Introducing the easiest way to schedule an online meeting: Meet@AnyMeeting.com

If you know a thing about AnyMeeting, then you know we like to innovate!  We previously brought you “talk@anymeeting.com” that allows you to schedule conference calls straight from any email or calendar program with no plugins or apps required.

Well, I’m very excited to announce that we’re bringing this same innovation to online meetings and video conferences.  Starting today, you only need to remember one thing — just CC: meet@anymeeting.com in your email or calendar invite to start an online meeting.  Within seconds, we create an online meeting for you and invite everyone on your email or calendar invite.  It could not be simpler.  You don’t even require an existing AnyMeeting account — anyone can use this service.

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To recap, setting up an online meeting or video conference with up to 4 people for FREE now only takes three easy steps:

1) Create an email or calendar invitation and add your recipients

2) Add meet@anymeeting.com to your email/calendar invite as well

3) Hit send.  You can even try it now – click here and invite someone!

Within seconds, everyone receives the invite to your online meeting.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this feature — please feel free to email us at info@anymeeting.com with your thoughts.

Introducing Meeting 4.0

We here at AnyMeeting are pretty excited! Why? Because we recently launched Meeting 4.0 — a major upgrade to the AnyMeeting platform you all know and love. So what’s different about Meeting 4.0? For starters, the user interface has a brand new look, and has been rebuilt from the ground up to make it simpler to hold online meetings.

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We also completely democratized the online meeting by allowing everyone in the meeting to have mostly the same rights as the host (except ending the meeting or starting recording).  For example, everyone can mute each other as needed (you’ve been in those meetings where someone walks away and you can hear their dog in the background) or share their webcams.  What we make sure to do though is to notify who muted who, in the chat area, like a log.  That way there’s a record that Sally muted John, and when John un-mutes himself, he can tell Sally that he didn’t really appreciate that.

What we wanted to do was to make the online meeting as natural as possible, like an in-person meeting, where we mostly rely on social cues to drive the direction of the conversation.  We’d really love to hear your feedback on our approach.

Other noteworthy improvements to the meeting platform include the following:

Integrated Social Media Information
Hosts with AnyMeeting Pro Plans can now click on any attendee’s name to view additional social media information, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles.

Automatic Attendee Images
Attendees will have their image automatically populated with the help of Gravatar.com.

Emojis and Chat Images
We’re proud to announce that chat now contains 868 unique emojis to have fun with ;). We also provide an image of each person chatting, and the opportunity for everyone to keep track of actions such as muting or know where to download files that have been shared during the meeting.

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Meeting Notes
Meeting notes can now be edited by multiple people at once and we’ve added formatting options (for bullet lists and so on). As always, meeting participants will conveniently receive notes via email after the meeting ends.

Video Sharing And Storage On The AnyMeeting Platform
In the past, meeting hosts were limited to using YouTube to show video files within the meeting, but thanks to a major upgrade to video sharing, you can now upload videos directly to AnyMeeting. Additionally, audio from the video can now be heard by those using a phone line to attend the meeting. We also increased the content library to 1 GB of storage for presentation files and videos. And as another bonus, you can now record the video playing during your meeting to share at a later time.

Presentation Sharing For All!
Share a PowerPoint presentation with your attendees and allow them to download the content.  In addition, attendees can now easily upload share their own presentations or videos during the meeting.  Their uploaded files are deleted at the end of the meeting.

HD Video Conferencing
We now provide 720p HD video for meeting hosts and up to 5 other video participants, with highly improved picture quality. It’s almost like meeting in person!

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Mobile Apps Upgrades
We’re also happy to announce that mobile apps have been upgraded for iPhone and iPad devices — with Android soon to follow! Upgrades to mobile devices includes HD audio and video, as well as chat capabilities, and anything else a web-based AnyMeeting user can do.

We strive to constantly innovate and provide products to help you grow your business. That’s why it’s important we hear from you, so we can keep building a platform to fit your needs. Let us know how we are doing by leaving us a comment below!

