Booster Shot For Online Multimedia

WorldStream suite automates key tasks needed to develop and conduct presentations



A new Web-based service may expand the use of multimedia presentations over the Internet by automating many tasks needed to develop and conduct online presentations. WorldStream Communications Inc.'s Desktop Interactive Suite is a hosted service that lets customers create and distribute multimedia presentations to a broad audience.

Customers can use the service for both live and on-demand events that include streaming audio or video communications, or a combination of both. For example, it can be used by a company to present financial results to Wall Street analysts.

The Desktop Interactive Suite also features online wizards that guide customers through the processes of scheduling, creating, and conducting presentations, without requiring presenters or participants to download special software to their PCs, WorldStream executives say. The service is easy to use with company firewalls and offers customers a variety of levels of security, they say.

The level of automation that WorldStream provides for the service could help make online multimedia presentations a viable tool for a wider range of users, says Greg Howard, a principal analyst with consulting firm the HTRC Group. Because the service's automation features make it easier for individuals to create and run their own conferences, companies can cost-effectively scale down to meet the needs of smaller workgroups, Howard says.

The WorldStream Desktop Interactive service has four service levels: simple audio to the desktop, video to the desktop, enhanced audio with interactive narration, and multimedia to the desktop. The latter lets customers include PowerPoint slides and conduct polls, quizzes, question and answer sessions, and chat.

Desktop Interactive is available now. Prices depend on the types of service used and overall volume.

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