As I continue my look back at developments from various vendors in the web conferencing industry, it’s worth talking about an interesting offering from ConferencePlus that received a number of enhancements during 2010. Share Portal is a content management tool for webinar recordings, audio recordings, documents, and other electronic media. It lets customers create public web pages with secure access to materials.
At first glance, this doesn’t seem like a big deal. How hard is it to just store your files on your web server and update your web page to add an access link to new stuff? It turns out that this is more of a hassle than you might think for both large and small businesses. Large enterprise organizations have IT departments who want requests made in advance for storage and web updates. Business departments are not encouraged (and usually not allowed) to update public-facing web pages themselves. The fight to get materials posted quickly can sometimes be frustrating. Small businesses may not have the expertise to make web updates themselves. If they rely on outside service providers to manage their web presence, they might not want to make numerous requests and pay the bills for changing access to electronic materials after every web conference.
The idea of Share Portal is simple. Authorized administrators have a dashboard where they can manage source content. They can upload audio files or documents from their computer for storage on the Share Portal server. ConferencePlus uses the Amazon S3 web storage service, which offers physical and virtual security and backup of the data. Customers who run a Microsoft Live Meeting or Cisco WebEx webinar through ConferencePlus get their conference recordings automatically added to the content library.
Stored materials can be published via an online wizard to one or more Portal Pages, which are customized HTML web pages designed for access by end users. Portal Pages can be secured with password access for different user groups.
The concept is an excellent one… Give business administrators control over what their users see without having to involve web designers or IT personnel, and without having to worry about overhead on their company’s servers and bandwidth utilization.
Share Portal is an extra cost option to the basic ConferencePlus web conferencing services. Unfortunately there is no support on published Portal Pages for payment processing, so clients wanting users to pay for content will still need to do it themselves.