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Buyer's Guide
Virtual Meetings
September 2022
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Steve Schick - PeerSpot reviewer
Technology and Logistics Director at a media company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Multifeatured remote access software which offers security, stability, and easy scalability
Pros and Cons
  • "Offers more security than TeamViewer, Google Remote Desktop, and Zoom. It's a stable, feature-rich solution that's easy to set up and easy to scale."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use ConnectWise Control as a great remote access tool.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The primary support or the remote access support is really what we use ConnectWise Control for, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    Even people outside of the organization would benefit from this. We do push out the agents, but if somebody, for whatever reason, like our board of trustees, don't have the agent on their computer, we can create a support session so they can just join via a web browser and we can support them in the same manner. It's very handy. It's very beneficial.

    It also has the ability to have online meetings, like a WebEx scenario.

    I haven't really played around with it too much, but what they refer to, what ConnectWise calls the unattended access, I would say is easily 80% to 90% of what we've used here and in previous lives, so it's really great.

    This solution is very feature rich. It has a Wake-on-LAN ability.

    You can also run commands against the machines, e.g. for old guys like me who prefer that instead of the fancy GUIs. It's similar to a DOS window where you can run different types of commands against it.

    It does come in handy if you just want to do something in the background, e.g. schedule reboots, and you don't want to become too invasive to what the user's doing. Especially in our situation, a lot of times they're teaching a class and it's like: "Ugh. We don't want this to pop up." They've got their laptops connected to an interactive display most of the time, so they don't need to see what's going on in the background. It's pretty awesome.

    I also like the fact that it does do an audit, so you can see who's connected to the machine. If somebody, every once in a while, and this isn't exclusive to ConnectWise Control, we'll get a call saying: "Hey. Something's not right with my machine. The mouse is moving on its own...", and we take a look, and sure enough: One of the support agents has taken control.

    That's the draw back of any type of unattended access: They can just do that, so I've always put in a policy saying: "Hey. You need to make sure that you have the user's permission before connecting to their machine just so: A. You don't freak them out, and B. They know what you're doing." The audit trail on that is very good. It can show that.

    The other nice thing is it has a two-way instant messaging feature built in, so if you're trying to communicate with somebody who maybe doesn't have a phone or whatever the case may be, you can type messages back and forth. This is a nice feature too.

    The ability to block guest input is really good. If you are connected to somebody's machine and you're working on it, e.g. you're just on your screen Googling something and then they take the mouse and start moving it around, and you'll have to tell them: "No, don't do that. Don't close that."

    You can block them from having control, so you're not fighting over control, e.g. mouse control. Another example is if you have the need to enter a password with additional access, e.g. an admin password, you can blank out their monitor so they can't see what you're typing. That's very, very handy because you don't want the end user to be able to get that password, and if you mistakenly type it in the username field, it will be in plain text. It'll be there until you do your password change.

    What is most valuable?

    We actually have this solution set up quite slick where there's different modes for it. We use what they call unattended mode, so the way it works is it pushes out the agent to all the Windows-based machines. They're in a "by school" type of thing in our example, but you can do it by department or groups, or by custom groups. We have full control over the machines. You can do whatever you need to do as if the machine was right in front of you.

    One of the other features that is very, very strong in ConnectWise Control is the shared toolbox. It gives you the ability to have certain applications that you can't push out to machines for some reason, e.g. you can't use a GPO (Group Policy Object) because they're not on the domain, or because they're just totally remote. You can push out a portable support tool through the toolbox, for example: if you want to do a disk cleanup because you're getting a low disk space warning. There's hundreds of examples I could share with you. The shared toolbox feature of this solution is very popular.

    I've been here two and a half years now, and previously I was in a managed service provider. We used this solution per instance, per client and it's just been enormously powerful for that. You can set up the remote access and get pretty granular as far as permissions go, but it's just been a fantastic tool and I would highly recommend it to anybody.

    When I first looked at this solution, one of the things that I thought was incredible that they've given a lot of thought to, is the ability to reboot machines and not lose connection to it. That's something that some of the competitor products could not do: When you rebooted the machine, you literally lost sight of it. If it came back up, great. If not, then you'll be in a bad situation.

    ConnectWise Control has two options for that. You can reboot to normal mode or to safe mode, which has been pretty handy from time to time when you need to get into safe mode in case there's a potentially corrupt operating system. I use that not very often, but just knowing that it's there when it is needed has been really good.

