WebEx upgrades Web conferencing platform

Company expands APIs, unveils managed appliance

WebEx communications this week will upgrade the underlying network platform that powers its Web conferencing applications. The enhancements to the MediaTone platform will deliver an expanded API set, a managed appliance offering, and a modular UI redesign.

The new set of published APIs eases the process of integrating WebEx data into back-end enterprise applications, said Shawn Farshchi, CIO of WebEx. Previously, stitching WebEx into apps required professional services.

Published APIs that allow users to weave real-time communications into in-house software are becoming essential, especially in large companies, said Andy Nilssen, senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research.

"As more and more enterprises start to weave Web conferencing into workflow applications, the APIs are becoming extremely important," Nilssen said.

WebEx also unveiled EMX (Extended MediaTone Exchange), a managed appliance that extends the WebEx MediaTone network inside the customer firewall.

The EMX box gives customers more control over content, as well as the ability to optimize bandwidth usage and perform deeper application integration.

Another improvement to MediaTone is PowerPanels, a UI feature that separates meeting content from the management tools and lets users adjust the interface.