A few weeks ago I received a request to try out LucidMeetings.com. It’s a web-based conferencing solution, which “allows teams to get more done in less time by combining collaboration, web conferencing, and teleconferencing into one seamless solution.”
Hmmmm. Interesting. Now, Lync Server does all of this, via A/V Conferencing Server and Enterprise Voice. Would this Lucid Meetings have some use to people who don’t have Lync (yet)?
Or maybe it has something Lync doesn’t?
And here they’ve kindly to offer me a free trial.
In the end, I decided it was worth a check.
Initial Impression: Simple, Straightforward Meeting Setup
(I apologize if the following screenshots don’t look too good. It’s a broad site, in terms of screen space.)
Signup was simple – you create a login at http://meet.lucidmeetings.com, use a coupon code if you have one, and done!
After that, I was presented with my “Review Room.”
Pretty clean dashboard. Lists recent meetings, my Room Bridge number, and tabs for contacts & settings. You’ll note a list of additional options in the toolbar at top right. One-click access to my dashboard, to the Meeting Rooms I can attend (there’s only one in this trial), search and help.
Next I clicked the “Schedule a Meeting” button on the right. To, what else? Schedule a test meeting.
I then beheld this setup screen:
Let me draw your attention to something: Under “Phone and Voice” on this screenshot, you’ll see three options.
• Use Lucid Meetings Integrated Audio (the default)
• Enter a New Number for This Meeting
This means you could use Lync numbers with Lucid Meetings. Their FAQ even backs this up:
Do you support VOIP or Skype?
Not at this time, but we’re working on it. However, you can always use a separate VOIP or Skype solution in conjunction with Lucid Meetings.
Next you must create an Agenda, and add people (by email address). There are a couple options for agendas if you don’t have one, including Standard Agenda and Committee/Team Agenda. I picked Committee/Team.
Running a Lucid Meeting: Agenda Steps and Action Items
I went ahead and started the meeting right after setting it up. Here’s the “Meeting in Progress” screen.
I looped a co-worker into the meeting as a test (after taking this screenshot). Since it’s browser-based, no special configuration or preparations were necessary.
Conference call quality is comparable to Lync Server. Recording conference calls may be initiated the facilitator at any time. Lucid Meetings provides an MP3 recording of the call for 90 days (so download it right after the meeting!).
If you want to share your screen or a file, click the Share tab. You will need to install an app called Glance to share your screen (link’s in the tab). Fair warning: you can’t be on a phone or tablet to run Glance.
Creating Action Items – tasks you create during the meeting – was a breeze.
1. Click the Action Item tab on the Meeting in Progress screen.
2. Type out the task you need Person X to do.
3. Select an attendee to assign the Action Item to.
4. Assign a due date from the calendar.
5. Click Save. Done.
When you’re done, just click End Meeting at the top.
Lucid Meetings has set up a Support page, with a FAQ and User Guide. They’re very easy to navigate, and you’ll find clear content on how to get around in the app.
My Impression: Good Alternative to Lync Server, if You Only Want Conferencing
If you’re happy with your current phone setup and only need a conferencing solution, Lucid Meetings may be what you’re after. It doesn’t try to be anything more than an online meeting platform. That focus has served it well.
Pricing starts at $24.95/month for 1 Meeting Room and 1GB of storage. They have four total packages, from Individual up to Enterprise (Pricing page here).
LucidMeetings.com is offering a Blogger Discount Special: 10% off your first year, and a free 30-day trial. Just use this coupon code on signup: NY2012
Don’t forget to mention that you found them at The Lync Insider!
We won’t have a post next week, due to a short trip I’m taking.
In the meantime, what do you use for online meetings? Lync? WebEx? Something else?