ConferencePlus Launches Online Meeting

ConferencePlus, a provider of web conferencing software, recently announced the launch of ConferencePlus Online Meeting. The new offering is aimed at facilitating the day-to-day collaboration needs of every size of business.

Okay, stop there for one second. Anytime you hear a company offering a product in a one-size-fits-all kind of model, you should be suspicious. Do you really think the software used by a small mom-n-pop kind of shop with less then 10 employees will be the same thing used by Fortune 500 multinational firms with thousands of employees across several continents? While there a few examples that come to mind (Windows, email), most software simply doesn’t work in a one-size-fits-all-scheme. One-size-fits-our-core-customers-and-fits-everyone-else-poorly is closer to the truth. Different companies have different needs and it’s always best to get the software that best fits your needs, not everyone else’s. #endrant

On Online Meeting

Online Meeting will be distributed through ConferencePlus resellers and agents.

Tim Reedy, ConferencePlus’ President and CEO, commented about his excitement in launching the new product:

“We’re very excited to bring our own web conferencing service to the marketplace. ConferencePlus has long been recognized for providing high quality audio conferencing services that are integrated with web conferencing services from major providers, including Cisco, Microsoft, and IBM. We determined the time was right to offer our own web conferencing platform, leveraging many of the lessons learned from our customers about what they need and what they don’t need in a web collaboration service.”

The new product is based on Adobe Flash to enable browser based interactions and collaboration.

On the offering’s pricing and service structure, Reedy explained the different tiers available:

“Our Online Meeting service has been designed both to simplify web collaboration for all levels of users and to provide a flexible range of service pricing plans allowing customers to purchase just what they need without a long-term commitment.”

Service plans will be charged on monthly and annual flat rates, with no limits on web conferencing for 75 or 150 participants. Per minute pricing is also available.

Online Meeting will include many of the expected features for a collaboration platform:

  • Desktop sharing
  • Application sharing
  • Document sharing
  • Group chat
  • Presenter control switching
  • Recording
  • Content management
  • Secure dial out from the audio bridge
  • Audio control
  • Microsoft Outlook integration
  • ConferencePlus integration

Reedy positions his company’s product as an inexpensive alternative to full unified communications suites:

“Many of the web conferencing services on the market today have added feature complexity and are offered as a component within a larger Unified Communications (UC) package. While expansive UC services have their place in the market, we believe there continues to be strong demand for an intuitive, low-cost web conferencing service. Our Online Meeting packaging and feature set are designed to give our customers more for less. With a larger capacity than most of our competitors’ basic offerings, customers can use our tool for both large conferences and small group collaborations without making lengthy term commitments.”

Until businesses from SMB to enterprise level try out the package and give the thumbs up, I’ll take the one-size-fits-all claim with a grain of salt. If they truly succeed at fitting the needs of every size customer, then they may have a winning application on their hands.

What do you think about ConferencePlus’ new product Online Meeting? Will the market gobble it up like a hippo hungry for more? How does your business meet its collaboration needs? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or check our ConferencePlus review.

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