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November 1, 2003
No-Wires Conference Bridging Debuts through Channels
ClearOne Communications Inc. and Arkon Technologies Inc. have
brought the conferencing and wireless worlds together this summer with the
introduction of Max Wireless, the first wireless conferencing phone, which will
be available through ClearOnes distributor channels as well as retail
channels under the Olympia brand name.
Max Wireless definitely fills a void in the conferencing
marketplace, as there are currently no other wireless conferencing phone options
available, said Elliot M. Gold, industry analyst and publisher of
Max Wireless combines ClearOnes audio conferencing
technology with wireless functionality from Arkon Technologies, a developer of
wireless digital telephone technologies. The result is a portable conferencing
phone without wires that can turn any room within 150 feet of the base station
into a conference room by simply taking the unit into the desired room.
With advanced audio processing, full-duplex performance,
Distributed Echo Cancellation and noise cancellation, Max Wireless brings
technologies typically found in high-end, installed audio products to the
plug-and-play tabletop market, the company says.
I am quite impressed with the phones audio quality,
wireless range and ease of use, says Gold.
Brent Kelly, industry analyst with Wainhouse Research, adds,
The company has done an excellent job of blending its proven audio
performance with the flexibility and convenience of wireless technology.
The Max Wireless phone is available through ClearOnes
domestic and international distribution channels. Suggested North American
retail price for Max Wireless is $699 per unit. International pricing may vary.
Arkon, ClearOnes development partner, is distributing its
own wireless conferencing phone based on the same technology as Max Wireless. It
will be sold through retail channels under the brand name Olympia and through
various other private label agreements.
This summer, Wave Industries Ltd. began shipping the Olympia
Wireless Conference Phone to retailers. The retail price is $799 for the
conference phone base station and the conference pod. The base station comes
with an audio jack, AC Power adaptor, integrated wall mount and a pod paging
system. The 2.4 GHz pod comes with user replaceable 1800mAh NiMH batteries good
for a 10-hour call or 80 hours of standby time before requiring a recharge.
The phone features full duplex voice conversation and
360-degree, threemicrophone pickup features ensure clear calls without cutting
out or tunnellike effects. The system also has voice encryption for maximum
security and LCD displays to signal out of range warnings. The phones
conference pod also includes any-key answer, a choice of five different ring
tones and phonebook dialing for most frequently used numbers.
Conference calls often need to happen where the action is,
which doesnt always coincide with a wired phone connection or available
conference room, says Wave Industries CEO Bruce Garfield. We think
business professionals will appreciate the freedom that wireless technology
provides while IT and accounting personnel appreciate obtaining high quality
with less equipment.
Wave Industries is marketing the Wireless Conference Phone as
ideal for ad-hoc meetings in rooms with or without telephone jacks. The phones
base station is plugged into a phone jack and connects wirelessly to a
lightweight, portable conference pod that serves as the actual phone, the
company notes in its press materials. Since the conference pod is wireless,
business professionals can begin a conference call in one room and take the pod
to another without disrupting the meeting by having to hang up and reconnect the
Raindance, ViewCentral Integrate Conference Management
Raindance Communications Inc. will integrate its Web
Conferencing Pro solution with ViewCentral Inc.s Blended Conferencing and
Blended Training Suites. The cooperative sales and marketing partnership will
give customers a solution for automating and managing a Web conferencing event.
The combined solution will be available via Raindances
Raindance says ViewCentral allows it to offer enhanced
marketing and registration capabilities, with the ability to customize event
management tasks and round-the-clock access to conferencing events and training
With ViewCentral, Raindance customers can select self-service
solutions that allow them to plan, promote and measure the success of Web
conferencing events, with fully customizable marketing and notification options.
Companies that are doing a high volume of scheduled Web and
audio conferences often get smothered by the success of the medium, says
David Alexander, industry analyst for Web and audio conferencing at Frost &
Sullivan. Having a way to automate and streamline the management of virtual
event programs is key to their success and scalability.
