Google has launched a new video conferencing tool that aims to compete against Polycom and Cisco. For organisations that rely on global teams and workforces in remote locations, there may be significant interest in the new service. For BPO staff training and client meetings it could be a huge benefit.
The system is able to connect people in up to 15 different locations. And is designed to be much cheaper than comparable services currently on the market. For the first year the service costs about $US 1,000 and for following years $US 280 per annum, for those who require ongoing support.
Cromebox for Meetings went on Sale on the 10th February in the US. Over the next few weeks, the new service will be available in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, Japan, France and Spain.
Chromebox For Meetings is being sold by Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Asus, all of which already sell an assortment of gear to corporate customers and government agencies.
The video-conferencing kit relies on several existing Google products: the Chrome operating system based on the eponymous web browser; the technology running Google’s free Hangouts video chat system; and a suite of applications the company has been selling to businesses for several years.
Ease of setup is one of Google’s main selling points, and it should be particularly easy for companies already using Google Apps for mail and calendaring. Google said the system eliminates “complex dial-in codes, passcodes, or leader PINs,” with the exception of participants who join using UberConference.
Laptop screens can be shared wirelessly, and “integration with Google Apps makes it easy to invite others and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar,” the company said. Businesses will be able to set up and manage conference rooms from a Web-based console.