Glowpoint branching out into Webcasting

FRAMINGHAM (10/14/2003) - Glowpoint Inc., known until last month as Wire One Technologies, says it will expand beyond videoconferencing services and into Webcasting by year-end.

The company, which earlier this month shed its videoconferencing product line to focus exclusively on services, says its Glowpoint Webcasting offering will let existing videoconferencing customers set up on-demand or live streaming-media sessions over the company's network.

The new service "acts as a physical, operational and transaction gateway between conferencing and streaming networks," says Andrew Davis, managing partner at Wainhouse Research.

The Glowpoint network, based on capacity leased from MCI, Qwest and others, connects 11 data centers across the U.S. The company also has data centers in Canada, Puerto Rico, England and Japan.

Customers are required to have H.323 videoconferencing gear at their sites that is available from vendors such as Polycom. Employees need only a browser to access the Webcast.

To support the service, Glowpoint provisions symmetric DSL or a fractional T-1 connection, at US$500 per month for up to 512K bit/sec.

At its data centers, Glowpoint produces and transmits customers' videostreaming content on demand or live for events such as a CEO's speech to employees.

The company, which has offered videoconferencing services for about three years, will charge for its Webcasting service based on usage, in addition to the flat network-connectivity fee. If a customer sets up a 30-minute sales-training video to be transmitted to 100 employees, that user will pay for 3,000 minutes of use. Glowpoint would not reveal the per-minute fee.

But the service provider says customers can expect cost savings of about 50 percent vs. ISDN-based offerings.

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