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Differences between Sametime Unyte and your standard everyday Sametime

I don't know about everyone else, but I had no idea what WebDialogs Sametime Unyte was like, so I signed up for a trial to give it a shot. This video is a comparison between the hosted Webdialogs Sametime Unyte service, and my own Sametime server running at Serverbeach. All the demonstrations were recorded on the same two machines with the same network connections, what you see is really what I got.

Initial impressions:
  • Never thought this would ever come out of my lips, but the Sametime Meeting Room client looks quite modern compared to the WebDialogs one.
  • I had some funnies trying to do screensharing on webdialogs whilst using FireFox, I just couldn't get the option to appear, no idea why and the WebDialogs support site, didn't help me much.
  • Performance was comparable
  • A few features I would like to see go from Sametime Unyte into Sametime. These shouldn't be any surprise to any IBM involved with Sametime if they listen to their customers.
  • Things I liked but don't show in the video
    • Unyte has a client installer to get everything ready
    • Unyte has a network speed tester

Click here to see a high quality version of the video. You'll see I even messed around with Camtasia Picture in Picture which can be a real bear to use. Especially when you record on two machines and you want to sync. Anyway, I think it worked out pretty well.
Here's the Google video version:


Gravatar Image1 - Carl, amazing demo. Thank you for putting this together. I found the comparisons very helpful. The Camtasia picture in picture is very cool, I need to learn to do that. I did find your comment at 9:45 funny though. You say "not necessarily the speediest screen share", but watching your demo, it is less than one second lag. That is not too bad in my books! At 9:50 you exit editing the text, and by 9:51 the text is updated in the screen on the bottom right. You have some pretty high expectations!

Gravatar Image2 - @1 "You have some pretty high expectations! " - Yes I do. I do not feel bad about that. I should record the same demonstration with LiveMeeting and WebEx for a good overall comparison.

I'm amazed someone took the time to watch it.

Gravatar Image3 - FYI - regarding "trying to do screensharing on webdialogs whilst using FireFox" the documentation states you need IE on windows and an Active-X to share your screen. Firefox is not a supported browser for that use case.

Gravatar Image4 - @3 Where's that documentation? I spent ages checking their help site and couldn't find that: http://wip.webdialogs.com/docs/user?brand=UnyteMeeting

Gravatar Image5 - You mention a lot of the features in your 20minute video - thanks !

BTW: the system requirements and a lot of other useful info is in the FAQ ... http://www.webdialogs.com/products/faq.asp

Gravatar Image6 - (should watch the whole video and make one comment but what fun would that be).

Viewing the attendee list by a "participant" is a permission. The moderator can allow select participants or all participants to se the attendee list.

It also looks like Unyte uses FLASH for rendering the document content from the server. This gives a get good a good experience for attendees with different screen resolutions.

One thing to note is when you pass "moderator" or "presenter" capabilities to another attendee, you lose most of your abilities. You don't become a co-presenter.

One feature in Sametime that I use often is "one to one" chat. I may use this as a back channel or I may have missed something and don't want to broadcast my mistake. In Unyte, you can sent a message to a single user but all chat text is merged into the single window so it is not as easy to see what was "one on one" vs "group chat" vs "Q&A". BTW: Q&A is also controlled by permissions so the moderator can decide if everyone, no-one, or select users can submit to the Q&A.

I like Unyte for some things. It reminds me of having an "always ready conference number". I hav a single meeting number and moderator code and use it over and over. Sametime lets you have discrete meetings - you can schedule them in advance, have different invite lists. etc.

I'm sure I missed some other things I found while poking around in the 14 day trial. It's easy to sign up so I encourage others to give it a try and post comments here.

Gravatar Image7 - Looks like Alan beat me to it, but I wanted to say thanks for recording this and as always passing along your thoughts - it's good to know the things that you find useful in one solution that could be added to the other. (And, of course, I would be interested in your take on Live Meeting and WebEx, too!)

Gravatar Image8 - Thanks you so much for this very well put together demo. I'm still a bit confused about Unyte in general as an IBM offering, but now I have seen the technology. Thanks again.

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