Online Web Conferencing via iPhone

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Randy Savicky
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Online Web Conferencing via iPhone

Genesys Meeting CenterToday, Genesys will announce the first web conferencing and online meeting application for the Apple iPhone combining conferencing, the ability to view online presentations, application sharing and sending chat messages. It has a slick interface and so far, Genesys is the only compatible conferencing provider to run on the iPhone due to its standards-based AJAX platform. If my mentioning AJAX on the iPhone sounds familiar, it should, since last week I wrote about SoonR, an AJAX application, which enables Skype to run on the Apple iPhone.

In fact, that article caught the attention of Genesys's PR representative since they also happened to previously represent SoonR. The Genesys rep emailed me about the pending Genesys Meeting Center 4.0 announcement, and explained how it brings multimedia "virtual meetings" to the iPhone allowing users to easily join a voice and web meeting using the iPhone's Safari browser.

"Genesys' strategy is always to provide ubiquitous access to virtual meetings regardless of the platform, browser or device you're using," said Denise Persson, EVP Global Marketing of Genesys. "We are delighted to bring this critical business capability to the iPhone, right from the start. The iPhone's remarkably sleek display is a great display for the simple and user-friendly interface of Genesys Meeting Center 4.0. It's a great marriage of an elegant hardware and browser-based software as a service application working together to serve both the business and aesthetic needs and desires of mobile professionals.

"Businesses are becoming increasingly dispersed and require the flexibility and ease-of-use needed for professionals to collaborate over mobile devices from anywhere they happen to be," added Persson. Today, twenty percent of all participants attend meetings from a cell phone. With the iPhone, people will have access to the full experience of a virtual meeting anywhere and anytime without carrying a laptop.

Key benefits for iPhone users include:

Real-time collaboration
Participants are able to view real-time online presentations, document-, and application-sharing instantly. All features regularly viewable on a desktop during a web meeting are supported on the iPhone with zoom-in capabilities and portrait/landscape view. Speed varies depending on Wi-Fi or EDGE connection speed.

Simplified meeting access and cost-efficiency
With Genesys Meeting Center's 'dial me' feature, participants don't need to locate the dial-in number or worry about connection charges. One click via the iPhone's Safari browser allows users to participate in the web meeting and at the same time the application automatically calls the participant.

Note: The screenshot above may or may not be the actual user interface on the iPhone. I grabbed this via a Flash demo. I'm waiting for the actual screenshots from my contact and will update this post accordingly.

The iPhone can access many of the features of Genesys Meeting Center, which is the "core" of the product. Here is a list of Genesys Meeting Center's features:
  • Web-based audio management controls
  • PSTN and VoIP conferencing
  • Application, document and file sharing
  • Online PowerPoint presentations
  • Chat
  • Multipoint desktop video
  • Web tours
  • Voting and surveys
  • E-Quizzes
  • White boarding
  • Recording
  • Meeting reports
  • Archiving
  • Customizable interface
  • Enhanced security features
You'll notice that VoIP is mentioned above, however there is not VoIP connectivity to the iPhone. Rather the Genesys conferencing system dials the iPhone over the PSTN - a similar solution to SoonR which also dials the iPhone over PSTN for its Skype (VoIP) workaround. Still pretty cool to have a web meeting with full collaboration capabilities - including application sharing on the iPhone. Check out www.genesys.com/iphone for more info.

Update: Here are some photos. Enjoy!

Conference participants and presence info

Genesys iPhone

Conferencing dial options
Genesys iPhone

Application sharing (Excel)

Genesys iPhone


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