The Economy’s Effect on Web Conferencing & Some New Innovations

Limited resources yield cost efficient methods, and for enterprise software, which means greater popularity in web conferencing and video marketing. Signs point to the economy leaving its slump, but the budget-friendliness of video conference makes it desirable and less of a “last resort” meeting medium. Even more than cutting overhead costs, this kind of communication is a slight nod to the energy-saving movements that are ubiquitous (and will only become more pervasive). The rise in CRM systems extending their reach to web conferencing is inevitable, and products presented at recent technology conferences are proof that this recession-friendly trend will outlast the recession.

In particular, there were two applications that stood out: ClientShow and Fuze Meeting. The former was presented at TechCrunch 50, and the later debuted at this week’s DEMOfall 09. ClientShow is intended for advertising and marketing professionals, to pitch and sell hrwork with real-time collaboration an communication. It provides a dashboard, a “wok” section for preparing sessions, a “pitch” section allowing clients to view the presentation in a browser and a “vault” that stores questions and feedback culled during a pitch.

Fuze Meeting was engineered by Fuze Box, and is not as industry-specific as ClientShow but is no less sophisticated. Fuze Meeting allows iPhone and BlackBerry users to conduct multimedia conferences from their phones. Participants can be select from not just the phone’s native contact list, but also from social networking friend lists like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. During meetings, users can share documents, PowerPoint presentations, videos in high definition; URLs discussed in the meeting can be posted to Facebook or Twitter. In addition, unlike the Hewlett-Packard web conferencing platform presented at DEMOfall, Fuze Meeting is operable outside the corporate firewall.

If there were any doubts that web conferencing would continue to grow after the recession, products like these should put them to rest. They may not be able to compete with companies like WebEx, but they certainly seem bent on carving out niche markets.

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