IM Vendor WiredRed Pushing Into Web Conferencing
Called e/pop Web Conferencing, the new software offers the ability to share desktops, applications, documents and PowerPoint presentations as well as multipoint audio and synchronous video-conferencing features.
WiredRed, of San Diego, is targeting the product at enterprises seeking an alternative to Web-conferencing services, or conferencing that is integrated into larger collaboration software packages, said WiredRed CEO Allen Drennan.
"Theres been a relegation of these technologies for sales and marketing and for training and e-learning," Drennan said. "Theres been a difficultly in moving beyond those uses because its too costly or too complicated to get ad hoc meetings going."
WiredRed approaches Web conferencing from an enterprise IM and presence background with its flagship e/pop software suite. By the middle of next year, the company plans to upgrade that IM and presence line to e/pop 4.0 and to integrate Web conferencing within it so users will be able to launch a conference by right-clicking on the names of colleagues, Drennan said.
Bond Street Capital, of Agoro Hills, Calif., started using e/pop Web Conferencing three months ago and already is finding it useful for launching online meetings on the fly, said Joe Forman, a principal at the commercial real estate lender. Forman has tried various Web conferencing services and software over the past two years and chose e/pop because it had more reliable connectivity and better ease of use than other systems.
"I have formal meetings maybe 30 percent of the time, and the other times I may be on the phone and decide then that I want to do an online presentation," Forman said. "In most of those other programs it wasnt easy to do that."
Since Bond Street already uses e/pop for IM, Forman said that better integration between IM and Web conferencing will simplify the launching of impromptu Web meetings.
Conferencing vendors increasingly are combining their offerings with IM. WebEx Communications Inc. in October launched integration with Yahoo Business Messenger. Microsoft has said it plans this month to better integrate its Office Live Meeting Web conferencing service and its Windows Messenger IM client as one of many steps it is taking toward combining conferencing, IM and presence.
WiredReds e/pop Web Conferencing software runs on Windows 95 and up on the client side, and the server is available for either Windows or Linux, Drennan said. Pricing starts at $2,000 per year for a maximum of five concurrent users and $4,800 a year for a maximum of 25 concurrent users.