Webinar Software Investigation

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  • We have been trying a variety of different kinds of online meeting software.
  • Convoq - We tried Convoq and it was fairly cheap but really did not work well for some people so we abandoned that.
  • Webex - We have been testing Webex and the price is $300 per month. (If the account is set-up via Stanford, either through Carnegie (TAIR) or the Genetics Department (SGD), the monthly fee is $38.50. -[tzb 10.13.06]) The application sharing is good, but VoIP is problematic. We have the choice to use skype and have only four locations able to dial in, or to use the built in Webex VoIP capability. The built in version is not great. It only allows two people to speak at once and the microphone has to be passed around. We tried this and it interrupts the flow of conversation very badly. Also the sound quality is not nearly as good as skype. In addition to this there are further call charges for the built in VoIP and these are applied per minute per person.

Further news - Erika Feltrin says that she has heard there are ways to get more people on a skype call. She is looking into it.

Voice options from WebEx:

1. VoIP : 2 cents/min/location

2. 800 number: 20 cents/min/location

3. 650 number (local to Stanford): 5 cents/min/location (long distance charges from all
locations are separate)

Jennifer: I just found this on the skype web page:

With Skype, you and 4 other people can take part in a conference call. If you
 use an Intel Core 2 Duo processor then a total of 10 people, including you,
 can join your conference call. 

I wonder how many people have such a machine? My laptop is Intel but not core duo. It is likely that we will get new machines in the office soon, and perhaps we could get intel core duo ones?

  • Next we are going to try megameeting or Premierglobalservices (pgs):


  • I have started a trial account on pgs. Jennifer 02:29, 13 October 2006 (PDT)
  • I found this comparsion chart for the various options:



On 13th November we tested PremierGlobal software.

They offer webex for 13c per connection per minute and audio by our usual conference line.

We could just use the conference line when there are too many people for a free skype call.

We tried their webex support and we were unable to run it on the Intel macs though this seems to be a general problem for intel macs and webex and not specific to premierglobal.

Midori tried was able to run webex on her G5 but could not share oboedit. One advantage of premierglobal is that they have technical people available all the time to help solve these problems. This incurs a charge but at least helps get things working quickly. We are working on getting a successful demo as we were otherwise quite pleased with this option. (jen)

I got some prices from webex themselves and from premier global.

They have quite different pricing schemes.


You pay according to the number of different sites that are allowed to initiate a meeting.

the minimum number is 5 sites. This costs $300. Add $60 per site.

After that we have unlimited people and hours on the meetings.

They normally charge $2500 to set up our management place but they'd waive that in our case. The place can be customized to look like our website if we fancy that.


They charge per connection per minute.

I was quoted 13c per connection per minute by the jackson lab's account holder. The UK guy quote 18p per connection per minute.

at 18p per minute we get 14 connection hours a month. at 13c we get 38 connection hours a month.

This is not good.

Therefore if we could get by with 5 sites having the ability to initiate a meeting then webex would be way more useful. Stanford and TAIR already have the ability to initiate webex meetings so we get two sites free already. Perhaps the rest of the sites could request meetings through listed sites? Do any other sites have webex that we don't know about?

Webex also say there version of the software is one up from the Premier global one and has better recording systems for recording e.g. software demos. However this system would not record sound unless we by a dynametrix box for $80.

Both PremierGlobal and Webex claim to be 100% intel mac compliant now.

Final Decision


Post january meeting

I (Jen) am to persue the webex quote and also find out about corporate skype.


David has obtained a contract from WebEx and we will make the purchase at the Jackson Lab

  • 5 individuals will receive passwords and will be able to host meetings
    • Jen Clark
    • David Hill
    • Rex Chisholm
    • John Day-Richter
    • Chris Mungall
  • The contract is for 6 months
  • We will be allowed to have 15 people attend the meetings