Posts Tagged ‘pros and cons’

The Pros and Cons of Browser-Based Collaboration

January 14th, 2015

The Pros and Cons of Browser-Based Collaboration

Recently, there has been a tremendous amount of buzz regarding browser-based collaboration systems. The promises offered by browser-based collaboration can certainly be compelling. As a result, there has naturally been a ground swell of activity created around this technology. This has proven to be particularly true given the new capabilities for multimedia communications offered by HTML 5-based browsers, such as WebRTC. With this type of technology, it is possible for users to make both voice and video calls within the browser without the need for the plug-ins required by services such as Google Hangouts and Skype.

While such technology may seem new, RHUB has supported a browser-based model for more than seven years. During that time, RHUB has gained a great deal of experience as a pioneer with this approach. Even before HTML 5 was made available as a browser technology, RHUB invested in ensuring that HTML 4 was an effective meeting platform. Additionally, RHUB recognized early on the limitations of Flash and developed a capability that would make it possible to work with or without Flash.


The Advantages of Browser-Based Solutions

As previously mentioned, the advantages offered by a browser-based solution can be compelling, including:

  • No Download Necessary- By using the built-in browser engines, screen sharing is supported without the need for the attendee to download client software. This can be a great advantage for attendees with download restrictions.
  • Easy and Quick to Join- By joining with a browser, all the attendee needs to do is point the browser to the meeting server and then log into the meeting. This usually only takes about 10 seconds.
  • Platform Independent- Any compatible browser is able to join the meeting.
  • Audio and Video Supported- HTML 5 makes it possible to support audio and video using the facilities within the browser.

 

The Disadvantages of Browser-Based Solutions

Certainly, the list of advantages associated with HTML 5-based browsers is impressive. But, with those advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks. Just a few of the issues we have discovered over the years that could impact these advantages include:

  • Browser Compatibility- Although every browser is supposed to be HTML 4 or HTML 5 compatible, we have found that this is not always the case. Variances in browser implementation can affect compatibility. As different versions usually have differing levels of compatibility, this can create problems. If a version is compatible with screen sharing and video algorithms, but is not compatible with audio, the meeting could be affected.
  • Connectivity-  Real-time collaboration, particularly when it comes to audio, relies on a high-quality Internet connection. Browsers are inherently asynchronous. As a result, they simply are not designed to maintain a connection with the server. This can result in intermittent performance in some instances. Additionally, browser-based meetings conducted over WiFi tend to suffer from drops in the WiFi connection. This can result in a choppy experience for the meeting participant.
  • Platform Dependency- While there is the promise of platform independence, the browser on that platform must be compatible. This means, for instance, that if Safari does not support the latest features that Chrome supports, users on Safari could experience issues. In the case of WebRTC, this can become even more complicated. While it is currently supported by Firefox, Opera and Chrome, it does not yet have the support of IE. Furthermore, while Microsoft has announced that it does have plans to support WebRTC, there has been no such announcement forthcoming from Apple’s Safari.
  • Keeping up with the Jones”- In order to be truly platform independent, the host must use a version of the system that is compatible for all popular browsers. Furthermore, the developers of those browsers must make sure that the features are in sync with one another. The reality is that this is not often the case. Mozilla is not likely to be concerned about the features that IE is planning to release.

Are you interested in learning more about the advantages offered by RHUB? If so, call us today at 866-758-0984 or email us at sales@rhubcom.com for a quick demo.

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Which Web Conferencing Setup Is Right for You?

September 23rd, 2013

Communication technology has now reached a new frontier.
There’s no need to tie your message to a helium-filled balloon or the foot of a courier pigeon.

In an instant, your organization can interact with other remotely located parties, nationally or internationally, through the wonders of Web conferencing.

And after decades of evolution, we’re happy to report that Web conferencing is secure and easy to use — even if you don’t fancy yourself as being very “tech savvy.”

Better technology means more options for the user. You have three simple choices for your Web conferencing setup:

1. Hosted Service
2. On-Premise Software
3. On-Premise Appliance

Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so which one will work best for you? We think you will know this answer for your organization better than anybody else. So, we’d encourage you to decide for yourself. But in case you would like more information, we have provided the following paragraphs to help you understand each of the three Web conferencing options, including their pros and cons. And don’t worry! The explanations below are even easier than blowing up party balloons (and definitely simpler than tying them).

Across the Board

There are a few characteristics that all three Web conferencing solutions have in common, across the board:
— All three options give you the ability to communicate within your organization.
— All three options give you the ability to communicate with other remote organizations.
— All three options simplify the process of data sharing.
— And of course, all three options will enhance your virtual meetings.

The Fork in the Road
The three Web conferencing solutions differ in where they are used, as well as some of their strengths. So, let’s take a look at some very specific differences.

HOSTED SERVICE

Hosted Service — The Pros
Hosted Web conferencing services are Internet-based, which makes it a great, offpremise solution, meaning, if you’re not at the office and you need to hold your Web conference from your home, that’s just fine. Your organization simply subscribes to the hosted service and then accesses its application online. No sweat. The hosted solution is the easiest to deploy.

Hosted Service — The Cons
Hosted solutions are less secure, so this will be a significant consideration for you if your organization deals with extremely sensitive information. And hosted solutions are a never-ending expense, as long as you’re subscribed, because they require you to pay an ongoing cost.

ON-PREMISE SOFTWARE

On-Premise Software — The Pros
On-premise software offers you greater security. It operates behind client-company firewalls for an additional barrier of protection and support. Private clouds (within an organization) are much more secure than public clouds (the Internet), because they work over an organization’s servers and its infrastructure, as opposed to being deployed over the Internet (aka The Wild West). When compared to hosted service, on-premise software is also cost-saving over time, and it has a lot more flexibility for integration and for branding (highlighting your organization’s name during conferences).

On-Premise Software — The Cons
The problem with on-premise software, however, is its high upfront cost, and it’s rather difficult to deploy.

ON-PREMISE APPLIANCE

On-Premise Appliance — For the Pros!
As with the on-premise software described above, an on-premise appliance offers you the same great security because it also operates behind client-company firewalls for an additional barrier of protection and support. Private clouds (within an organization) are much more secure than public clouds (the Internet), because they work over an organization’s servers and its infrastructure, as opposed to being deployed over the Internet. And just like on-premise software, when compared to hosted service, an on-premise appliance is also cost-saving over time, and it has a lot more flexibility for integration and for branding.

But unlike on-premise software, the on-premise appliance has a low upfront cost, and it’s easy to deploy, which usually makes it the all-around favorite, once people understand all three options.

Full Disclosure:
In the paragraphs above, we encouraged you to examine these options and choose for yourself. You know your organization and its needs better than we do, so we warmly welcome you to compare and contrast the three solutions for Web conferencing. And if this article has helped you — and you’re happy — then we’re happy, regardless of which solution you choose.

Now, you probably noticed a conspicuous omission of “cons” for the on-premise appliance. Well, that’s because here at RHUB, we personally believe that an on-premise appliance is the very best of the three solutions. That’s why our company has created the RHUB 6-in-1 Web Conferencing Appliance, which gives you Web conferencing, remote support, audio conferencing, video conferencing, remote access and Webinar capabilities — all through one appliance. But we’re not going to give you a big sales pitch here. If you’re interested, we’d encourage you to visit our Web site to learn more: RHUB

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