our classrooms that otherwise would not be feasible
  • Because Zoom's cloud storage option for recordings is limited we have had to seek out an absorb the cost for a better video hosting platform (currently using Vimeo Pro)
I could probably list another 1/2 dozen vendors beside the ones noted above. They all have various pros and cons.
I'll start with the lesser products Google Hangouts and Skype - while they are generally cheap or free their features are minimal and really not appropriate for anything more the small conversations.

Blackboard Collaborate has some had some up and downs, they have tried to re-release it a few times with drastic UI changes but it's not something Blackboard has even really nailed + plus obviously, it's tied to an organization using Blackboard as their primary LMS with may not work for you. While there may be a stand-alone purchasing option It's typically tied into buying a package of products from Blackboard.

Adobe Connect was OK, I used it for years but it's not up to par with the quality I expect from Adobe. The updates they've made to it over the years are quite minimal and its flash-based tech is a growing issue. Also, the creation of meeting rooms and telephone/conference line integrations are extremely tedious. If you do go with this product at least get the hosting through Adobe, hosting locally seems to add a high level of slow down to the system and their support of self-hosted users has been subpar.


Lasty, GoToMeeting is probably one of the few products on here I would flat out call AWFUL. I wouldn't use it even if they paid me. Avoid.
Zoom is well suited for nearly any situation you can think of where you need to communicate with groups of people across a physical distance. It has everything you could possibly need including document sharing, desktop sharing, whiteboarding, remote controlling etc. Even if an end user is in an area of low internet bandwidth they should be able to get by with some minor setting tweaks.

The main issue with Zoom right now is probably the price point for Pro accounts. If you are a very large organization that needs to buy 100s or even 1000s of PRO accounts their pricing might be cumbersome to absorb initially.

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