Interwise upgrades IP-based Web conferencing software

ECP Connect offers data, video, and VoIP meetings

Interwise on Tuesday launched Version 6.0 of its ECP (Enterprise Communications Platform) Connect IP-based Web conferencing software, adding new features for personalization and management.

ECP Connect integrates Web, video, and voice in an IP-based software platform. The platform features fully integrated VoIP, and ties in with a company's existing VoIP infrastructure. Users are given a choice to connect to a meeting via a traditional PSTN line or through VoIP on a PC.

The IP-based system offers cost savings and simplified integration into other applications, according to Neil Lieberman, vice president of marketing at Interwise.

"Because we handle voice and data as a single IP stream, it is very easy to integrate us into other applications [such as] portals, content management systems, and team rooms," Lieberman said.

Moreover, as more and more enterprises move to VoIP by migrating voice traffic onto data networks, further cost advantages can be attained with a single voice and data conferencing platform, Lieberman said.

"When you use [ECP Connect] with your VoIP infrastructure you are saving [on] the cost of the parallel audio conference. [Because] everything is integrated, you have a singe data stream carrying voice, video, and data," Lieberman said.

VoIP integration with Web conferencing will be a fairly standard feature soon, as enterprises look for more flexibility in connection options, according to David Coleman, managing director of analyst firm Collaborative Strategies.

VoIP can offer cost advantages, but the most important thing in collaboration tools such as Web conferencing is that connectivity is robust and transparent, whatever technology it is using, Coleman said.

ECP Connect "does a good job of integrating VoIP and PSTN pretty seamlessly so it doesn't matter if you are on an analog phone or connecting to a meeting on the PC," Coleman said.

New features in Version 6.0 include MyMeetingRoom, which offers a personalized voice, Web, or combined voice and Web conferencing room. MyMeetingRoom lets users quickly launch a meeting without pre-scheduling an event by launching a personal meeting window that can escalate an IM or e-mail conversation to a full conference.

Other enhancements in Version 6.0 include additional controls for muting participants, locking or unlocking an event to further connections, and counting the number of participants.

Also new is a Microsoft Outlook add-in that makes it easer to schedule meetings and events, and support for Dynamic HTML for PowerPoint presentations.

Interwise offers a fixed pricing structure, which includes unlimited conferences, number of users, minutes and concurrent events.

"We are tying to make conferencing a core computing utility," Lieberman said.