The hosted, Web-based interface allows event managers to
automate the following tasks:
Scheduling and publishing events with custom registrationfields
Signing-up attendees via enhanced registration capabilities;
Delivering personalized acknowledgments, alerts andreminders to participants;
Surveying, tracking, reporting and following-up withdetailed reports before, during and after events
Payment collection bycredit card, vouchers or credits through an integrated e-commerce application
VIDISolutions Signs First International Reseller
VIDISolutions, a New York-based provider of enterprise video
communication software, signed iVideo Solutions, a Netherlands-based
international distributor of desktop communications software, as the first
international reseller of VIDITalk.
VIDITalk is a video creation and transport application that
empowers users to enhance their communication by creating and transmitting
high-impact video streams directly from their desktops.
iVideo was formed recently by an investor group with the
primary purpose of distributing VIDITalk to corporate customers in the United
States and Europe.
As part of our strategy to expand our reseller network, we
are excited to partner with iVideo Solutions, which has a proven track record of
bringing new technologies to their corporate customers in the US, and especially
in Europe, said Jim Dunn, VIDISolutions executive vice president of
VIDITalk is an application that will significantly impact
our clients communications, said Jack van der Heerik, managing director of iVideo
Solutions, Europe. We actively search for unique products, solutions and
services like VIDITalk that will enhance our clients connectivity experience.
This technology has captured our imaginations with the multitude of uses we
envision from medical, marketing, and personal communications.
FVC Signs French, Hawaiian Distributors
First Virtual Communications has signed conferencing
distributors Hypcom Technologies and Century Computer Inc. to distribute FVCs
Click to Meet Web conferencing in France and Hawaii, respectively.
The conferencing industry is at a critical stage, migrating
towards IP-based communications and collaboration, and we are increasingly faced
with more requests for real-time desktop collaboration, says Alain Trombert,
president and general manager of Hypcom Technologies. We have selected a
premise-based Web conferencing solution because it is the most valuable model,
providing a clear and compelling return on investment for enterprises.
Hypcom Technologies, a subsidiary of French-based telecom
reseller and network integrator GENEDIS Group, says Click to Meet allows
customers to leverage past investments in video conferencing solutions through
Click to Meets integration of existing endpoints.
Hawaii-focused Century Computer has selected Click to Meet
Express for internal use as well as distribution to its customer base. The
geographic dispersion and high cost of travel among the Hawaiian Islands have
become a business concern for us and our customers. We are looking to improve
communication and reduce travel with web conferencing, says Rick Marine,
founder and CEO of Century Computer.
Century Computer has about 200 clients, 40 full-time employees
and has grown at least 40 percent each year for the last three years.
A+ Rolls Out Flat-fee Web Conferencing
A+ Conferencing LLC has revamped its Web conferencing
offerings to offer a flat-rate, unlimited usage product available via agents and
The new flat-fee, per-month Web conferencing tool,
StartVisualsT, provides unlimited usage packages geared for small and medium
business, for 10, 20 or 50 participants. A+ says it can save customers at least
50 percent compared with other fixed usage plans. This package stands in
contrast to forcing customers into expensive setup and fixed-fee contracts once
their usage increases, the company says.
Most of our customers are experienced users who are
searching for the same name-brand products without the hassle of setup fees and
high fixedusage rates, says Mike Burns, president of A+ Conferencing. We
typically can save users more than 20 [percent] to 30 percent by purchasing by
the minute, and provide their audio conferencing all at one shop.
The flat-fee product is offered in addition to StoreT, A+s
usage-based Web conferencing with a base price of 20 cents per minute, per
PowerNet Global Launches Conferencing
PowerNet Global has launched PowerConference a nationwide,
ondemand conference calling service aimed at business customers. PowerNet Global
will drive sales of PowerConference through its nationwide agent channel.
The real beauty of PowerConference is in its simplicity,
says Larry Moses, executive vice president of sales. We establish their
account right over the phone and there are no setup fees or monthly commitments
and the rates are very competitive. Once the account is established, each
customer has 24-hour access to conference calling without using an operator or
making a reservation.
Netspoke Integrates Web, Audio
Netspoke has fully integrated Web and audio conferencing
components with the release of Netspoke Conferencing version 6.0.
