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Conferencing News Blog

Guess the Brand Name!!!

Multiple choice! Oh what fun! We love design and branding, and when it comes to the conferencing industry, there's some real good stuff to look at. Here's the latest new logo introduction by a leading player. Can you guess who? Here are seven possibilities...

- ebi

- e6i

- pbi

- egi

- p6i

- pgi

- Wonderbread with any of the above

- None of the above.

Whichever company is, know that it's the same people, same passion, but a new look. ...Indeed. Several of them.

Crystal Bald Predictions, Now with 72% Accuracy!

Our favorite Crazy Uncle of the Teleconferencing Industry is at it again with his predictions. Elliot Gold, President of TeleSpan, will hold a web conference that will cover trends in voice, video, and web conferencing and share TeleSpan's pick of companies that will fail "hit the wall" or be picked up in consolidations in the next 24-36 months. Westell's ConferencePlus will host the event on its conferencing services. Attendance to the event will be limited, but an archived version will be available after its conclusion. With a self-proclaimed 72% accuracy, you gotta join!

Let's all forget about the 28% of Elliot predictions that hit the wall themselves and make wagers register now.

This web event takes place on Friday, January 15, 2010 at 1:00 PM EST - GET SIGNED UP

The CN Interview with Dave Erickson

David Erickson is the President and CEO of Freeconferencecall.com.

Conferencing News: We just checked out your FreeConferenceCall.com site and it looks like there's a lot more than just that product there. Tell us what's new and hot in your product line.

Dave Erickson: FreeConferenceCall.com offers a suite of services which range from free to toll-free conferencing and voice messaging. Our latest offering is called SimpleBlast, which allows subscribers to distribute up to 10,000 instant voice messages with just one call. We also recently introduced a new toll free conferencing service called TollFreeConferenceCall.com, which is packed with features that our users have been asking about, including Web controls, sub-account management and the ability to support 1,000 callers.

Two other unique services from FreeConferenceCall.com that your readers may be interested in are FreeConferencing.com�a free version of the 1,000 caller, Web-featured conferencing service�and a voice messaging service called Private Number, which offers users a direct dial-in number to a voicemail line to eliminate access codes.

CN: Tell us about some specific features within FreeConferenceCall.com that differentiate it in the market.

DE: There are many free conferencing services on the market today, but FreeConferenceCall.com stands out in a few ways.

First, FreeConferenceCall.com�s services are the most user-friendly and intuitive on the market. FreeConferenceCall.com�s easy-to-use Web interface helps conference hosts to seamlessly manage calls during live conferences�from muting and disconnecting certain callers, to recording and broadcasting audio files with just a click of the mouse.

Next, FreeConferenceCall.com makes good on its commitment to offer free services with no hidden costs. For example, conference hosts receive free call detail reports, recordings, downloads and podcasts with each conference call. With both URL- and Web-based conference play back, hosts and up to 1,000 callers can enjoy their conferences in real time or at a later date�always for free.

Finally, FreeConferenceCall.com is parallel to none in customer service. We offer easy-to-follow question and answer sessions for each of our products, along with professional customer service representatives who are reachable via telephone and online.

CN: We've heard that the Obama administration has used the FreeConferenceCall.com service. Is this true? And what do they use it for?

DE: The Obama administration used FreeConferenceCall.com�s services during the presidential campaign�likely for campaigning and planning. More than 1,000 registered account numbers came from this account and callers used more than 5 million minutes.

CN: Who are some of your other notable customers that use your services and for what applications of conferencing?

DE: FreeConferenceCall.com helps organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, medium and small businesses, network marketers, political campaigns, non-profits, churches and community groups to collaborate and conduct remote meetings. From corporate earnings calls, religious broadcasts and remote sermons, to online press conferences or internal meetings, users have found that they can save money by using the services of Free Conferencing Corporation. Some of our notable users come from companies such as Mary Kay Cosmetics, National Federation of the Blind, International Coach Academy, The Salvation Army, The Kidney Cancer Association, Herbalife, Fedex, Tupperware and DSWA.