For more information about AnyMeeting’s simple, reliable web conferencing solution, visit www.anymeeting.com.

Why You Should Be Holding Online Meetings On A Regular Basis

We all know that web conferencing and online meetings are great technology. But how exactly do they improve our business, and why is it important to use this technology on a consistent basis? Here are a few specific points.

  • Web conferencing promotes workplace flexibility: Research conducted by Global Workplace Analytics reveals that currently 3.7 million U.S. employees (2.5% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time.  Video conferencing and web conferencing virtually tear down the walls of the conventional office and provide a more flexible work environment.  This growing trend also allows employers the freedom to hire the most qualified and talented people they can find, without being restricted to a limited geographic radius. Whether working remotely or working in the office down the hall, video conferencing and screen sharing vendors like AnyMeeting allow employers to easily connect with their employees in real-time.
  • Video conferencing increases engagement: When you need to have a call, why settle for a phone call? Studies show that people are more likely to multi-task during phone calls vs. video calls. Video conferencing is simply more engaging because it offers real-time visuals — ensuring that your audience is paying attention. With 65% of the population consisting of visual learners, doesn’t it make sense to video conference?
  • Screen sharing increases productivity: Screen sharing is another effective method to engage the team during an online meeting, because it keeps everyone on the same page (or screen). There is no room for miscommunication or important details being lost in translation when the team is seeing, hearing, and contributing to the same document.
  • Web conferencing improves internal communication flow: Web conferencing fosters the ultimate team experience: meeting anytime, from anywhere, armed with a variety of tools to enhance productivity. Employees can share progress on their current assignments, discuss upcoming projects, attend training sessions, attend performance reviews, conduct group stand-ups, and more.  By providing the context of your screen or documents, your live video image, and innovative integrations like collaborative notes, web conferencing provides a rich collaboration experience that simple phone calls or a video call can’t match.

Implementing a web conferencing solution into your daily work environment is smart business. And whether working with colleagues, consulting with clients, or presenting to sales prospects, AnyMeeting provides all the features you need for a great web conferencing experience.

 

AnyMeeting Takes Small Businesses Global with New Release of Global Web, Video and Phone Conferencing Solution

New Toll-Free and International Dial-In Options, Plus New Meeting Start Modes to Help Users Launch and Schedule Meetings Even Faster

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., October 1, 2014 – AnyMeeting (http://www.anymeeting.com), a leading provider of web conferencing, video conferencing and phone conferencing for small business, announced today its new release introducing US toll-free and international dial-in options in more than 40 countries, plus new meeting start modes that streamline the scheduling and launching of meetings based on use case.

AnyMeeting Pro Plans Add US Toll-Free and International Dial-In Options

The new toll-free and international dial-in options are available in all AnyMeeting Pro plans and allow meeting hosts to provide a US toll-free option as well as local dial-in numbers in over 40 countries.  This latest release responds to the needs of many small businesses everywhere for greater global access, as well as the need of AnyMeeting’s growing international customer base for local dial-in options.

These new phone options are available today for general release to AnyMeeting’s 600,000 small business customers across all the verticals it serves, including health care, technology, professional services, financial services and real estate.  International dial-in options are included in all AnyMeeting Pro plans at no additional cost, while US toll-free service is available as an option to Pro subscribers and is charged based on usage, at a rate of only 6 cents per minute – among the lowest rates in the industry.

Latest AnyMeeting Release Makes It Even Faster to Start and Schedule Meetings

With its new release, AnyMeeting has made it even faster and simpler for users to launch and join meetings and conference calls by introducing new meeting start modes, which optimize tool settings for the type of meetings users want to host.  For example, for simple phone conferences, meeting invitations include only conference call details.  For video conferences, meeting attendees join the meeting with webcams turned on.  For webinars, hosts are offered the option to create custom registration forms and surveys, and attendees join the meeting muted by default.

This release also includes a beta instant screen share option, enabling users to launch simple screen sharing with just one click.  New support resources are available to guide users through the new meeting options.

