We were looking at purchasing web and video conferencing software at work. As part of the search I was able to try the Macromedia Breeze product.
Macromedia Breeze is an all in one solution offering not only web conferencing but also video and VoIP conferencing, document sharing, chat and whiteboard. You can have up to 10 people online in your meeting.
The Presenter logs into Macromedia Breeze and 'creates' a meeting invitation. this invitation is sent to all attendees. The only thing a Participant needs in order to participate in the meeting is to have Flash installed.
What's in the meeting room? Well, in the meeting room, the Presenter can either upload a digital picture to display in the meeting room or connect a web cam. It is only one-way video conferencing so only the Participants can view the Presenter and not vice versa. Audio for the meeting is provided by VoIP. There is also a box where you could see who else has attended the meeting. There is a chat window where you can chat privately between Partcipants or post public comments so that everyone can see. There also is a temperature check function. By that I mean you can select a 'feeling' (similar to emoticons on MSN) so that the Presenter knows whether or not to slow down, speak louder, repeat information, etc. On the main 'stage' of the screen is where documents could be uploaded and presented to attendees, live video displayed or even desktops and documents shared. Sharing desktops is useful for training and having Participants interact with the tool being trained and sharing documentation is great when collaboration is required.
There are also plug ins that can be purchased separately such as Breeze Presenter which makes sharing documents easy. With Breeze presenter you can upload Microsoft PowerPoint presentations and turn them in to online training modules with quizzes and polls. Using the whiteboard tools you can also highlight, circle, take notes and even add symbols to the documents shared on the main 'stage'.
Macromedia Breeze is a great tool to have for any HR Learning Team. It has made training via web more interactive and interesting. Breeze has become so popular amongst our Learners that we have even begun to schedule meetings for other Business Units in our organization who wish to use web conferencing.
This product has since changed names and is now sold as Acrobat Connect. The same base features that I love from Macromedia Breeze has been kept with some new enhancements. To learn more click here.
Update On Apr 14, 2008: I forgot to update the title to read, "For Web and Video Conferencing ease, Use Breeze!". I also for got to add that Breeze meetings are scheduled of the web. Participants only needs to clickon the link/URL in their invitation, then log in with their first and last name to attend. No other software is required except Flash, so Participants with and without Breeze installed on their PCs can attend.