CN: You recently gave an ex-parte presentation to the FCC about the connection fee controversy. What's your position on this matter and when do you think things will settle with this issue?

DE: I think free services are great and so does the customer�and that�s settled.

CN: What's next for the Free Conference Call?

DE: We plan to introduce more innovative features and keep improving our existing services.

CN: Thanks, Dave. Continued success.

The Webinar Wire - Read from or Write to...

Contributors Wanted! Anyone can write a blog post on the Webinar Wire. This is a multi-author blog for the web event services market and we encourage marketers, tech service providers, and web event producers and promoters to contribute their news, opinions and insights.

If you're learning about how to produce effective webinars, the insights from contributors like Ken Molay will give you invaluable information and insight into best practices.

Read from or write to the Webinar Wire now.

Wainhouse Research CSP Summit: October 26th, Boston

The Wainhouse Research CSP Summit brings together collaboration & conferencing service providers, their technology partners, and WR analysts to connect, explore, and understand the rapidly changing market. The topics explored with this year's theme, "The Changing Landscape, How to Capitalize on New Markets for Collaboration Services", will help providers prepare for the future of the collaboration and conferencing industry as they learn what to expect from new technologies and new providers entering the space.
The discussions and presentations are highly interactive between speakers and the audience while focusing on practical strategies to drive adoption and growth. The format of the CSP Summit allows an unprecedented opportunity for networking during the session, breaks, lunch, and at a cocktail reception.

LEARN MORE and REGISTER

DimDim Wants You (Guys) to Get Wood and Webinars

Sex, Marketing, and Conferencing. First we had Cisco's "How to Get a Girl" video demonstrating its telepresence system and then we had the lollipop-sucking women in Glowpoint's tradebooth some time ago, and now we have DimDim pimping webinar services by using sex objects that belong to the French with a video entitled "Sexy How To Make Money Online with Webinars.

The new DimDim "French Maid TV" promotional videos that show busty women in their underwear straddling on big balls punctuated with how-to instruction of DimDim's new webinar service will undoubtedly be rationalized along the lines that other advertisers like GoDaddy do risque Super Bowl commercials and all is OK and "safe for work" to watch. One scene in the DimDim promo even pays homage to "The Man Show' with its "" segment wherein the French Maids are bouncing on exercise balls while their barely covered, ample breasts bounce in slow motion.

We're not sure webinars - which are frequently purchased, marketed, attended, and hosted by women - are the right product to be promoted by busty B-grade models in their underwear acting like flirty french maids and having pillow fights. We're all supposed to be in on the joke of the sexual stereotype that's being exploited, but what's also at work here is a justification for men at the office to watch busty women having pillow fights and maybe get some wood. Quite frankly, in an age when porn is mainstream and a click away, we find the video a bit trite and at over 5 minutes, a bit tedious. It does have some marketing merit if your objective is to get men to watch something insanely boring - webinar instructions. But if you're going to get sexy in this day and age and push the envelope, why not sponsor a hardcore porn video? To align with the collaborative DimDim brand, it ought to be a group sex scene. Between sex position changes, the porn stars could explain the features of DimDim. French maids are so, like, yesterday.

Is DimDim's promotion exploitive of women? Does it sexually objectify them? ...To each her own opinion. At a minimum, we find it corny. And it's condescending to anyone who actually wants to learn about making money in online events. Others find this type of boob marketing, "effin' brilliant."

We'd suggest that much more entertaining in the age of "reality" programming would be for DimDim CEO DD Ganguly (double D, too rich) and CMO Steve Chazin and the rest of the all-male management team at DimDim to join the french maids in the action. That's right, the DimDim management team should disrobe and join in the pillow fight in their underwear and straddle exercise balls with the women and educate us on the features of the DimDim webinar service. We can all be in on the joke of exploited stereotypes (french maids, reality stars) and DimDim management can certainly be said to be an equal opportunity marketer. C'mon guys, join the ladies, take your clothes off, get bouncing on your balls, and educate us about DimDim!!! ...Hmmm, on second thought, this would be Not Safe For Anyone to view.

