ConnectSolutions’ Podium 2: Webcasting With Real-Time Collaboration

When collaborating, sharing information, holding conversations and generally connecting with the rest of your team can be the difficult part. When you’re working at the enterprise level, the situation gets more complex; you may need to get information out quickly to a large group of employees. In that sort of situation, it can seem like the best option is to call everyone into the office and hold a meeting. The right communication tools can help you avoid such throwback situations, however.

ConnectSolutions offers a number of products geared towards helping organizations collaborate, including ConnectYou.Me, which offers a real-time communications channel for customers as well as staff within your company.The company also offers Podium, a webcasting tool, to large companies and organizations, as well as government users. This week, the company unveiled Podium 2, which expands the software to the point that it can provide extensive communication options for meetings ranging from a few employees to thousands of audience members.

When you’re working with a dispersed team, you need the right tools to hold effective meetings. Podium 2 offers the flexibility to offer one-way announcements, moderated question-and-answer sessions and public chats with equal ease. That means that you can use the same tool for planning meetings with your teams and for making presentations to prospective clients.

Podium is a useful webcasting option due to the fact that it is both secure and based on Flash (s adbe) — there is no additional software your team must install and learn to navigate. Even better, you don’t have to worry about the hardware your team is using (assuming they aren’t relying on a mobile devices that don’t support Flash). It handles HD video and audio, and can be branded for your organization, creating a professional appearance for anyone attending your meetings.

The ability to record webcasts can offer an added bonus: If your team members are scattered through different time zones, they can catch up with meetings that happened while they were sleeping. Even better, if you don’t need a straight-up meeting, but rather an announcement or teaching tool, you can still use Podium 2 without having to bring in new software.

Podium 2 also has a new pricing model: customers can purchase an unlimited-use annual subscription, making it easy to roll out through an entire organization and encourage widespread adoption of the tool, rather than having it limited to use by few key individuals or departments. The features and pricing make Podium 2 worth investigating for an organization looking for a real-time communication solution.

Related GigaOM Pro content (sub. req.): Report: The Real-Time Enterprise