Contigo takes a totally different approach from WebEx to online meetings. Instead of playing host on its site, it sells software so companies can host their own meetings.
Contigo's i2i Internet Conferencing System is a family of four products that support from 10 to 1,500 attendees with varying feature sets. The basic 10-user package costs $2,799 and features presentation uploading and archiving, Follow-Me Web tours, ad hoc meetings, live software demos, chat, polling, whiteboard and annotation. Moving up a couple notches, the Seminar version ($18,499) supports 50 users and adds secure HTTPS connections, automated event scheduling and calendaring, recording and playback of meetings, and meeting/seminar management facilities. All versions can support more users with additional licenses.
Platform versatility and superior services
Although the server software requires an NT or UNIX machine, Contigo clients may access the software using any combination of Macintosh, Wintel, UNIX and network computers, thanks to a 100-percent Java-based implementation. This is a true cross- platform solution. The audio portion of the meeting is carried by a telephone conference call.
Nevertheless, Contigo wants to set itself apart from the competition through superior pre-meeting and post-meeting services. Pre-meeting activities include event advertising with coming-attraction previews and advance registration to help the presenter target her audience. Post-meeting surveys or audience-feedback polls can be integrated directly into such business applications as contact managers and databases. The service can even send thank-you notes, product literature or other correspondence to the participants by e-mail. Finally, the entire meeting (visuals and Java audio) can be recorded and played back for those who couldn't attend. This feature also makes Contigo a perfect solution for training applications.
Contigo meetings can be scheduled or ad hoc. For scheduled meetings, presenters create a guest list to approve or deny would-be participants. Slideshows in PowerPoint or Corel Presentations formats are uploaded to the meeting site, where they are converted into high-resolution Web pages for quick viewing by participants. Once meetings get started, all attendees can annotate and write on the whiteboard. Audioconferencing is accomplished by a simultaneous telephone conference call. Two important capabilities in the latest version are the Follow-Me application and Web Tours, which allow the presenter to give a live software demonstration or surf the Web with the attendees.
Contact: Contigo Software, 858.792.8206, www.contigo.com.
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