The Launch of the BT Customer Experience Center in NYC

BT is without peer as a telecom brand. Cosmopolitan and international, they do things with flair and style - and success. They're anything but stodgy. Last night's ribbon-cutting event for their new Customer Experience Center in the airy, transparent design of Renzo Piano's New York Times Building is a case in point. Hanif Lanai, CEO of BT Global Services cut the ribbon to formally open their new "Customer Experience Center" (CEC) for US customers. We were too buzzed distracted in sucking down Heinekens and failed to get that on video, but we did manage to do quickie interviews with BT Conferencing CEO Aaron McCormack and Polycom CEO Bob Hagerty, see above and below. Here at this new center, the telepresence technologies of Polycom, Cisco and Tandberg, along with the latest unified communications and collaboration (UCC) offerings from Microsoft, Polycom, Cisco, HP, can be seen.

Quick impressions of this BT event:

Best-in-Showcase: Polycom
In BT's new CEC, Polycom has the most impressive room for its videoconferencing telepresence system. The room is beautifully designed for its purpose - a showcase - and in terms of "experience" it beats out the Cisco's and Tandberg's experiences in their respective telepresence showcase rooms. In terms of the actual mediated experience in videoconferencing with people at remote locations, we'd also give the winning edge to Polycom. While the sound could improve a bit, the Polycom telepresence visuals are spectacular. Cisco's backgrounds to the people your meeting with were a muddy brown-ish color, which is sort of a downer, particularly if you're already taking anti-depressants from spending countless hours stuck in the office because your boss says you can't travel anymore. Tandberg's backgrounds to the person we spoke with were sky blue. This was presented as a nice feature, but we kept expecting a jet, a cloud, a kite, or a parachuting Elliot Gold to appear behind the woman we chatted with at the other end. If you want to get natural and "immersive" you can't have people you're meeting with floating in the sky. However, all of these systems are impressive, and we'd encourage you to make an appointment to see them in action.

Best-in-Chat: Aaron McCormack
We always enjoy catching up with BT Conferencing CEO, Aaron McCormack. Affable, smart and successful at BT Conferencing, he was also one of the first people to personally sign up for CN's Key People Directory and now . Being accessible on and experimenting with social media as a CEO of a large company suggests to us that Aaron "gets it" and that bodes well for BT.

Best-in-Color: Purple
Who knew? Our Conferencing News name-tag badges had a purple stripe, as distinct from other attendees, such as customers and vendor partners. Come to find out, this purple stripe marked us as "Influencers" to the attentive and accommodating BT people working the room. ...Aha! This explains everything that happened up until 4:30am. What a night!

Bob Hagerty, CEO of Polycom at the BT Customer Experience Center Opening

Google Voice - with Conference Calling

What Conferencing News said in 2003

With all the media coverage of how the airlines will suffer mightily because of increased adoption of conferencing, we thought it appropriate to revisit the views of Conferencing News to see what we had to say back in 2003.

"The smartest thing the cost-cutting, non-union, exceptional-service-providing, premier US-based airline JetBlue should do with its wonderfully valued stock price is acquire Genesys, Webex, Raindance, and Act and transition the aggregated company over the next ten years as the brand to set up meetings with - via conferencing or flying to get there face-to-face. ...The airlines that cater to businesses will never - ever - enjoy the huge revenues it once commanded. The current hustle and bustle at airports today for business travel are the last twitches in the corpse of the airline industry. ...But ever-better and cheaper conferencing services over the next 10 years will take away 75% of the typical business travel by planes that we spend lots of time and money on today. Those shuttle flights full of business people - wasting money and time - you hear scraping the sunny morning skies look to me like flying dinosaurs. Extinction is coming their way. JetBlue should buy in. The cult of conferencing will kill the airline industry."

Read the 2003 interview

Recent articles about conferencing and the airlines:

Travel Goes the Way of the Dodo at Cisco

Southwest Airlines' Next Competitor? Cisco Systems

Gartner Predicts Video Telepresence Will Replace 2.1 Million Airline Seats Per Year by 2012, Losing the Travel Industry $3.5 billion annually


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