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Main > Archives > 2009 > February > Q & A about Calliflower with Iotum CEO Alec Saunders

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Q & A about Calliflower with Iotum CEO Alec Saunders

alec saunders

Earlier today, I sent three questions to Iotum CEO Alec Saunders. I wanted to know more about Calliflower and its distinguishing characteristics. (By the way, Saunders has his own blog for your reading enjoyment.)

My first question resulted in his longest response, so I'll save that one for last.

I'll start with my Facebook Integration question:

 Question 1:: Can you provide a simple & straightforward explanation of how Facebook integration works?

Alec Saunders:Calliflower has both a web version and a Facebook version.  Many of our customers are using Facebook in their marketing efforts in order to recruit more people to their online marketing events. They like to host calls in the Facebook environment.  What that means is that customers can invite participants from their Facebook friends list, broadcast the call and call details to their Facebook newsfeed, and manage the call from within the Facebook environment.  By leveraging Facebook, they drive more participants and ... more revenues.

Question 2: How did you arrive at the conclusion that he old school biz platform for  conferencing was 'dumb as rocks'?

Alec Saunders: For most people, conference calls are a necessary evil.  There are a litany of problems: 

  • They’re expensive, with confusing pricing models. 
  • They don’t give you useful information like who’s on the call, who’s planning to attend, what the call agenda is, or who wants to speak. 
  • Sound quality is frequently low, with bad echo problems or background noise.
  • People end up talking over one another without visible cues for who has the floor.

Standard conferencing solutions, such as you might buy from your local telephone company, haven’t evolved since the 1970’s -- the IBM mainframe era.  Solutions like ReadyTalk get you part way there, but they really haven’t escaped the chains of old-skool pricing models, and software systems.  To stretch an analogy, they’re more like a PC than an IBM mainframe.  Who’s the Apple Macintosh of the conferencing world?  That’s what we aim to be.

In today’s world, there really is no reason for people to put up with un-evolved telecom systems any more.  They’re dumb as rocks, and destined to go the way of the dodo

Question 3:: calliflower vs readytalkWhat distinct advantages does Iotum/Calliflower have over other flat-rate web conference providers, such as ReadyTalk?

Alec Saunders: It’s easier to participate, easier to moderate, and easier to share with Calliflower.  For example, I note that

  • ReadyTalk’s web conference feature requires you to download code.  Calliflower doesn’t. 

The last time I participate in a “download code” web conference, it took 22 minutes for me to get set up.  First, I had to download Java, then the web client, and then go back to email and find the web link, and then log in.  With Calliflower, it takes 30 seconds to start sharing a document – no downloads, no separate clients, no fuss, no muss.

  Calliflower is designed with user experience in mind and Price is a huge difference.

User experience:

  •  Everyone can see the other people who are on the call (including photos).  That means no more roll calls, no more irritating chimes when people come on or leave the call, and no more not knowing who’s on the call and who not.

All features are accessible from a web interface. That means no more remembering special key combo’s to mute lines, start recordings and so on.
Price: Calliflower: 

  • Premium $50 / month for unlimited calls with unlimited participants and unlimited web meetings.

ReadyTalk

  • Webconferencing: $49/month for up to 15 attendees + 15c per minute per additional participant.
  • Audio conferencing: 12c per minute.
  • Recordings: 12c per minute.
  • Recording  hosting: 20c per minute

What does all that nickel and diming add up to?  Let’s compare doing 4 webinars of 1 hour duration in a month, with 20 attendees.

1. Cost on Calliflower: $50

2. Cost on ReadyTalk: $49 + 4*(5 additional attendees * 60 minutes * .15) + 4*(20 attendees * 60 minutes * 12 cents) = $805

Other advantages:

  1. An international dial-in network.  London, Dublin, Belfast, Sydney, Singapore, Mexico City These are just a few of the over 50 cities where we have a local dial presence. 
  2. an incredible experience on iPhone that is hands-down the best way for any mobile worker to participate in a conference call.

By Matt O'Hern at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

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