    I did mention the toolbox which is really good.

    The granular groups is also good because for a managed service provider, to be able to just really get that down, e.g. you don't want to give full access to everybody, it's just fantastic with that.

    What needs improvement?

    From my standpoint, I'm quite happy with this solution. There's nothing more I would want to do with it for improvement.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for 10 years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I find ConnectWise Control to be a stable product. It's very, very rare for bugs, glitches, or performance issues to occur. No software is absolutely perfect, but every once in a while you'll just see something, e.g. the service is unavailable. This happens just once a year, and it's very, very short lived. It's just a matter of getting coffee, coming back, then it's fine.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution is absolutely easy to scale.

    We had almost 6,000 endpoints in one of the MSPs that I worked for, and I didn't find any issues with that at all.

    Right now, we're hovering around 1,000 endpoints, with no issues.

    In the larger MSP that I worked for, my remote team consisted of 20+ individuals, and this product went through the paces, but I've never heard anybody say, "Hey, you know what? This is just too slow. I'm going to wait until somebody's off to continue because it's unusable."

    How are customer service and support?

    The only time I've ever had to contact tech support is to purchase additional licenses, and they would just send me over to the sales department.

    Now I don't even have to do that because they have a self-serve portal. If you do have to contact support, you can do that right on the main screen.

    If I remember correctly, they have a chat feature too, so it's not like you have to wait in queue for an agent. There's somebody there to at least chat with. With a company the size of ConnectWise, I would expect them to have very strong support.

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

    There was a time when we were using Google Remote Desktop. There were a lot of the things that I didn't like about it, particularly the security it provides.

    ConnectWise is a lot more secure than TeamViewer, Zoom, and Google Remote Desktop, especially in schools which has been a known area where malicious activity has occurred. I just don't hear the same thing, nor have I experienced the same security risks from ConnectWise Control.

    There were definitely features I found in this solution, e.g. the ability to reboot in safe mode which aren't available in the previous tools that we had in place.

    ScreenConnect or ConnectWise Control as it's known today has been my go-to solution for the last decade. The other products we used previously had a lot of performance issues.

    Talking about VNCs, they were not as usable at times. The VNC was such a poor technology. We tried different products, so it's not just one product that was an issue.

    TeamViewer was a solution I found really, really heavy. It needed a lot of resources. The juice just wasn't worth the squeeze. It was a lot of work and we really didn't benefit from it.

    When I was introduced to ScreenConnect or ConnectWise Control, it was almost too good to be true. We did a proof of concept for six to eight weeks on it, then we started switching over to it as our primary tool. Nothing was preventing us from doing that, not even the price, because it was totally reasonable, totally doable, and the rest was history. We never looked back.

    We also used LogMeIn in the past. It was a scaled down version, or it could have been another acquisition called join.me. There was some acquisition there, but I can't keep track of all these acquisitions. They were okay, but not feature-rich. LogMeIn and join.me suddenly had significant price increases, so they were almost pricing themselves off the market.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is easy. With no exaggeration, from the time you sign up for your free trial to when your instance is created, it takes less than 10 minutes per person.

    It's just really a matter of how granular you want it to be, how many groups you have, and your group structure. I have fairly bad OCD, so I have subgroups on top of groups.

    If you just want to use it out of the box and deploy an agent, you'll have the machines checking in easily within 10 minutes, then you can just sort them from there if you want to.

    It is as simple as can be.

    What was our ROI?

    We saw a return on investment from using this solution.

    It's just really difficult to put a price tag on ROI because often times we deal with non-technical individuals who just get very frustrated and they can't exactly express themselves very well with what's happening. We get this feedback from them which is not uncommon: "It just doesn't work. I don't know what's going on. There's this message here."

    We help them with their concern and say: "Hey, can we just connect to your machine and take a look at what's going on, because it's a lot easier to visualize?" Just by not having to drive out to rural Alberta where there is a lot of snow, and we're up to about three feet of snow this year. It's not exactly easy to drive anywhere, so the ROI on this is easily less than a day, and that's really not an exaggeration. It's totally worth the money.

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

    ConnectWise Control is not an overly expensive tool.

