I saw a press release today announcing that KRM has selected omNovia as its technology platform of choice for client webinars. I asked KRM’s chief technology officer, Neal Sipress, if he would be willing to share some background with us on what went into the decision process. He kindly agreed.
KRM is a full services turnkey support organization for clients putting on public webinars and webcasts. They provide the web technology, phone bridges, payment processing, operators, moderators, and other prerequisites so that their clients can focus purely on content.
Neal told me that KRM had enjoyed a good technology partnership with WebEx until Cisco purchased the company and the technology back in 2007. Many of the close contacts and two-way communications KRM had enjoyed with WebEx personnel got lost in the new organizational structure. So KRM moved to Microsoft Live Meeting as its primary webinar platform. Live Meeting was being offered for “next to nothing,” but KRM felt frustrated that they had no sense of participation in a two-way business relationship between users and the technology provider. When Microsoft made it clear that support for webinars on Live Meeting would be dropped in favor of collaborative web meetings with Lync, KRM went looking for a new webinar platform and vendor that was willing and able to work with them on a more interactive partnership basis.
They whittled their choices down to three or four major contenders, with internal team members evaluating different aspects of functionality. omNovia passed their functionality tests for things such as slide display, polling, chat, and multi-platform support, but Neal says that much more importantly, omNovia was eager to establish the kind of ongoing dialog and responsiveness KRM was looking for.
KRM made suggestions to omNovia about additional question management functionality that would make it easier to moderate client events and omNovia incorporated those ideas into a new feature in the software. Neal says they were impressed by omNovia’s business and technical management team getting personally involved to make sure the software supported the real world use cases KRM put forth.
KRM did not run “beta webinars” with their clients on the new platform as a test case. They wanted to make sure there would be no surprises in production use. So the company used internal teams to stage mock webinars designed to stress test all the features. Once the decision was made to start using omNovia, client webinars began in earnest. They have been using the software successfully since the start of 2012.
I asked Neal whether KRM had thought about becoming a channel reseller of the web conferencing software or private-labeling another vendor’s product to make it look like their own proprietary offering. Neal said that neither of these were part of their business objectives. They wanted a true partnership that would benefit both parties, so they are happy to make it clear that omNovia provides the web conferencing technology while KRM provides the audio and production services. If a client decides that they want an enterprise license to support ongoing webinars themselves, Neal is delighted to pass the business along to omNovia.
I asked whether KRM was concerned that omNovia is not as well known a name in the marketplace as other larger web conferencing companies. Did clients express any hesitation about using it? Neal said that KRM’s customers trust them to provide quality events as an entire package. As Neal put it, “Execution competency is more important than marketing muscle.” They have seen no trepidation from their clients in using the software.
And there you have it… A brief glimpse into some of the things that happen behind the scenes when service providers go technology shopping!