MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2009 (#40)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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142 MacDirectory CLOSER LOOK VIRTUAL SOLUTIONS > A CONVERSATION WITH ON24 To quote from ON24's Web site, the firm is "committed to providing industry- leading webcasting, lead generation, and virtual event solutions that are designed to meet performance, value and reliability requirements for businesses of all types and sizes." MacDirectory had the opportunity to speak with Tom Masotto, president of business development for ON24. MacDirectory > Tom, tell me something about your role with ON24. Tom Masotto > My role with ON24 is primarily made up of two key functions – one is the product manager managing the delivery of the product for the company and the other side is business develop- ment, identifying new projects for development by the organization that will allow us to continue our growth. We are in the business of virtual events and webcasting. Those are the two main product lines that we have. MD > What is a 'virtual event'? TM > We are the leading provider today for business-focused webcasting. I am sure you have been in webinars before. We have provided a little over 25,000 webcasts this year, which are business oriented by companies that are interested in selling their products and services or talking about a trend that is ultimately leading to a sale of products or services, and to ultimately identify a source of leads for those sales. We've been in this particular area of our business for about eight years now and we are not only the largest with regards to the number of events but we have also been very successful in partnerships with technology publishers. Webcasts are the key or core part of our business. In July of this year, we launched a new product called 'virtual show.' A good analogy would be that virtual show is a virtual trade show where you have a virtual environment someone can virtually walk through – all Flash based – where it would be like a physical trade show with halls, exhibits, auditoriums for breakout sessions – all virtual. Where the core business has been, and will be for the foreseeable future - webcasts, we see a lot of interest in the virtual show or virtual trade show which is the new venture area for the company. MD > Curtis Sparrer of CPCOMM said, "One story that remains to be told is how ON24 is positioning its wealth of business webinar for the Mac user. The company has rolled out a new Flash-enabled console for webinars, giving them a polish of many interactive video games." What can you tell me about this? TM > One area of our business was from the console perspective. It's the interface that the audience of the webinar has. It does not involve any downloads – it's HTML – it's Flash. We have been doing HTML for years but now the Flash technology has come to the point where we can now provide a Flash console. It's a separate window, a HTML window that includes an audio and video stream so that the participants are all viewing the webcast from their computer. MD > You were originally a Windows- based operation. Are you seeing more demand from Mac users and are you increasing your Mac support? TM > We look at Mac support in three ways and some of this will line up with our Mac support pipeline. One recent step was the console perspective giving the Mac user expanded value and improved interface that the Mac audience has. The other side, from the backend, we provide Mac support for the presenter within the webcast. No matter which platform (OS) the presenter is using, the Mac user will be able to participate. And, on the virtual show side, we want to be sure that the Flash console supports all audiences. If you look at this type of business and currently these economic times, the use of these technologies is extremely cost effective and a very advantageous solution to look toward for lead generation or from an internal communications perspective. More information about ON24 can be found at . WORDS BY E.L. GRIGGS

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