CallWave brings Web conferencing capabilities to mobile devices

CallWave's new FUZE software lets desktop users and road warriors alike join in rich-media Web conferencing.

To explain his company's new mobile collaboration platform FUZE, CallWave CEO Jeff Cavins can point to his company's board of directors.

During the board's last meeting, executives calling from mountaintops and ocean-moored yachts were able to view spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides and other data on their mobile devices, in sync and with the same resolution and presentation as their office-bound colleagues.

All participants were using the company's FUZE Web conferencing and unified communications product, which has both mobile and browser clients so that users can connect wherever and however is convenient.

"Very few corporate assets have been extended to the mobile phone. The only one that has been is Exchange," Cavins said. "The world is moving toward mobile devices."

CallWave launched FUZE this week at Interop. The platform includes a Flash-based unified communications portal designed to be platform-agnostic, as well as a variety of device-specific applications, including apps for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Nokia devices and Windows Mobile-based phones.

The mobile and desktop clients are designed to share a common look and feel and feature set: Presenters can walk participants through a slide deck, for example, or get live feedback on streaming video.

Being able to get the same data and same view on workers' phones is something new, according to E. Brent Kelly, a senior analyst with Duxbury, Mass.-based Wainhouse Research LLC.

"This capability frankly doesn't exist for the most part. CallWave is going to have to work on developing the market," Kelly said. "But there's enough market push and advertising and so forth for unified communications and collaboration, it just makes sense to take it to the mobile device."

Kelly said these features could have broad demand, particularly since CallWave has made the program so intuitive.

"There are so many people -- sales people, managers, whatever -- that have mobile devices, and they need to connect in to meetings, and those meetings require data," he said. To date, those users dialing into Web conferences either had to boot up the laptop, log into a wireless network, and sign into conferencing software to see what everyone else saw, or they just had to do without.

CallWave's solution might not immediately resonate with enterprises, particularly as they pare down expenses in a slow economy, but Kelly said mobile collaboration will be a business imperative in the future.

"It's more of a productivity tool, and how do you measure productivity?" he said. "But ultimately, most handsets are going to have this capability. These guys are just on the leading edge of that."

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