Lotus Web Conferencing Service Looks Good (2004)

In January, 2005, IBM Lotus will launch its web conferencing service, IBM Lotus Web Conferencing Service. The main functions are Whiteboard, integrated phone audio, Screen Sharing, Chat, Send Web Page, and Polling. This is essentially a hosted version of Lotus' web conferencing software, sometimes known as SameTime. The service is aimed at smallish groups, typically up to 10 people or so; there's a maximum of 100 concurrent users.

For distributed teams, the service immediately strikes us as more functional than its main competitors, Microsoft/PlaceWare, and Webex. The audio integration is particularly elegant. Eg:

  • When you schedule the event, the audio is automatically provisioned
  • The screen indicates who's speaking
  • You can disconnect a voice session
  • You can dial out to connect a new person on the fly
  • You can hit *0 on your phone touchpad, and that puts you through to a live operator who provides help on use with the session

Customers will be able to use the service and/or also install the software on their premises if they wish. Pricing's not finalized, but you'll be able to buy on a per user per minute basis, in which case the pricing for both audio and web will be around 50 cents/user/minute; or you'll be able to buy in bulk and get discounts.

The service looks like it will be a winner. We've joined the beta testing program. Check back in January to see if we're still enthusiasts.

One Trackback

  1. By Ed Brill on December 11, 2004 at 3:00 PM

    Ferris Research Blog: Lotus Web Conferencing service look good

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