    When I first bought it 10 years ago, I paid about $4,000 for a one-time license for unlimited connections. The price has gone up over the years, but the current pricing only costs us $35 a year for each license. We're a small team, so we're on a very, very basic plan and we've only got four licenses. Pricing for this solution is reasonable.

    I found the invoice for this solution and it's $840, so the $35 was actually per month. It's the per month charge. It's reasonable. If somebody uses it once a month, it more than paid for what we would've had to do for going out. Literally, the team's in there all the time. Not a day goes by that everybody hasn't used it.

    I don't recall any additional fees on top of the licensing cost. There are different licensing models and you get more features depending on the model.

    Because of our size, there's a free version that I use for my home, which is great. When you sign up, you get the free trial and all the bells and whistles. In a larger organization, whether in the public or private sector with multiple departments and a number of buildings, they may benefit from that. For the most part, I don't know if there's anything additional that you would really need. It's just bells and whistles.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I was able to evaluate TeamViewer, Webex, Zoom, Google Remote Desktop, LogMeIn, and several different VNCs.

    What other advice do I have?

    This solution used to be called ScreenConnect, then ConnectWise bought them out four or five years ago. A little bit of background on the organization: We're a rural school division in Northern Alberta, so we have to cover a lot of geography. It's been apparent in the last couple years with COVID that going out and seeing machines just isn't the way to go like it was 10, 20 years ago.

    We're using this solution as SaaS (Software as a Service). I don't know if they're still offering it on-prem. I think that they went away from that. For some reason, that rings a bell.

    I'm trying to think of anything else that might be a room for improvement for this product. Something I really haven't played around with a whole lot is the PowerShell through this, but it might also just work through the commands section of it. I can't see that as something that's missing in the product. In all fairness, I haven't really done a lot with that as of late.

    Currently, we have six people using this product.

    The beauty of ConnectWise Control is we really don't have to do anything for maintenance. We only need to do a little bit of housekeeping, e.g. if we decommission a machine, we just remove the agent from there and it's gone.

    Any app-specific maintenance is done by ConnectWise, so we have zero responsibility for that. ConnectWise is always great about sending a planned maintenance message out, e.g.: "Between the hours of 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM, the service will be unavailable.", which is the perfect time. I've never had an issue where I've gone in and said: "Oh, they're still doing maintenance. Something must have gone wrong." This is a solid solution.

    Increasing usage of this product isn't out of the question, but not at this point in time. There are some features that are in there that we don't use today, but as far as the number of individuals, it's going to depend on whether my team grows or not. We don't have plans of increasing usage in the near future, but it's not a definite no.

    I would say to anybody who's even thinking about using this solution, is to definitely sign up for the free trial, even if you don't decide to go with it. The setup is so easy. You get 15 days to try it out and that's more than enough time to see exactly what you can do with it and if it's a good fit. I'd be surprised if somebody says: "No, I really don't like this." It's so intuitive. I've got non-technical individuals who just do app support, so they know that one application, and they don't know a lot about servers or computers, but they just absolutely love ConnectWise Control because it's so simple. They search for the machine, double click it, and they're in. That's not oversimplifying it at all. That's literally what they do.

    Definitely do the free trial and let it speak for itself.

    I'm rating this solution a 10 out of 10. It's easily a 10 out of 10, because even though there were some glitches and bugs, it's very rare. I can't even remember anything off the top of my head that was so significant that made me say: "I'm not liking this at all." I'm typically pretty hard on these products because there's so many of them out there, but we definitely have a choice.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    Olivier Bourdon - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Software Developer at a computer software company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Great for virtual meetings, screen sharing, and showing demos
    Pros and Cons
    • "The solution is extremely stable."
    • "We don’t have any complaints."

    What is our primary use case?

    We primarily use the solution for virtual meetings. We have a daily meeting each and every morning and that’s where we share where we are in the project and what we are developing, the issues we are experiencing and everything. Sometimes we also run remote interviews for people who would like to join our company. That's basically it.

    What is most valuable?

    We have a very basic usage of it. We don't use it as much as it could be leveraged. The item that we use most is sharing the screen and showing demos, however, there’s nothing really fancy on this side.

    What needs improvement?

    The solution completely fulfills our needs. We don’t have any complaints.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I started using the solution in 2015. I’m still using it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is extremely stable. There are no bugs or glitches and it doesn’t crash or freeze. I have more issues with my own ADSL line than the infrastructure itself.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    At the beginning, we were around seven people joining, so it was good for the team that we had. I have attended some conferences using this tool where we were over 100 people connected at the same time and there was absolutely no issue. It's got quite good scalability.

