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Microsoft Live Meeting Alternative ?

Is there a good alternative to MS live meetings - possibily a way to host the same service in house ?

The only feature of Live meeting we use is the Share application (desktop and control). I fear we cannot justify the price, however would like to know of the good alternatives which do the same or similar thing.

Can anyone help ?

Thanks

GISVPN
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gisvpn
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gisvpn
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4 Solutions
 
bruintjeCommented:
Hello gisvpn,

you could look at the comparison done here, but they are all pricy
http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10259_7-5746833.html

you can look at netmeeting
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/default.asp

but if desktop control and sharing is your main point why not use remote desktop?
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/mobility/getstarted/remoteintro.mspx

or something like VNC
http://www.realvnc.com/what.html

hope this helps a bit
bruintje
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gisvpnAuthor Commented:
Hi bruintje

Thanks for the CNET review link very useful.

The reason for using a collabrative software is because of the 1 ease of use - all you have to do is get a user to click on a link from a web site and two it works around firewalls and in nearly every environment our clients are in, i.e. external sites, client sites etc..

Netmeeting is so difficult to get around firewalls and across networks, it costs too much to support and resolve problems in actually getting it to work and is certainly not user friendly for the average person, only tech professionals. Same with Real VNC and DameWare (which is great for internal network). But still with these I tend to find im nearly *always* trying to get them to work. With Live Meeting never ever had a connectivity problem so is ideal for what we need.

The only thing left i would like to ask is, is there an option to self hosts something like Live Meeting. I know Live Meeting it is not, but are there any alternatives which allow you to host the meetings on your own servers?

Thanks

GISVPN
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ECNSSMTCommented:
You may want to look at www.Webex.com, they have several packages all kinda rooting from their flagship product.  Their flagship product does the collaboration either as a product housed within your organization or you can use their servers.  
They bypass firewalls (to the point where they have a form where they state, that if you don't want them there, they'll restrict themselves LOL).  At least one company that we've worked with, uses it as a support tool due to its easy install.
You may want to pilot the product as an external solution.  One of my former companies has been very statisfied with their product that after 1 year, they brought the product inhouse.  One short fall however, I am fairly sure you realize that you will need conference calling capabilities on the phones to decently effect this.

Oh, the product isn't cheap either, as an inhouse solution.  (But then again, I can almost say this about any other inhouse product.)  Webex offers several tiers of their services to fit the economic requirements.  

But again good parts, ease of installation, can circumnavigate firewalls, and multiple implmentation plan$.  

Regards,  
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ECNSSMTCommented:
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johanvz1Commented:
Hi,

Probably easiets would be to use netmeeting internally since you already have the software and standard achitecture required for it. As Bruintjie suggested and it is very easy to set up. Or depending of all your desktop OS's and network configuration you can always use Remote Desktop Connection.

If you are looking for a very good 3r dparty tool.

www.dameware.com and use Dameware Mini Remote Control this device installs itself to the remote pc whilst you connect and can remove itself when you disconnect and is it very bandwith friendly I have supported many a user over a ridiculously slow Dial Up line and it works just fine and suprisingly fast.

Good luck.

Johan
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war1Commented:
Greetings, gisvpn !

GoToMeeting is a good alternative.  It is easy to use, won many awards, and has free trial.
https://www.gotomeeting.com/

Best wishes!
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gisvpnAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the comments, looking initially at www.Webex.com it looks more expensive than Live Meeting.

Johan - Yes, as mentioned before the problems with Netmeeting, Dameware and alike, not firewall friendly at all and with Dameware you have to open specific port AND will only remotely install on Windows XP Pro, not home edition which is a huge problem sometimes for our clients, plus with XP Pro and Dameware you have to turn off simple file sharing - extra big headache which is not needed. Live Meeting has none of that, just click on a link. ;)

Hey War1 will check it out ;)
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scrathcyboyCommented:
If you want to automatically work around firewalls, SKYPE is the most adept at this.  I have never seen an installation where Skype doesnt work, because it has a whole series of ports it tries until it finds one for the installation that works.  Skype also has a video option, I have not tested it.  It is the best voice conferencing and group conferencing software made, now with large collaberative groups, but havent tested video yet.

www.skype.com - check it out, now 28,000,000 strong.

It is also free, and best of all, uses unique site-to-site encryption, so no conversations can be hijacked.
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war1Commented:
gisvpn,

We have not heard from you in awhile. Did any comment help you solve your problem? Do you have any more question? If an Expert helped you, please accept his/her answer above with an excellent or good grade.

Thanks, war1
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gisvpnAuthor Commented:
Hello thank you for everyones comments. There was no better alternative, we chose to go with Microsoft Live Meeting in the end !

Thanks for all the comments they did help evaluate the alternatives.

GISVPN ;)
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johanvz1Commented:
Hi Gisvpn tx for the points
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