GoToMeeting Review

A straightforward setup with good stability and decent pricing

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for meetings.

What is most valuable?

The price is very good if you get 150 users. It used to be owned by Citrix, and they sold it off to LogMeIn. LogMeIn increased the number of users, first from 25 to 50, and then to 150, and they didn't raise the price. 

They now have a version that allows you to not only have an audio/video archive, but also a text version of the meeting. With a text transcript, you can quickly find something somebody said or somebody's name without having to listen for another 30 or 40 minutes. That's very convenient. I don't think any of the other remote meeting solutions are offering that right now.

For example, I once spent three hours trying to listen to a piece of an archive over and over and over again to find some specific information. Having a written transcript is great. I do it with my voicemail too. My voicemail is all now voice-to-text. It's just so much faster to be able to read. I don't care for this obsession everybody has with doing videos for everything, because they disturb people around you. If you can read you can find what you need immediately. That's why I believe a written transcript is a great feature.

GoToMeeting's security is very good. I've never known anybody to crash a GoToMeeting.

The panel where you set up and schedule meetings allows you to schedule rooms, or you can schedule individual meetings. A really nice feature of GoToMeeting that the others don't have is that it hosts the archives. You get these big files anywhere from 50MBs to 300MBs. GoToMeeting is hosted in the cloud.

In the case of Microsoft Meet, you can't even get the archive without paying an arm and a leg. With other solutions, you have to download these huge files. Then, if you want to share them with somebody else, they have to download them as well. GTM destroys the archives after a year. If you need to keep something more than a year you can always download that one particular file.

What needs improvement?

The new version crashes my ISP. I don't like the new version. I hope they continue to support the Classic version.

I didn't like the fact that LogMeIn tried to make their new version look like Zoom. The feature in the Classic version includes a little panel for GoToMeeting to be off to the side, and it doesn't interfere with your browser. It is much better.

All these companies, including the new version of GoToMeeting, have a useless bunch of controls at the top that blocks the tabs of your browser. This makes it so that you can't jump around from tab to tab when you're showing your screen. Those controls are so tiny. 

Yesterday I was on a session on one of the products (not GTM), and it had shrunk it down to one inch by one inch. It was so small that I couldn't find the tab to make it bigger. That's a big issue. 

In this attempt to look like Zoom, GTM has gone to the extent where the controls are a little skinny line above your browser. That's not good. The controls need to be highly visible, and contrast so they are easy to read and find. 

It would be nice if they would have a whiteboard where everybody in the meeting can draw or write on it. We use Google Docs for that purpose, but Google Docs doesn't really allow you to draw. When I was running a different college system, the college system had a whiteboard. All the students and the teachers could all write on the whiteboard with their fingers, as I recall. It'd be nice if they would have something similar available in the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for six or seven years. It may have even been longer than that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have AT&T as my ISP. Only when I went to the new version of GTM, and it would crash my AT&T. The interesting thing was, even though I was the host, the meeting went on without me. 

I was running the new version for a couple of meetings that had to have lots of cameras and it would crash my AT&T. My AT&T never crashes, so this was really unusual. Then I'd get back on, and I'd find out everybody was still meeting without me, which was kind of cool. I don't know how they make that happen, that the host can be off and yet the meeting can continue, but that's the case.

When the pandemic first started, GoToMeeting offered free subscriptions, and then they got overwhelmed with new customers. Due to that, they were down for about a day. The archives didn't work for a few days. Since then it's been very stable. I don't know what they did. They must have bought some more servers or something, however, it's been very stable since that one day of the outage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

My subscription allows 150 attendees. That's way more than I need for FieldDay, our clients, and our Project Management World events. People who need more than 150 users should select GotoWebinar which can accommodate up to 3000 users. 

How are customer service and technical support?

When the pandemic first started, GoToMeeting offered free subscriptions, and then they got so many new customers, they kind-of crashed and they were down for about a day. While we didn't call technical support, we, and other users, jumped on Twitter and communicated with the solution that way. They were great. They got everything back up and running and it's been very good since then. We've been satisfied with technical support so far.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Many years ago, I used WebEx. It used to be the only solution in town. Then, when Zoom first came out almost 20 years ago, we were using some community college tools, including a tool called Illuminate and another called CCC Confer. Zoom came to us and asked us to do the beta trial of their new product and use it for education. Unfortunately, at that time, it was really in bad shape. We needed whiteboards and that they didn't have as a feature. 

We don't usually use Zoom specifically as there's the potential that people can "crash" meetings, and we'd prefer to avoid that. GoTo has much better security.

How was the initial setup?

The only setup needed is to create Rooms to use the same URL for every meeting in that room. These were easy to setup but I do not recommend them. Meetings held in rooms do not show up on the GTM calendar so there can be a problem of meetings interfering with each other. 

What about the implementation team?

Implementation does not apply to GTM or its competitors. Download it or use it in a browser. No implementation is needed. 

What was our ROI?

Tremendous. Classic GTM is an amazing product and much better than the competition. Unfortunately the new version of GTM is another Zoom-lookalike. I hope that Classic stays around forever. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You can get free subscriptions. I have a paid subscription. The CEO has a paid subscription, but we can't afford to buy GoTomeeting for every person. They get the free ones instead. There's some limitations on those, and all these other companies are also offering free options. Some of them have a restriction on items such as "you can't schedule meetings in advance", or "the meetings can only be 45 minutes", etc. There are always restrictions on the free versions, which is fair. They shouldn't have to give away your product.

What other advice do I have?

I use the solution every day, two or three times a day. We also use GoToWebinar as well, which is their webinar product.

GTM has two versions available. One is called New GoToMeeting, and one is called Classic. I prefer Classic. When I'm doing PowerPoint and Google Docs, and when we're using faces and cameras, the new version looks a lot like Zoom. The others are where it's just a bunch of faces or people on their cameras. 

As an aside, when I use the new version, I have to use Windows 10. That's because my Windows 10 machine has a camera, and my Windows 7 machine does not have a camera. So that's a big distinction between the two versions for me.

I'd advise new users that they need to figure out what it is that they're going to do with it. If they're looking for just talking heads and cameras, then they should use the new version. If they're doing more sharing of documents then they should use the Classic version.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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