This is one of those weeks when many web conferencing vendors coincidentally came out with newsworthy announcements and developments within a short time. When that happens, I like to call special attention to the burst of activity with a news roundup. Of course you can always follow press releases and articles hand-picked to reflect items of interest to our little community on the Webinar Success Industry News page.
Mediasite by Sonic Foundry occupies an interesting niche in the web conferencing space. It is particularly well suited for “simulcasting” a local presentation (particularly classroom training) to a remote audience. The company released version 5.2 with updated features for managing the recording process during the capture of a presentation, the ability to use uploaded video clips, and keyword searching through captioned presentations to find a particular point in a recording where the content references an item of interest.
Elluminate has also been placing a lot of focus on distance learning and education applications of its web collaboration technology. The company acquired Edtuit, creators of LearnCentral – a social learning network. This gives Elluminate a broader platform for clients who want to bundle structured and ad hoc web conferencing sessions with collaboration and networking features designed specifically for education and training.
ViVu officially released the first commercial version of its video-oriented webcasting and collaboration product, offering the ability to support extremely large video-enabled audiences.
ReadyTalk’s new embeddable media player (released earlier this month) won a People’s Choice Award at a Colorado technology association conference.
iLinc was recognized as “App of the Week” by AppExchange for the usefulness of its iLinc for Salesforce direct integration of web conferencing information such as event registration and attendance with the Salesforce CRM database.
Arkadin announced a new pricing model that simplifies budgeting for combined audio and web conferencing services from the company.
Web meetings conducted with Saba Centra can now be accessed using an Apple iPhone.
And finally, I’d like to mention a piece of news with importance that may not be immediately obvious to my American readers. The Indian government just changed a policy affecting web conferencing vendors. Firms offering teleconference and web conference services in India can now be 100% foreign owned (after approval by India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board). Previously, companies had to show more than one-quarter investment ownership by Indian concerns. This will help open the massive Indian market to more American companies, and possibly smaller vendors who could not afford to create India-based subsidiaries. Premiere Global forced the issue, and stands to be the first web conferencing provider to benefit. Web conferencing adoption in India and China is still in infancy stages relative to the huge business market potential. Vendors should be salivating over any improvement in their chances of grabbing a piece of this pie.
These are exciting times for web conferencing and collaboration!