Speaking With the World: In Summary

So all told these three apps are just a sampling of the many other applications out there. They were largely just the one’s that people referred us to through the course of day-to-day business.

Personally I think they’re all great apps when used in the correct context.

MSN: Great for one-to-one chats, quick file sharing and simple desktop sharing. I use MSN daily to keep in touch with friends and co-workers across the globe – the Audio capabilities have proven valuable from time to time to quickly switch when typing is becoming a pain or if you’re having trouble getting your point across. Just reaching up and clicking “Audio” is sometimes faster than looking up the number and phoning (+ no long distance).

That said MSN would likely be a last resort for any client facing interaction. Both from a reliability and perception point of view (I personally equate it to using a hotmail account for work)

ASAP: A great cost effective way to share your desktop of presentations with third-parties. It’s only real drawback is that you have to find a another organization to provide your conference calling services. I’d be most likely to use this tool in situations where the conversation was one-to-one with a client or partner. Since you just call each other it negates the conference calling concern and the price point is cheap enough you don’t even think twice about just firing it up and using it for any meeting.

NetConnect: Certainly the most all-encompassing of the three solutions. We use NetConnect the most in the office for client meetings at the moment – this is largely because many of our calls of late have involved 3 or more parties in separate locations. Having the conference call & application sharing features all under one roof is a great plus. My only reservation with the NetConnect system is the possible costs – ASAP is pretty simple with it’s flat rate approach up to 15 participants in a meeting. With NetConnect it’s by the minute per user with charges for both the conference calling & live meeting software. With calls that typically last 60-90 minutes and at least 3 parties online things start to add up real quick.

So in short:

Use MSN if: you’re 1-to-1, professional appearance isn’t important, reliability isn’t important

Use ASAP if: The majority of your conferences are one-to-one, professionalism & reliability are important. If you can find a good, cost-effective conference call host ASAP is good for more than 2 parties. Costs are a concern.

Use NetConnect if: Your calls typically involve 3 or more parties, you need robust, enterprise class reliability. You can stomach knowing each minute is costing you more money.

If anyone has any other reccomendations for these types of apps I’d be keen to hear.

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