“AnyMeeting is focused on providing small businesses with the simplest, most powerful conferencing platform specifically tailored to their needs,” said Costin Tuculescu, CEO and founder of AnyMeeting.  “These new capabilities enable our customers to better tap international business opportunities and improve their efficiency by anticipating and adapting to their needs.”

AnyMeeting is an easy-to-use, full-featured web conferencing and webinar software platform designed to meet all the conferencing needs of small business, with 6-way video conferencing, phone conferencing, screen sharing, presentation sharing, meeting notes, recording and more, as well as support for mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad and Android tablets.

AnyMeeting customers – as well as its large distribution partners focused on providing the best solutions for small business — are tapping AnyMeeting’s all-in-one web, video and phone conferencing platform for its power, simplicity, affordability, and now its global accessibility.

For more information, please visit www.AnyMeeting.com.

About AnyMeeting

Based in Orange County, California, AnyMeeting pioneered the small business Web conferencing market in 2009 with a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use web conferencing service tailored for small business. Since then, it has grown to more than 500,000 small business users of both its free ad-supported service and low-cost ad-free options.  Designed specifically for small business, AnyMeeting offers a complete web conferencing and webinar service built on the company’s proven Software as a Service platform.  Meeting hosts are able to invite up to 200 attendees per meeting with no time limits, and enjoy a full range of features including integrated video conferencing, phone conferencing, screen sharing, presentation sharing, recording and social media integration.  AnyMeeting is the best choice for small businesses, independent professionals and just about anyone who can benefit from online meetings.  Current investors include Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels, Maverick Angels, Sand Hill Angels and Keiretsu Forum.  For more information, please visit www.AnyMeeting.com.

AnyMeeting Announces Partner API at WebRTC Expo

Enables Service Provider and Platform Partners to Easily Integrate WebRTC-Enabled Conferencing into their Own Solutions

AnyMeeting at WebRTC Expo IV, Booth 218 in Atlanta, June 17-19, 2014

Huntington Beach, Calif. – June 17, 2014 – AnyMeeting (www.anymeeting.com) today announces its partner API, which enables service provider and platform partners to integrate all or portions of its full-featured, browser-based web, video and phone conferencing tool into their own solutions.

AnyMeeting is one of the first WebRTC-enabled conferencing platforms in large-scale production. The AnyMeeting API has already been leveraged in partnerships with large cable operators and telcos, as well as with platforms including Outlook, Zimbra, Google Apps and select vertical platforms in markets like real estate. AnyMeeting is now opening its API to new partners that wish to add WebRTC-enabled conferencing to their own services and platforms.

Said Costin Tuculescu, CEO and founder of AnyMeeting, “WebRTC represents a disruptive technology that opens major new opportunities for service providers –enabling new features, service models and platform economics that will transform the industry. We’re excited to serve partners seeking to tap those opportunities today, leveraging our API and integration experience to build great WebRTC-enabled solutions together.”

AnyMeeting Founder and CEO on Plenary Panel at WebRTC Expo

AnyMeeting is a Gold Sponsor of WebRTC Expo IV in Atlanta, June 17-19, where Tuculescu will be a featured speaker on the plenary panel “Using WebRTC to Make Money”at 3:40pm Tuesday, June 17. AnyMeeting will also available at booth #218 for more information and demonstrations.

Proven, Scalable AnyMeeting API for Screen Sharing, Video, Phone & VOIP Conferencing

Partners can leverage AnyMeeting’s proven and scalable API to quickly add screen sharing, multi-party video conferencing, phone and VoIP-based audio conferencing, online meetings with recording, and full-featuredwebinar capabilities to their own platforms and service offerings.

AnyMeeting’s full-featured conferencing solution also works with non-WebRTC-supported browsers, providing a complete cross-platform solution. The company, which launched the AnyMeeting brand in 2010, has attracted more than 500,000 users and is a trusted partner to many large cable operators, telcos, platform providers and associations serving its target SMB customer base.

