Fuze Box, the Web meeting software provider formerly known as CallWave, boosted its Fuze Meeting Web conferencing application with the ability to invite contacts from several major e-mail and instant messaging clients and share meetings via Facebook and Twitter.
The retooled Fuze Meeting, which Fuze Box launched Sept. 22 at Demofall 09, now allows users to tap into contacts from Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Hotmail, Google Gmail, Google Talk, AOL AIM, Skype, LinkedIn and Yahoo.
With one click from Fuze Meeting, users can also now promote Web conferences and other events by shuttling meeting invite links to Facebook and Twitter. This is a key tool to help Fuze Box meet the needs of users who rely on social networks to spread their message and connect with others.
Patrick Moran, vice president of marketing for Fuze Box, told eWEEK that Web meetings are still a pain to schedule, maintain, invite people, get them in the meeting and start them on time.
Contacting people to meet is hard enough, which is why Fuze Meeting supports so many e-mail clients and even Skype, whose users can now share presence and chat with other Skype users from within the Web conferencing app. "The goal is to have all of these contacts in the cloud so you can select them and drag them into a meeting," Moran said.
Fuze Meeting, which also now handles Microsoft PowerPoint content with better fidelity and high resolution, is a break from traditional Web conferencing apps such as Cisco WebEx and Citrix Go to Meeting. While those applications were designed at a time when the Web was secondary to the desktop, Fuze Meeting leverages high-definition video and lives entirely in the browser, or the Internet cloud.
Recognizing the increasing importance of businesses keeping employees connected via Web-enabled handhelds such as smartphones, Fuze Meeting also lets users access Web conferences from Apple iPhones and RIM BlackBerry devices.
Specifically, iPhone users can now schedule and launch meetings directly from the iPhone, or upload media from the iPhone's camera and photo library and share the content with all meeting participants. Fuze Meeting notifies iPhone users about instant messaging, chat and meeting invitations even when the application is closed.
However, Moran said users cannot yet host Fuze meetings from their BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry users start a phone conference via Fuze Meeting and can participate in a Web meeting and access high-definition video, view documents and files, and access instant messaging.
Fuze Meeting is available as a free download on BlackBerry App World for BlackBerry Storm, BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphones.
Fuze Meeting is free for up to three Web users and seven audio users. It offers pay-as-you-go, monthly and annual plans for companies requiring larger numbers of users.