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Collaboration and Conferencing is Getting Cloudy

Over the past week I've become aware of three new collaboration services that are easy to use and basically challenge the space led by Cisco's WebEx and CItrix Online's GoToMeeting, not to mention put all kinds of pressure on Glance which has had a nice run at the online screen sharing space.

The three are: 

I've tried two of the three so far, MeetingBurner and Join.Me. Join.Me comes from the folks at LogMeIn, so they've got the firewall and NAT traversal pretty well figured out. It's a slick free screen-sharing service, with a conference calling option (you dial a number-long distance charges may apply). They also have the iOS apps down rock solid. Free in the iTunes' App Store, the service works as designed and it's fast. 

MeetingBurner is a competitor to former client (twice) HiDef Conferencing without the HiDef without real Skype integration. Basically they make a Skype Out call vs. have a hard connection to the Skype service so the audio is low-def. But they get good karma points for a very slick (and fast) sign-up process and an intuitive interface.

As for, I've yet to try out the service, but they do actually have a revenue model. $10.00 a month which puts them in the premium category, but at a rock bottom price.

With cloud resoures getting less and less expensive expect more of these services to come to light.




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Andy - I could not agree with you more on the blurring of lines. In fact, collaboration itself is so trendy as a term these days that conferencing seems hardly used any more. Getting equally harder to distinguish video from collaboration as well.

It never ceases to amaze me how many startups continue to come to market with their flavor of screen sharing services - I can add and CrunchConnect among others to your good list. While I have not used a lot of CrunchConnect - like you I like the simplicity and trust factor with - it caught my attention because at least its marketing is focused on a set of processes (selling, pitching) and a unique feature set (alarms go off when your audience is not listening), versus many others that take a horizontal/we're cheaper approach.

I guess the reality is that there remain buckets of customers to acquire from the legacy web conferencing providers, and still yet many laggard users who don't use screen sharing as they should. The latter remain afraid of the complexity, I assume. More to come, as you said.

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