As companies reduce their travel budgets - they still have the challenge of conducting business without being face-to-face. Of course by now my readers have heard me discuss countless solutions to how you can conference using technology. One of my more recent encounters with companies in this space took place earlier this month in a meeting with Greg Plum of The Conference Group, a conferencing company specializing in audio and video and selling through wholesale and retail channels. Both agents and resellers are targets of the company's wholesale approach and they are currently servicing the US, Canada and have some partners in the UK.
Plum tells me to differentiate themselves, by allowing recordable conferences which are turned into podcasts. These can be subscribed to by RSS readers which means you can keep people informed on happenings in a new way. In addition the company offers toll-free conference call numbers in 60 countries allowing customers to seem as they have an international presence.
I asked about competition from free services and Greg mentioned Skype and DimDim are the biggest competitors - but they differentiate by offering multipoint service and he said with his service you don't get solicited by other callers such as "sexysamantha" referring to the spam you get on services like Skype.
He further explained his company has focused on the quality of their calls which he says are better than that of free services. I haven't had a chance to use the service myself by will certainly cover it when/if I do get an account.
Greg thinks his company is positioned well in this economic downturn as the competition in the business space is the cost of first-class round-trip tickets abroad. Moreover the company seems to have a great strategy on focusing on keeping agents, VARs and customers happy.