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THE CN INTERVIEW:

The CN Interview with Persony's Herb Levitin

23 April, 2008

This month's interview is with Herb Levitin, President of Persony.

Conferencing News: Herb, can you first tell us what Persony offers and why it is different from other web conferencing services in the market place?

Herb Levitin: Persony is a leader in private label web and video conferencing. We have a Flash-based solution designed for service providers to offer as a 100% private label service to their end users. We are a software developer and not a service provider. Our software can be hosted by service providers using standard web servers or web hosting services at very low costs. Service providers can purchase perpetual Persony software licenses for a one-time fee, offer monthly services at very competitive rates, and keep all the recurring revenues.

CN: We understand there is a new version of the Persony web/video conferencing product.

HL: In June of last year we introduced our Web Conference 2.0 product which eliminated the previous desktop program installation and desktop icon. This new version allows moderators to log on using any computer in the world and hold a web conference using both a private and public library of images, share desktop applications, MP3 files, PowerPoint presentations with animations, and unique to Persony streaming Flash videos that are controlled by the moderator.

CN: In addition to the new version you are releasing additional features to your Web Conferencing 2.0 product?

HL: Yes, we have added recording and audio conference bridge integration software for the ThinkEngine VSR-1000.

CN: Can you describe what your software can do with the ThinkEngine bridge?

HL: Web attendees can self-identify their own telephone numbers so there is only one list of attendees for both the web and audio conference. The Persony moderator can mute individuals or put the entire conference into Q&A mode, hang up callers, dial out to callers and of course start and stop multiple recordings during each web conference.

CN: What format is the recording?

HL: The audio from the bridge is converted into MP3 format then put into one bundle of Flash SWF files so to play it back you only click on a URL. The web/audio conference call then plays back exactly like a YouTube video with the addition of pause, fast forward and reverse controls. You can also download the audio only portion directly into an MP3 file in case clients want to listen to it on an IPOD.

CN: What exactly is captured on the recording?

HL: We record everything in a web meeting, such as chat messages, slides, annotations, whiteboard and desktop sharing sessions, streaming video and audio (except for live webcam videos.) We record the meeting data as high-level events so the recording size is fairly small--on average 30-50MB per hour. All the messages in the chat window and the attendee list is also recorded. You can jump around randomly during playback, you can zoom in or out of any screen, and even change events that occurred during the meeting.

CN: You mean you can change history of a recording?

HL: It is certainly possible to do although we are not releasing that feature yet. It's also possible to edit the recorded MP3 audio with a
standard MP3 editor to remove the head and tail segments. You can also
replace the MP3 audio entirely, for instance, to translate to a different
language.

CN: Are you only supporting the ThinkEngine bridge?

HL: The ThinkEngine is the first bridge we are supporting. We have plans to port our bridge control software to Avaya, Compunetix and the Spectel S700 series bridges.

CN: Any other new features of the Persony software since our last interview?

HL: We have added support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) so a Conference Service Provider can support an unlimited number of clients and not invest in any hardware. AWS is a virtual server hosting service and you only pay for bandwidth and usage charges. A service provider can launch an AWS server, fully configured to run Persony web and video conferencing services,
in a few minutes with a click of button.

CN: It is less expensive to rent a cow than to buy a cow?

HL: Yes and the AWS virtual server service has a 250 Mbps connection to the Internet at an extremely low cost. Scaling is very simple and inexpensive. AWS has three virtual image options that can support 200 to 1,600 simultaneous users, then you can launch as many virtual servers you need.

CN: Who are your typical clients?

HL: Most of our clients have been audio conference service providers but we have many ASP's in vertical markets and some very large Enterprise clients. Not having to download software is a big advantage over existing products. We are a software only company and our software is 100% self-branded by our clients. To create a branded site takes less than ten minutes by a non-programmer.

CN: Sounds like you are have created a simple way to get into the web/video conferencing market.

HL: Simple and inexpensive as it is a one time software purchase with out-sourced commodity servers doing the work at a very competitive cost.

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