Adobe Connect Pro vs. GoToMeeting for Web Conferencing: Butting Heads

Posted by Michael Neubarth
Michael Neubarth
Michael Neubarth is Vice President of Marketing for Comparz.com and founder and Director of eMatrix Media Comm...
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on Thursday, 27 October 2011 in Web Conferencing

In the recessionary and increasingly remotely connected, or disconnected, working world, many businesses are discovering the merits of web conferencing. Among the top-ranked web conferencing systems are Adobe’s Connect Pro and Citrix’s GoToMeeting.

Because Adobe Connect Pro and GoToMeeting appear on a lot of short lists of recommended products, it is no surprise to see contentious marketing among advocates and resellers of these systems as they fight for market share.

As one reviewer pointed out, there is confusion, often deliberately introduced by Adobe competitors, over Adobe Connect Pro and Adobe ConnectNow. Adobe ConnectNow is the cheaper stripped-down version, lacking features like meeting recording, teleconference integration, breakout rooms, weblinks, moderated chat, and polling.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term Astroturfing, it’s a seemingly objective website that is surreptitiously sponsored to provide slanted propaganda favorable to the hidden sponsor. And indeed, there are apples-to-oranges comparisons of Adobe ConnectNow vs. competitors online, including GoToMeeting, that seemed purposely deceptive.

The correct apples-to-apples comparison is Adobe Connect Pro vs. GoToMeeting. For these systems, the sweet spot, or cheap spot, is for meetings that include no more than 25 people, and this is where their marketing focuses, each touting pricing in the $45 to $59 range.

Based on Adobe’s Flash technology, Connect Pro incorporates a number of innovative and advanced multimedia features like “pods” and streaming video. Although Adobe Connect Pro may be the more sophisticated product, some users, as we see in other categories, value a simple, bare-bones product that is easy to operate, less complex, and less confusing. This is the appeal of GoToMeeting and where it wins advocates.

Adobe Connect Pro's pricing, at $45 per month for 25 users, is lower than GoToMeeting’s, which is $49 for up to 15 attendees. For up to 25 attendees, GoToMeeting’s pricing is not published on its site, but is around $59 per month.

For meetings above 25 participants, however, the pricing escalates for both these vendors’ systems, and they may no longer be a bargain for budget-constrained small businesses.  

Adobe’s pricing above 25 users gets murky and is difficult to find, while GoToMeeting’s is clearly published on its website—with GoToWebinar options, which include GoToMeeting, priced at $99 for up to 100 participants, $399 for up to 500, and $499 for up to 1,000.

Adobe’s pricing above 25 participants, as our reviewer noted, can cost up to several thousands of dollars per year.

If you want a real bargain, then Join.me is the way to go at $29 for a maximum of 250 participants.

Both GoToMeeting and Adobe have introduced novel pay-as-you-go schemes. GoToMeeting allows you to purchase a license on a daily basis, while Adobe Connect allows you to buy web conferencing on demand by a pay-per-minute option. For an ad hoc or emergency meeting, these are fine, but for users that hold many meetings per month, they are expensive options.

Bottom Line: Adobe Connect Pro and GoToMeeting are top-ranked systems and worthy of consideration, with GoToMeeting generally seen as a simpler and easier-to-use product but lacking Adobe Connect Pro’s more advanced features and sophistication. For meetings up to 25 attendees, Adobe offers lower pricing. Above 25 attendees, both these systems get expensive, with GoToMeeting’s pricing easier to establish. Take advantage of free trials and special offers, get quotes from resellers, and choose according to your needs, preferences, and budget.

 

Comparz provides user reviews and rankings of software services and tools for small and mid-sized businesses. Click here to view Comparz' business software reviews and rankings.

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Michael Neubarth is Vice President of Marketing for Comparz.com and founder and Director of eMatrix Media Communications. Michael has a comprehensive marketing, communications, PR, analytical, and editorial background, including strategic marketing, communications, and market intelligence roles at IBM, FatWire Software, and Brodeur Worldwide, and as an analyst at Meta Group covering advanced technologies. His experience includes roles as editor-in-chief of Internet World, NetGuide, and Windows magazines, and expert contributor to CIOzone.com. Michael is a well-known writer on information technology, digital marketing, and social media issues, and his articles and blogs are cited widely online.

Comments

Guest
The Connect Guru Thursday, 27 October 2011

Thanks for the comparison. However I need to make a correction.
* Adobe Connect at about $500/year ($42/month) supports up to 100 attendees.

Some of Connect’s advanced features include:
* Breakout rooms
* Custom apps that function inside the meeting room
* Multiple polls whose data is recorded in a SQL database (you don’t lose you data)
* Document sharing (ppt, jpeg, png, pdf, swf, flv, mp3) requires less bandwidth than screen sharing
* Virtual Classrooms with trackable quizzes
* Meeting Room branding and customization
* Mutliple Hosts and Presenters in the meeting at the same time (you don’t have to give up your permissions to give them to someone else)
* Multiple Chat, Q&A, Notes, Documents, Files to download, and as mentioned earlier Polls

The Connect Guru at InteSolv

Guest
GiftRocket Thursday, 27 October 2011

I’ve actually had some great experiences with TeamViewer. They have a free version that for smaller startups worked just fine as a desktop sharing tool.

Guest
Blas Monday, 31 October 2011

Quick correction- join.me is $19/month for 250 participants.

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