Adobe Systems has announced Adobe Connect 8, a new version of the company's Web conferencing solution.
Adobe officials said Adobe Connect 8 represents a significant update to the company's Web conferencing solution for powering effective and engaging Web meetings, online training and Webinars.
"Adobe Connect 8 is a transformative release. It enables organizations to standardize on a single Web conferencing platform to support a variety of use cases," said Arun Anantharaman, vice president and general manager for Adobe Connect. "Presenters can completely tailor their meeting environments prior to and during meetings, thereby dramatically improving collaboration. In addition, the product is highly extensible, enabling organizations to leverage third-party pods, as well as integrate with existing systems. No other solution on the market comes close to offering the ease of meeting entry, richness of interactions or extensibility."
Adobe Connect 8 is based on the Adobe Flash Player and enables enterprises and governments to deliver rich experiences across multiple devices, while maintaining easy, reliable meeting entry, Adobe said.
"We are continually expanding our use of Adobe Connect. The easy-to-use interface lets new users get productive in Adobe Connect faster, while enabling our most experienced users to do even more in their Web conferences," said Denise Fleming, program assistant for Public Health Emergency Preparedness in the Office of Public Health Preparedness for the Michigan Department of Community Health.
"We're seeing the adoption of Web conferencing as a core collaboration technology for everyday use accelerate rapidly," said Andy Nilssen, a senior analyst at Wainhouse Research. "In addition, we're also seeing enterprises increase expectations for their Web conferencing solution. These organizations want to go well beyond everyday meetings and seminars to enable myriad and divergent use cases, easily extend solution capabilities with key new functionality, integrate with existing infrastructure such as video conferencing room systems, and support meeting access via a wide choice of mobile devices. All while providing meeting participants with a great user experience."
Key new features of Adobe Connect 8 include a simplified interface for greater usability, expanded and more flexible collaboration capabilities for sharing ideas more freely, and enhanced audio and video integration for richer multimedia experiences. In addition, Adobe Connect 8 offers a software development kit (SDK) for greater extensibility, a new, optional desktop client based on the Adobe AIR runtime for easier meeting management, and support for a range of mobile devices to extend reach and enhance productivity.
Adobe Connect 8 features a more intuitive user interface that provides meeting hosts, presenters and participants with even easier access to capabilities, allowing presenters, for example, to quickly and flexibly adjust meeting room layouts in real time, as needed.
In addition, there are enhancements to sharing, chat, video, notes, Q&A, whiteboard and other functionality "pods" to facilitate collaboration. And Adobe has added two-way Universal Voice that allows customers to bridge audio from any conferencing provider into an Adobe Connect room and provide two-way communication between participants on both VOIP (voice over IP) and telephone audio.
Adobe also has integrated Adobe Connect with existing video conferencing systems, enabling meeting hosts to bring live audio and video broadcast streams directly into an Adobe Connect room.
Also, the Adobe Connect Desktop, based on Adobe AIR, lets users set up and manage meetings right from the desktop. And the optional application allows users to download recorded sessions for offline viewing.
In addition, Adobe Connect Mobile enables participants to view meetings on mobile devices. Adobe Connect Mobile works on the Apple iPhone and iPad, as well as Google Android and other mobile devices enabled with Adobe Flash technology.
"Adobe Connect provides a mission-critical, real-time collaboration solution for enterprise environments." said Al Paz, manager of global learning solutions and applications at Xerox. "The enhanced features and functionality in Adobe Connect 8 eliminate technology barriers for all users, by providing an engaging, intuitive, rich user interface."
And La Tricia Austin-Downer, a customer support specialist at ADNET Systems in support of the Federal Highway Administration, said, "Adobe Connect continues to deliver a comprehensive and easy-to-use solution for Web conferencing-offering a set of features that stands apart from other Web conferencing solutions."
Adobe Connect 8 is expected to be available worldwide on an on-premises basis by the end of November 2010. It is expected to be available on a hosted basis in North America starting in November 2010 (phased rollout), and on a hosted basis in other parts of the world starting in February 2011 (phased rollout). Adobe Connect 8 will be available in English, Brazilian, Portuguese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish and Turkish language versions. Pricing is determined by solution configuration. Education pricing is available. For more information on Adobe Connect 8, visit www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.