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HotCommis a heavyweight web conferencing and content delivery system that runs over a robust and powerful network architecture. It isn't as easy to use and set up as some of the more lightweight services we have reviewed, but does provide good reliability and can accommodate very large events. While this may not be a useful solution for casual use, it will work well for long term set ups for e-learning or conferencing.
Hot Comm provides a wide variety of features, but what you get will depend heavily on the version you decide to go for. However, the sales info isn't very well laid out and is actually quite confusing so it will probably be useful to speak to a sales advisor before purchasing a product. Essentially the software allows you to host meetings within which you can share your desktop, use voice or text chat, annotate with whiteboarding facilities and share content. hotComm 8.0 is the latest version and, whilst some improvements have been made, the user interface still isn’t one of the better ones available.
Each version of HotComm.com supports integrated VOIP calls so that participants in a conference can communicate using microphones attached to their computers. In addition everyone in the conference can use the text chat facilities to communicate publicly or privately. The more expensive versions also include the ability to broadcast from a webcam and share full motion video content from your desktop.
HotComm runs over its own secure and robust network so provides a very reliable service. A java applet version is available if you opt for the most expensive version, but this only allows basic text and video conferencing functionality. This kind of set up makes hotComm useful for more permanent setups with regular users rather than casual conferences where you would want anyone to be able to join. It’s also a pretty expensive service to use generally, with the most expensive package (a content and relay manager) costing almost $10,000! Its features are also too restricted by the service you’ve paid for; we would expect to see a majority of the features provided in all packages rather than requiring you to pay for an upgrade
Hot Comm is a useful, but probably not ideal, product. More modern companies with more dynamic solutions are now beginning to dominate the market, offering a range of services at a lower price. While hotComm will be useful in many large scale situations it doesn't provide the flexibility and ease of use that many people will require.
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