    Now, we have only three people left in the company and we have an intern sometimes, so we can go from three to six at most in terms of users.

    How are customer service and support?

    We’ve never had to escalate any issues to technical support. We haven’t had significant issues like that.

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

    We also use Slack. We use a lot of Google solutions as our corporate mail is Gmail. I’ve also used Skype (as a corporate account) and Zoom. That was in previous companies. Zoom was okay, however, as far as my computer was concerned, it was 100% CPU usage, so I don't like it so much. We had some issues sometimes sharing when I had several screens on my desk. Sometimes when you don't share a good screen, it's very difficult to come back. With Skype, it has been a long time since I have used it. However, I recall it was very basic. It doesn't have the same capabilities as seen in Google Hangouts.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very basic. I just clicked on the link in an email, and it just fired up on my Mac. I didn't have to do anything.

    As end-users, we don’t have to deal with maintenance.

    What about the implementation team?

    I’m unsure as to if it was done in-house. It’s just a corporate Google account, and that's it.

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

    I don’t deal with licensing. I’m not sure what the costs would be.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Choosing this was a corporate choice. It was there before I came into the company.

    What other advice do I have?

    We use the latest version of the solution. Everything is put to the latest version as soon as possible.

    I’d recommend the solution to others. It’s very easy. It does the job, basically. You don’t need more reason than that.

    I would rate the solution nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    Program Administrator at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Easy to use, but needs password protection for meetings
    Pros and Cons
    • "One of the most valuable features of Webex was that it was easy to use and there were no hassles."
    • "Webex could be improved by having a password-protected system. I don't remember there being any passwords for the meetings, but, presently, Zoom has meeting protection."

    What is our primary use case?

    My primary use case of Webex was virtual meetings. Recordings would go to the cloud, and since it was cloud-based, I used the latest version of Webex.

    What is most valuable?

    One of the most valuable features of Webex was that it was easy to use and there were no hassles. 

    What needs improvement?

    Webex could be improved by having a password-protected system. I don't remember there being any passwords for the meetings, but, presently, Zoom has meeting protection. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I used Webex from the time I joined my organization, in 2016, until 2019. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Webex is stable. Comparatively, it is much better—I've had no issues. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    This solution is scalable. In my organization, Webex has been replaced by Zoom, so that's what everyone uses. 

    How are customer service and support?

    I did not face any issues, so I never contacted technical support. The only issue I faced was the safety aspect, on a personal basis, but besides that I didn't face any issues. 

    How was the initial setup?

    Webex was installed by the respective department in my organization's system.

    What about the implementation team?

    I implemented through an in-house team. 

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

    My organization took care of the licensing. I'm guessing they did some subscription cycle, but I used the free version. 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have switched to using Zoom. Compared to Webex, Zoom is much more upgraded, but not as easy to use. The only thing about Webex is we didn't have any password features and all that, which we do have in Zoom. If you compare Webex and Zoom, both are good in their own rights. 

    Zoom's installation was easy—I did it myself and it took probably five minutes. I use Zoom for personal purposes as well as in my company. My personal one is unlicensed and just for meetings that are 15-20 minutes long. My company's version was installed by them, so I'm not sure whether it's an enterprise or free version of a license. There are over 10,000 people in my organization who use Zoom. 

    According to some articles I read in regards to Zoom, if I'm using it for personal purposes, it does take data. When I read the privacy policies and the terms and conditions, it takes all the data from your mobile or the laptop that you're using. So there is a threat, when you're using it for personal requirements, that it can take your data: the contact details, photos, even your bank details if you keep it on your mobile. So on a personal note, I won't use it. I have it installed, but only because of my organization's requirements. But if it's for a personal thing, no. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate Webex a seven out of ten. I think I would recommend Webex to others, but password protection needs to be added. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Gerente Regional at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Easy to use for all your video and voice communication needs
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is very easy to jump from one communication channel to another one. It is pretty clear and very easy to do. That is the thing that I like the most from Avaya and their suite."
    • "There isn't too much information about Avaya solutions and that could be very much improved. If you want some product support, you have to go through a business partner in Latin America and there aren't many partners."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use the whole Avaya platform. We use it for voice communications, for instant messaging, and for video communications between each collaborator. We use the suite of Avaya Aura integrated with Avaya Live Meetings and Avaya Spaces.