Netspoke Conferencing 6.0 is available directly through the
companys sales force and indirectly through agents and resellers. Netspoke
CEO Scott DEntremont says the reseller relationships range in involvement,
and Netspoke will help them with their billing and/or fulfillment, determined on
a case-by-case basis.
Netspokes Web and audio integration includes integrated
scheduling capabilities where users choose to conduct reservationless or
prescheduled meetings. The service also can incorporate fully customizable
registration and evaluation forms; user-accessed reporting that breaks out usage
by audio, Web and total conference; and in-conference controls that allow
presenters to mute/unmute all audio participants, conduct roll calls and
lock/unlock the conference from within the Web conference interface.
Netspoke Conferencing 6.0 also offers enhancements to
traditional conferencing, including self-branding, public and private conference
listings and enhanced application sharing, says the company. In addition,
through the Conferencing Hub, users can manage, schedule and report on their
Neoteris Debuts Meeting Series
Neoteris announced the new Meeting Series conferencing
appliances, which are available for distribution by the companys sales
The Neoteris Meeting Series delivers a hardened appliance for
secure online meetings. An extension of the companys Instant Virtual Extranet
(IVE) platform, the Neoteris Meeting Series enables enterprises to instantly and
securely provision cross-enterprise online meetings and user-to-user
collaboration without the security tradeoffs and costs of hosted services or
software- based extranet deployments.
The Meeting Series appliances can be combined with the
Neoteris Access Series appliances to support project collaboration and document
management applications. Together, the products can enable instant, secure
collaborative meetings and access to project portals and document management
systems, thereby enabling real-time access to enterprise resources and online
meetings in a single environment.
The Neoteris Meeting Series is available as a software upgrade
to the Neoteris Access Series product family, with prices for the Secure Meeting
Upgrade starting at $1,995. Dedicated Meeting Series appliances will be
available this quarter with prices starting at $14,995.
The Neoteris Partner Program includes free training on-site
training, regional technical training and certification, lead generation
programs, customer evaluation programs for product try-outs, beta-testing
opportunities, discounted not for resale demo units and other perks and
VCON Unveils Products for Channel
Visual communications solutions manufacturer VCON has released
two new products and two product upgrades to be distributed through the companys
network of resellers, OEMS and VARs.
VCON has 60 resellers in North America, is looking to fill in
territory gaps and told PHONE+ the discount to resellers is 30 percent to 45
percent, depending on volume.
On the new product front, the company introduced VCON
Conference Moderator, a Web-based conference moderating application for use with
MXM 4.0 that enables for scheduling and monitoring capabilities to any
authorized user on the network via a Web browser. The product also allows all
calls to be scheduled and managed in real time, on a network with multiple
endpoint vendors and MCU vendors. The VCON Conference Moderator is included in each VCB 2000,
and is retail priced between $3,500 and $20,000 as an optional application
module of the Media Xchange Manager 4.0.
Also new, the companys vPoint software-only client is
available as a standalone product and in two versions. vPoint Standard comes
with the software, user guide and a USB protection key. The other version,
vPoint Professional, comes with features of the standard, as well as a USB
camera and headset. vPoint was originally released for the VCON ViGO, a personal
videoconferencing appliance and also worked in conjunction with the MXM via the
ViGO. vPoint can now be managed by the MXM alone to offer call transfer, call
forward, ad-hoc conferencing and remote call initiation.
Upgrades to the VCB 2000 MCU address complexity issues as most
conference bridges deliver more than is needed by end users. The VCB 2000 MCU
delivers streamlined functionality incorporated in key functions such as
streaming, cascading and scheduling. Pricing ranges from $14,495 to $74,995
VCONs other new upgrade is to the companys IP Video PBX.
Media Xchange Manager (MXM) 4.0, which is built on the version 4 of the H.323
standard. Significant to this version are a new application module and
multivendor features that enhance the scalability and reliability of an
MXM-managed network. Also added are a directory gatekeeper capability, and a
SIP-H.323 gateway. MXM 4.0 is a chargeable upgrade from any previous version of
the MXM. Upgrade pricing varies upon size of current MXM license.
A+ Conferencing LLC www.aplusconferencing.com
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