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GoToMeeting client adds business messaging to chase rivals

LogMeIn has added instant messaging and automated transcription to the GoToMeeting client. The new features bring the platform more in line with rivals Zoom and Cisco Webex.

LogMeIn has added an instant messaging client and meeting transcriptions to its flagship web conferencing platform,...

GoToMeeting, as the vendor plays catch-up with rivals Cisco Webex and Zoom.

GoToMeeting's business messaging supports 1-to-1 and group chats, letting users launch a video meeting with one click. The conversations are persistent, meaning they don't disappear when the app is closed, and the interface shows when users are online, offline or in a meeting.

The GoToMeeting client adds external collaborators to the messaging channel by inviting them via email. Other messaging clients, such as the team collaboration apps Slack and Microsoft Teams, let users add external participants to meeting channels by creating guest accounts.

The updates released this week bring the GoToMeeting client more in line with Zoom and Cisco Webex, which have supported messaging for some time. But most GoToMeeting users probably already have other messaging clients, such as Microsoft Skype for Business or Cisco Jabber.

"My sense of GoToMeeting is that they have fallen behind their competitors like BlueJeans, Zoom, Cisco, PGi, etc., in terms of features and functionality," said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill.

LogMeIn closed a deal to acquire GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar and GoToTraining from Citrix for $1.8 billion in early 2017. The company's portfolio also includes Join.me, a web conferencing platform for small businesses, and OpenVoice, a conference call service.

Earlier this year, LogMeIn bought unified-communications-as-a-service vendor Jive Communications, which provides hosted VoIP services to small and midsize businesses. LogMeIn has yet to release details about an expected consolidation of Jive's offerings with GoToMeeting.

GoToMeeting client gets automated transcription, Alexa integration

GoToMeeting will now automatically transcribe meeting recordings for customers subscribed to its upper-tier "pro" and "plus" plans. The vendor will also let customers store recordings in the cloud for the first time.

Automated transcription is quickly becoming a must-have feature for cloud-based web conferencing platforms. Zoom, BlueJeans and Microsoft Teams all announced transcription capabilities of some kind earlier this year.

GoToMeeting's transcripts will be searchable and include timestamps that hyperlink to specific locations within the video recording. They will also identify speakers by name and provide a breakdown of how many minutes each participant spent talking during the meeting.

New integrations with Amazon Alexa, meanwhile, will let GoToMeeting users schedule, reschedule, join and cancel meetings using Echo voice assistant devices. Users will also be able to check their daily meeting schedule.

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