Brother has launched an online meeting and video conferencing kit for small business owners who don't have the time, IT resources or the inclination, frankly, to piece together a solution on their own.
Called OmniJoin Web Conferencing in a Box (model WCB-400), the product blends Brother's OmniJoin cloud-based web conferencing service with the hardware required to attend virtual meetings. OmniJoin debuted in June 2012 as a standalone service. This bundle marks the first time that Brother includes practically everything a small to midsized business (SMB) needs to get started on the platform in one package.
OmniJoin Web Conferencing in a Box includes a full HD (1080) webcam, a noise- and echo-cancelling USB speakerphone and four months of the OmniJoin Basic service for $199. The webcam features dual microphones, connects to a PC via USB 2.0 and supports both Windows (XP+) and Mac (OSX 10.5 to 10.8) systems.
Web Conferencing in the Cloud
All of the pieces to create and deliver a product that combines both hardware and cloud services sort of just fell into place said Dan Waldinger, Brother's director of marketing for solutions and services. "Since the Brother webcam and personal speakerphone have been optimized to work with OmniJoin web conferencing, it was an easy decision to find a way to offer these items in one package," he told Small Business Computing.
As a result, organizations spend less time cobbling together web conferencing systems. Instead, they host and attend video conferences almost as soon as they open the box. "The hardware is 'plug-and-play' with a universal USB connection, and OmniJoin web conferencing is cloud-based, so our customers are able to set-up and conduct a web meeting almost immediately after set-up," added Waldinger.
Apart from online audio and video, the OmniJoin platform offers up to 3 GB of cloud storage and collaboration tools that include chat, file sharing, whiteboarding and the capability to add annotations over live applications. Hosts can record OmniJoin conferences, including VoIP audio, multiparty video and all content that appears on-screen. OmniJoin saves the output to an industry-standard MP4 file, enabling easy playback, editing and sharing.
OmniJoin is also secure. Putting to rest any fears that hackers may eavesdrop on sensitive meetings, Brother claims that all data transferred over the platform, including Web, VoIP and video conferencing, is safeguarded with end-to-end encryption.
What's more, small businesses are no longer priced out of unified conferencing and collaboration technologies, asserted Waldinger. "Web Conferencing in a Box offers the market a value-priced bundling of high quality A/V equipment and an advanced web-conferencing service," he said.
"I have not seen anything like this before, and I think SMB customers especially will appreciate the significant improvement this can make in their day-to-day collaboration with colleagues and customers," predicted Waldinger.
OmniJoin Web Conferencing in a Box is available now. After the initial four months of OmniJoin, subscription plans start at $49 per month.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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