    What is most valuable?

    The feature that I find the most valuable is the integration between those different platforms, because, although we are not on a contact center, we have a multi-channel communication with our team.

    So for us it is very easy to jump from one communication channel to another one. It is pretty clear and very easy to do. That is the thing that I like the most from Avaya and their suite.

    What needs improvement?

    There are very few partners in the Avaya Ecosystem. We are a business partner, but being totally honest, there isn't too much information about Avaya solutions and that could be very much improved. If you want some product support, you have to go through a business partner in Latin America and there aren't many partners.

    That could be one thing that Avaya could improve.

    In the next release I would like a 100% cloud solution specifically for Latin America because they actually have one or two cloud solutions, but only on specific markets, for example, in the United States. I would like to see a real global, 100% cloud solution.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We are users and we are also business partners with Avaya. We have been partners with Avaya from 1999.

    We are using the most updated version.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    As a user you would need at least two technicians for internally supporting the platform.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I can say firsthand that the reason we work with Avaya as a user and as a business partner is because it's by far the most stable and scalable platform among unified communications platforms in the market.

    Avaya Aura specifically.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support is good, but it's not easy to find.

    You don't find too much documentation like with other brands like Cisco, for example.

    How was the initial setup?

    I'm not in charge of developing and setting up the whole platform, but I would say it's actually complicated. It's a Linux-based platform and it's not as easy as a Windows platform and the setup is kind of confusing.

    It actually has to be done by a well-trained business partner.

    What was our ROI?

    Avaya is not a cheap solution. It is actually an expensive solution. It is very reliable, but it's not cheap.

    The Return on Investment, at least based on the exercise that we did internally in our company, was for about five years or so for us to have back the investment.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice to anyone considering Avaya is to research about the right business partner for them to support with.

    On a scale of one to ten, I would give Avaya IX Meetings a 10 out of 10.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    Kotayba Bouzian - PeerSpot reviewer
    Founder, VP at Digital Age Blog
    Real User
    Good performance and great quality with an easy user experience
    Pros and Cons
    • "The quality of the call and the quality of the sharing have been excellent."
    • "I have noticed that when I access another person's computer, sometimes the tab is visible, and sometimes it is not, which can be difficult."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a digital marketing agency. If we need access to something in the Business Manager or in a Google Ad account, we can guide the client to do it, or we can control the screen from where we are to create something on the Business Manager or to edit something.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We are in Istanbul and Istanbul is a very big city. I save time since I no longer have to go to the client's office and edit items by myself. We can do it remotely via TeamViewer to save time.

    What is most valuable?

    The quality of the call and the quality of the sharing have been excellent. 

    I love that I can control the other user's computer to find what I need or to assist them.

    The deployment is simple. 

    It is scalable. 

    The performance is good. 

    What needs improvement?

    There is nothing that really needs improvement. 

    I have noticed that when I access another person's computer, sometimes the tab is visible, and sometimes it is not, which can be difficult. It's a little glitch. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for five or six years now. It's been a while. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have noticed some little glitches. That said, for the most part, it is stable. The performance is good. 

    Also, sometimes it won't run smoothly the first time, however, the second time it will. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The solution can scale well. 

    We are a team of 11, however, only four to five of us use the solution. It's used occasionally, not extensively. 

    How are customer service and support?

    I've never been in touch with technical support. 

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

    We also use Microsoft Teams and Zoom, however, we use these for different purposes. 

    We also use AnyDesk. I find TeamViewer easier and more user-friendly. The features are mostly the same on both. 

    In general, we mostly work with Zoom, unless we have to control the client's computer. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The solution is very simple to implement. In ten minutes I can have everything up and running. 

    In terms of ease of setup, I would rate it four out of five. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I handled the initial setup by myself. 

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

    I do not handle the licensing aspect of the solution. My understanding is the pricing is reasonable. Everything is included in the price. There are no add-ons. 

    What other advice do I have?

    We are customers and end-users.

    I'm not sure which version of the solution we're using.

    I would recommend the solution to others to use. I'd rate it nine out of ten. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Buyer's Guide
    Virtual Meetings
    September 2022
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