God knows there's plenty of competition in most sectors of IT, but the Web conference and Webinar-provisioning businesses are heating up in particular fashion right now.
With such well-known names as Cisco Systems' Webex, Skype, Microsoft LiveMeeting, Citrix's GoToMeeting, Adobe's Acrobat Connect, IBM LotusLive and dozens of others vying for customers, it's easy for a smaller provider to get lost in the shuffle.
With all that as background, upstart cloud service AnyMeeting this week announced a faster on-board process for first-time users to get a video meeting started. Using its new AnyMeeting Now feature, even people without an AnyMeeting account can start a meeting on demand (free of charge, but ad-supported) at any time of day.
First-time users just need to click the "Start A Meeting Now" button on AnyMeeting's home page to instantly start a video meeting of up to 200 people. Users can then send out email invitations with the conference call information included, bring attendees in, open a presentation to share and get the meeting started.
Unlike most other Web conferencing services, there is no software for users or their attendees to download, and no long-term sign-up or credit card information required.
If you'd rather not deal with advertising, you can buy a full-featured subscription for up to 25 attendees for $17.99 per month. Or, you can buy the no-ads version for up to 200 attendees for $69.99 per month.
AnyMeeting told eWEEK that it recently achieved a milestone in reaching more than 120,000 registered users and has grown by nearly 600 percent during the last 12 months. The Huntington Beach, Calif.-based company has done this by establishing a presence in the SMB market, which is expected to account for 50 to 70 percent of the global video conferencing market in the next three to four years, according to analytics firm Frost & Sullivan.
Here is a look at the user interface:
Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features and Analysis for eWEEK. Twitter: editingwhiz