CITES | University of Illinois

Cisco MeetingPlace eConferencing retirement

The Cisco MeetingPlace eConferencing service will be retired on August 31, 2013. All econferencing meetings after this date should be rescheduled to be held with Unified Communications' Microsoft Lync or another econferencing provider.

e-Conferencing (Cisco MeetingPlace) retirement

Both CITES and ACES are retiring their e-Conferencing (Cisco MeetingPlace) systems on August 31st. After this date, no conferences - existing or new - can be held on this legacy conferencing service.

What should MeetingPlace users do?

All conferences currently scheduled on the CITES MeetingPlace system occurring after August 31st, 2013 MUST be rescheduled on Lync conferencing or elsewhere. There are no tools available to transfer meetings from Cisco MeetingPlace to Lync conferencing or other platforms.

To schedule conferences on Lync conferencing, you must first have a UC Lync account. Check My UC to see if you are Lync enabled.

Why retire Cisco MeetingPlace?

  1. Lync conferences are free; MeetingPlace meetings cost $25 each.
    Since the introduction of Unified Communications (UC), the MeetingPlace service has become both redundant and expensive. UC's Lync conferencing provides conferencing for all of campus at no additional cost, whereas Cisco MeetingPlace conferences are pay-per-use charge model along with $25 per meeting scheduling fee. See MeetingPlace pricing info at http://www.cites.illinois.edu/econferencing/pricing.html
  2. The MeetingPlace system is old and is no longer supported by Cisco.
    Our installed MeetingPlace hardware and software versions are no longer supported by Cisco, and upgrading would require both new hardware and software - with significant additional cost to the University.

What are the alternatives?

CITES recommends Lync conferencing as an alternative to MeetingPlace. Some third-party alternatives are also available.

Option 1: Follow the Lync Conferencing Guide for Cisco eConferencing Users

As part of Unified Communications (UC) service, Lync conferencing provides audio, video and web/data conferencing for all of campus at no additional cost.

Comparing Cisco MeetingPlace and Microsoft Lync

  MeetingPlace Microsoft Lync
Per conference charges $25 + per-minute charges Free. Part of the FTE service bundle.
Per conference attendee limit 100 250
Guest access Yes. For audio calls, all your guests need is the meeting ID and meeting password. Yes, but for guests to join the meeting, at least one Lync authenticated user must join or start the meeting. Until then, guests are placed in the "lobby."
Toll-free number Yes Yes
Dial-out Yes Yes
Required software (for web conferencing) A current browser

A current Mac OS X / Windows browser with Silverlight 4.0+ installed

Optional add-ons for desktop sharing A user-installed plug-in Lync Attendee or a standard Lync client

See the Lync Conferencing Guide for Cisco eConferencing Users for more information.

Option 2: Supported alternatives

Blackboard Collaborate is supported on campus and can be used for web conferencing.

Option 3: Unsupported alternatives

The following third-party services are not supported by CITES or any known University unit. If you discuss any sensitive information in a third party conferencing solution, you will need to be aware of campus policies regarding sensitive data (including FERPA and HIPAA regulations).

Questions or comments

If you need further help or have questions or comments about the MeetingPlace eConferencing retirement, contact the CITES Help Desk at (217) 244-7000, (800) 531-2531, or consult@illinois.edu.

Last updated Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 9:17 am