Web Conferencing Extensibility – it’s not just a gimmick
We’ve written a lot lately about the extensibility of Adobe Connect; here’s a guest perspective from RefinedData’s Terry Shane
Let’s face it, the last thing we need is another web conferencing solution! Hardly a month goes by without yet another vendor offering a solution for “virtual meetings”. How can you choose between a growing and bewildering list of products that all claim to offer the “best” solution? An odd way to start a post about Adobe Connect, but it’s an important point.
What makes smartphones “smart” is that they’re platforms on which third parties can build applications. Today’s phones can be remote control devices, trading platforms, game consoles, GPS systems, video cameras – anything someone can dream up – even a web conferencing interface!
Similarly, it’s this kind of extensibility that differentiates Adobe Connect from other web conferencing solutions – the ability to solve business problems with custom applications that operate inside of live and recorded meetings.
Extensibility enables business applications allowing multiple participants to collaborate in ways that are not possible outside of Adobe Connect. Other web conferencing tools are the equivalent of phones with limited functions, not supporting the ability of developers to build new tools and features.
You may be aware of extensions for Adobe Connect, tools that increase functionality and/or increase engagement. For example, there are extensions that calculate the carbon or cost savings for meetings or stream live video from external sources.
These custom pods can interact with external network services such as Google Maps, Yahoo! stock feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Salesforce, PayPal or any internet- or intranet-based API. An extension can pull data from these (and other) sources, as well as push data back. A feature unique to Adobe Connect – viewers of recorded meetings may work with these tools as well; they can be written to differentiate between a live event and a recording.
Consider what could be.
The possibilities are impressive – here are some ideas:
HR: On-boarding forms or employee surveys that are submitted directly back to the corporate database and create PDF versions that are emailed to the user.
Fund raising: Allow attendees of a fund-raising webinar to make donations within the live event or when watching the recording.
Custom shopping: Enter a product SKU and receive images, descriptions, pricing and inventory availability. Purchases executed in real-time without leaving the meeting room via integrated credit card transactions. Hosts could monitor purchases (without seeing sensitive info) and be able to offer incentives or limit the purchasing opportunity.
Sales: A viewer of a recorded event is able to enter a phone number for a call back from a salesperson or call center. The extension is sophisticated enough to recognize the user’s IP address, determine country and time-zone, check if the local center is open and average wait time, and automatically arrange the call back or generate a live call.
I’m just scratching the surface, but if you’d like to suggest some of your own ideas (via comments below or by sending me an email), I’ll present some of the most innovative in a future post. There really is no limit and I’d love to see what we can come up with.