About AnyMeeting

Based in Orange County, California, AnyMeeting pioneered the small business Web conferencing market in 2009 with a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use web conferencing service tailored for small business. Since then, it has grown to more than 500,000 small business users of both its free ad-supported service and low-cost ad-free options.  Designed specifically for small business, AnyMeeting offers a complete web conferencing and webinar service built on the company’s proven Software as a Service platform. Meeting hosts are able to invite up to 200 attendees per meeting with no time limits, and enjoy a full range of features including integrated video conferencing, phone conferencing, screen sharing, presentation sharing, recording and social media integration. AnyMeeting is the best choice for small businesses, independent professionals and just about anyone who can benefit from online meetings. Current investors include Tech Coast Angels, Pasadena Angels, Maverick Angels, Sand Hill Angels and Keiretsu Forum. For more information, please visit www.AnyMeeting.com.

 

Our Account Manager dashboard gets a facelift — and more!

We’re pleased to announce that we’re rolling out a UI improvement that will make navigating our account management dashboard much easier.  We’ve simplified our tabs, meeting information layout, and cleaned up the clutter in the interface.  Here’s what you’ll see:

anymeeting web conferencing UI

This UI is also friendlier for iPhones, which will now be able to start meetings and participate in meetings (if you have our iPhone app), as well as dial directly into your conference call with just one click.

We’re also rolling out a few other improvements today:

  • Meeting hosts now receive an email that they’ve scheduled a meeting, with a link to start the meeting directly from the email
  • If the host somehow gets confused and ends up at the meeting login page, and the meeting isn’t started, they can start the meeting directly from there

We really hope you like these improvements, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at http://support.anymeeting.com.

The Promise and Perils of WebRTC

Since Google first laid out their plans for WebRTC, I was excited that there was going to be a next evolution of browser based communication. Before this, Adobe had actually built a pretty amazing framework for real time communications, which gave you webcam and microphone access right from the browser, support for the H.264, G.711 and Speex codecs, as well as a new low-latency UDP based protocol, RTMFP. However, Adobe failed to iterate on the technology, build a devoted developer community, open source the framework (when they actually did do it, it was too little too late), and ultimately get any real buy-in that this could be a disruptive communications framework – even though it basically did everything that WebRTC does.

Regardless, Google has now provided the world with the promise of open communications straight out of the browser, and Firefox has jumped on this wagon pledging their full support. There has been a huge amount of buzz around this technology, and everyone from chat sites to telecom carriers are trying to get a handle on the disruption that is heading our way.

However, as a developer of browser based, real-time communication platforms for the past several years, I feel like I’ve developed a bit of a 6th sense for the challenges that come with delivering enterprise grade reliability out of the browser – and I’m concerned about WebRTC’s ability to deliver on this promise. Specifically, our recent experience with implementing WebRTC based audio showed us how different Chrome’s implementation of the spec was from Firefox’s, and how this can lead to some serious reliability challenges.

Chrome’s implementation has been extremely smooth, which makes perfect sense for obvious reasons. However, Firefox’s implementation in 22 and 23 is almost completely unusable for reliable communications. It suffers from a lack of echo cancellation which can manifest itself as howling feedback, and a bug that results in an ever growing lag that can only be fixed by hanging up your call and reconnecting. For that reason, even though WebRTC is available on Firefox, we cannot roll it out to our users at this time, until these critical issues are resolved.

It’s obvious that WebRTC is still an extremely young technology, being iterated on very quickly by the browser manufacturers. However, the world is eager dive in and realize the benefits that are being promised, and this can’t be done unless there’s a very high quality standard being enforced. As the browser becomes a critical piece of communication infrastructure, any bug released can cripple communications around the world. Additionally, as communication vendors move into the browser, their business models, customer satisfaction levels, and revenues all depend on the proper and flawless implementation of this standard.

It’s inevitably challenging to roll out a disruptive new standard like WebRTC. Working as a community to deliver the highest quality WebRTC stack possible, validated with best-practice QA procedures, will help speed adoption of this important new standard by those of us creating the future communication and collaboration platforms built on it.

The promise of WebRTC is there. We’re excited and ready to innovate.