Adds Video to Collaboration Services

The company's new conferencing tool includes such capabilities as screen sharing and a feature that focuses participant attention on presenters.

cloud video is offering video conferencing capabilities in its latest collaboration service that includes such features as screen sharing.

The company became the world's fifth-largest conferencing provider on the basis of its high-definition audio services and other features. With its new online meeting tool, the service provider is now bringing video conferencing into the mix. Along with the screen-sharing capabilities, the new service also features active speaker video technology, which is designed to focus the attention of participants on the active presenter.

It provides video conferencing for up to 25 participants.

"The newly designed collaboration tool provides HD audio, screen sharing and a single, high-quality video feed featuring one presenter at a time," Haley Steinhauser, social media and content marketing manager at, wrote in a post on the company blog. "Screen sharing is delivered by a proprietary network architecture that decreases bandwidth requirements and enables calls with large numbers of participants to be handled entirely within a corporate local area network."

Conference participants using Google Chrome or the Linux-based FireFox browser don't need to download anything onto their systems, Steinhauser wrote.

Like the company's audio services, the online meeting video conferencing service also is free to participants, but for a limited time. The company offers its basic service, which includes audio and video conferencing and recordings, desktop schedule, mobile applications and security features. Its for Business also comes with customer support, enterprise account management teams, consolidated billing, customized user analytic reports, and training and white-label services.

The goal of the new collaboration tool is to make online meetings easier to use and more productive, according to company officials. The high-quality video focuses on the main presenter, which is designed to enable participants to more easily identify and follow the speaker, and the service can follow the speaker transitions.

Conference hosts can use a dashboard to manage the call, according to officials.

Video conferencing is becoming increasingly important to businesses, which are looking for ways to increase employee productivity, drive down costs and find ways to better collaborate with workers, partners and customers. According to IDC analysts, the trend is moving toward cloud- and software-based offerings.

"We continue to see the effect of lower-cost video systems and products, new software- and cloud-based video offerings, and Web browser usage for real-time video collaboration combining to fundamentally impact how videoconferencing solutions are bought and deployed by organizations today," Petr Jirovsky, research manager for IDC's Worldwide Networking Trackers group, said in a statement earlier this month.

In a report earlier this year, Wainhouse Research analysts said the market for unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) will hit $4.9 billion by 2018, with the audio conferencing market growing to more than 300 billion minutes by the following year.

Officials with have said the company, founded in 2001, has more than 800,000 business customers in 57 countries, including users from some Fortune 500 companies.

"The industry is ready for a new player in the video conferencing space," company President Bob Wise said in a statement.